Out of the thousands of species of spider that reside in North America, there are more than 50 of these species that call Southern California home, just like you and I. Though these spiders are very different from one another, it's good to remember the common traits that all spiders carry so that you can identify spider infestations on your property. Spiders are not insects, but arachnids. They have 8 legs, round bodies, 8 eyes, and usually fangs that they use to consume and sometimes inject venom into their prey. Some species of spiders weave silky webs to catch their meals and others prefer to roam around and hunt for their dinner. There are relatively harmless spiders to extremely poisonous and dangerous spiders among these Southern California dwellers that you should be aware of when looking for pests on your property. Which type of spider are you seeing in your home?
Despite the name “black” widow, these spiders vary in color. While a majority of black widows are black, with red hourglass-shaped markings on the underside of their belly, some black widows are brown with orange markings on their bellies.
Black widow spiders are venomous. When provoked, female black widows will bite, secreting a venom with neurotoxins that attack the nervous system. The black widow spider is considered to have the most toxic spider bite in the United States.
Black widows usually build webs in protected, sheltered, and secluded areas, whether inside or outside. If the widow is outside, its web may be found in protected places such as the underside of outdoor furniture and piles of wood. Inside a home, a black widow will build its web in dark, cluttered corners, usually on the ground level, like in a closet or garage.
Hobo spiders aren’t particularly unique looking compared to other spiders. They can be anywhere from 11mm to 14mm in length, depending on if the spider is male or female. They are usually colored in shades of brown. Male hobo spiders have swollen looking appendages that contain their reproductive organs.
Hobo spiders are nocturnal and prefer to set up camp in dark and damp hiding spots. Because they aren’t very good climbers, you will find most hobo spider webs closer to the ground. These spiders spin intricate funnel-shaped webs usually found behind furniture, between boxes, in your garage, and other dark corners of your home. You may also find them in piles of wood, garden beds, and around the foundation of your home.
Hobo spiders generally have poor vision and are afraid of any threat bigger than them. Female hobo spiders, however, are very protective of their eggs and will be aggressive if they think predators are after their young ones.
Wolf spiders are large, hairy critters that grow up to 35mm in length. They are colored with gray, brown, and black patterns. They are fast hunting spiders with powerful jaws and good eyesight. Generally, an outdoor spider, wolf spiders make their homes burrowing into the ground, covering the opening to their burrows in silk webs or pebbles.
Though they are not generally aggressive, wolf spiders may rear up on their hind legs to intimidate attackers. They may also bite if they feel threatened. The bite of the wolf spider is mildly venomous and may cause some mild pain, as well as swelling and itching. For the average adult, wolf spider bites are not a medical concern.
As their name describes, garden spiders typically live in gardens, wooded areas, and meadows. They settle in places with high insect supply and tend to stay there for the duration of the season. These spiders build their intricately woven orb-shaped webs between tall plants, tree branches, twigs, on walls, windows, and fences. They thrive in sunny places with a little breeze, though they often hide in the shade provided by other plants and on the walls of your home.
To kill their prey, garden spiders inject them with paralyzing venom. Though garden spiders aren’t considered aggressive and prefer to hide from predators like humans, they may bite out of self-defense. In the rare instance that a garden spider bite may occur, their venom isn’t a medical concern for humans. A garden spider bite may cause little swelling, itching, but rarely causes pain as much as a bee sting would cause.
Call us at 1-800-782-8443 If You See: Ants on your counter tops and floors, lines of ants in or around your home, and/or signs of ant nests anywhere on your property.
Harper Pest Control is a small, locally-based, family-owned company that has been serving indoor and outdoor pest control needs of Orange County and Riverside County for the last 60+ years. We developed the CleanGreen method, a natural, non-toxic pest control that wipes out pests and protects the health of your loved ones. Our mission is for your life to be pest-free.
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