Among various and numerous types of common household pests, spiders occupy a special spot. There are dozens of spider species that would readily prefer stable, controlled environment of a house over the inherent unpredictability and danger of the wild. Also, different species have different environmental preferences, which only heighten the chances that your house will appeal to one of them.
Another complicated issue is the fact that while some spiders are clearly dangerous to humans, many are mostly or completely harmless, and can even turn out to be quite helpful. If you have found out that you are sharing your home with a couple of spiders, you dont have to immediately run to the phone and hire a team of spider exterminators. First, you should determine what causes for infestation are, what species of spiders you are dealing with, and perhaps try to address the issue yourself.
A spider infestation can be the result of many different factors, but certain causes are more common. The number of calls for spider exterminators always rises during the cold and rainy seasons. Just like most insects, spiders will always try and seek shelter during the rain, which is always potentially fatal to such small creatures. Being cold-blooded, spiders will also try to hide from extreme temperatures. While many species show good resistance to heat, cold is always a hazard.
In the wild, spiders usually live on or near plants. If you have recently bought a potted plant, chances are that a small spider or a number of spider eggs have hitched a ride, so to speak, into your house. If you live in an apartment block, a few spiders may wander over to you from your neighbors.
Generally untidy places with poor upkeep are nearly always safe for spiders, since such places have plenty of small nooks and corners to hide in or build webs on. Small holes are also hard to access by larger creatures. Basically, this is the reason why basements, attics, and ventilation systems are such a favorite among arachnids.
One more likely cause of infestation is abundance of small bits of food such as bread crumbs. Such a food source will attract insects, and insects will attract spiders. Certain small species of spiders may even be helpful to the household, hunting down other insects, as long as the spider population itself is small enough to not be a nuisance.
The most common sites of spider infestation include attics, basements, cars, rarely used closets, any small cracks, secluded corners and air vents, especially near or in kitchens and bathrooms.
First of all, one should know the distinction between hunting and web-building spiders. Hunting spiders do not build webs, instead using their good eyesight and great speed and agility to catch prey. Web-building spiders wait for prey to come to them and get caught in the web. Most spiders found in households are only active at night.
Spiders are generally very shy, prefer to remain hidden, and try to flee if confronted by a larger creature. Only a handful of species are aggressive enough to bite a human, have long enough fangs to pierce the skin, and strong enough venom to elicit a potentially serious reaction. However, people living in warmer climate areas have a higher chance of encountering a dangerous spider, as most larger species live in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
A spider most commonly seen in a house is the aptly named a house spider. Thin cobwebs that you see in the corners near ceilings are probably the work of common house spiders. A small and carefully controlled population of house spiders can actually be beneficial for a suburban or countryside home, as spiders will greatly decrease the number of flying insects. House spider bites are rare and harmless.
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