“No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the ones I love will always be the ones who pay…” – Peter Parker, Spiderman
Oh, Spidey…we kill because we care, so don’t be a martyr. Folks, did you know that spiders are actually good for something? Besides scaring the ever-living-bejesus out of you, those eight-legged freaks keep many insects away by eating them. Yum?! Most spiders won’t bother people unless they are disturbed. But some such as the brown recluse and black widow are aggressive and poisonous. They can cause severe damage and, in some cases, actually kill a human, especially the very young and the elderly.
At Storage Plus, we have a healthy respect for spiders, but we want you to be aware of how to keep them out of your home, office, or storage unit. The easiest way is to keep it clean and tidy. This will minimize the chances of taking them in as tenants. Also, seal off any cracks or crevices leading into a structure. When searching for storage units, find one that doesn’t have space under the door or cracks in the wall where pests can easily enter. If you have a basement or crawlspace, keep it dry because spiders are drawn to humid areas.
As always, the internet has any number of home remedies to deter and kill spiders in and around your home or other dwelling. Additionally, many department stores carry insect sprays and repellants for both indoor and outdoor use. Always follow label instructions or contact a licensed pest professional. (Like John Goodman’s character in Arachniphobia!)
A few of the more venomous varieties of spiders include the following:
Black house spiders
These spiders can be found spinning webs in dry secluded areas like corners, windows, eaves and overhangs, toilets, and tree bark. They prey on insects that are attracted by house lights, like moths. Their venom is poisonous, but usually not lethal. Notable symptoms include nausea, headaches, and heavy sweating. Definitely seek medical attention so your symptoms don’t plummet like a cliff diver in Acapulco.
Brown recluse spiders
Seriously folks, these aggressive little ninjas are nothing to mess with. Many people suffer from severe reactions to brown recluse bites. This spider is found all over the US, but is predominantly in the south, southeast, and lower Midwest. They have a reputation for aggression. If bitten by a brown recluse, seek immediate medical attention. If you are in doubt, just Google “brown recluse bites” under Images. (not for the faint of heart!)
Wolf spiders burrow into the ground (creepy!) and line their nest with a silken web. Leaves or grass woven with silk may cover their nest. These brown or mottled gray spiders are hairy and usually have stripe-like markings on their back, sometimes called a Union Jack. They are not aggressive, but will bite when provoked. So don’t provoke them! The venom isn’t lethal, but can be very painful. Anyone bitten by a wolf spider should seek immediate medical attention, especially the very young and the elderly.
Black widow spiders
Females have a distinctive yellowish orange or red spot on the underside of the abdomen, often resembling an hourglass shape. It’s probably not best to pick one up and check for that shape, however. They have a shiny black body approximately half an inch in length. The bite of a black widow can be very painful and lethal, so seek medical attention immediately. These spiders seek out cluttered areas that are seldom disturbed like a garage, shed, under rocks, and in storage units. Look before touching any items in areas such as these.
Mouse spiders are black and the males have red heads and long fangs (ewe!) that can cause deep bites. Victims should seek immediate medical attention. Mouse spiders burrow three feet into the ground, but can be found at ground level, especially after rain. They are not aggressive, but will bite if provoked. Again, don’t provoke them!
Hobo spiders are brown and approximately 12 to 18 mm in length. Their bite is painless, but it will turn from a red spot to a red blister within a day and it can break open and ooze within 24 to 36 hours. (Disgusting.) Some of the more notable symptoms include headaches, nausea, and temporary memory loss. So if you can remember, seek medical attention if bitten. Hobo spiders, usually found at ground level, are most common in mountainous states of the western and northwestern US, including Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
In summary, keep things neat and tidy, check before touching items in locations where these spiders hang out, and for the love of Peter Parker…do not provoke them!