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5 Most Dangerous Spiders this Winter

People might wonder if spiders can be a problem during the winter, but no matter how dangerous, multiple spider species enter households throughout the Eastern Massachusetts area, hide under crawl spaces, basements or attics, cause painful spider bites, and create annoying spider webs. Every homeowner must question themselves: are we ready for the upcoming winter spider invasions? Here, we'll discuss which spiders are most dangerous and how to combat them so that you can effectively prepare your home this winter.

5 Spiders in Massachusetts

Spider bites are potentially serious, so consult a physician or visit the emergency room immediately if bitten. It is vital to identify a spider to treat bites effectively, so bring the spider carcass along to aid the selection of antivenin.

Yellow Sac Spider

    This spider carries a painful bite and, although it most often stalks its prey among the grass outside, it can wander inside and hide in crevices, attics, or other hidden areas. It doesn't spin webs, though it creates a sac-like nest for shelter and a place to keep its silken egg sacs before hatching. Multiple species of this yellow spider are poisonous, and bites are often confused with brown recluse bites. Longterm effects are rare, but hospitalization is even rarer.

Wolf Spider

    This species also prefers hunting in tall grass, spins silk only for egg sacs and shelter, and chases down prey on speedy legs. Its furry body has given rise to its common name, and excellent eyesight allows it to hunt along the ground at high speed. Females carry the egg sacs under her spinnerets until hatching when the tiny spiders attach to her back. Bites from a wolf spider rarely result in hospitalization.

Funnel-web or Grass Spider

    At 3/4 inch long, these spiders present little danger to humans and prefer to remain in their sheetlike webs with a funnel on one corner where they await potential victims. These could make their way inside, but present little threats to humans.

Cellar Spider

    This long-legged with elongated bodies often are mistaken for Daddy Long Legs, and speculation and rumor circulate about their deadly poison. Daddy Long Legs are not spiders but larger, distant relatives to ticks, mites, and other arachnids and contain no poison. Cellar spiders, contrary to urban legends, are virtually harmless to humans and violently gyrate on their webs to confuse potential predators, disappearing almost entirely.

American House Spider

    With its orblike abdomen, this spider is a common cobweb weaver, along with the hobo spider (not dangerous) and black widow spiders (uncommon in Massachusetts), which all make messy, complex, three-dimensional webs. Find this spider in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and other places that aren't often used.

Other Dangerous Spiders

    Common dangerous spiders in the United States include the brown or black widow spider, which has an hourglass-shaped mark on its underside and venom that attacks the nervous system. Another type is the brown recluse spider, which has necrotic venom that forms a painful blister on the skin that pops and exposes dead, raw flesh underneath. Neither of these species is common in Massachusetts, though the Northern Black Widow is reportedly seen in Massachusetts during the spring and summer months.

    The Sydney funnel-web spider is considered the most venomous spider in the world due to its ability to easily kill an adult human with venom. But these are not found outside Australia and surrounding islands. The Brazilian wandering spider, or banana spider, is also considered dangerous but is also rarely found outside Central, South America, or Brazil.

Control Spiders at Home

Follow these tips to get rid of spiders and other pests and control populations around your home this winter.

  • Cleaning

    A clean house is difficult for a spider to find a hiding spot, so consider a cleaning regime to disinfect or de-clutter areas they might hide, like the basement, attic, crawl spaces, etc. Consider purchasing an automatic vacuum cleaner that can run at night when most spiders are active.

  • Food Sources

    Turn off outdoor lights to stop attracting moths, flies, or other spider prey, and seal your food in airtight containers and store on a high shelf to avoid attracting insects spiders could find.

  • Seal Entries

    Use silicone caulking to seal cracks, gaps, and crevices around doorways, windows, water and gas piping, and the foundation and sill plates.

  • Clear Away Hiding Places

    De-clutter the yard of fallen branches and trim vegetation two feet from the perimeter, and hedges should be cut at least two feet from house siding. Firewood and compost areas should be elevated one foot on a platform located at least twenty feet from the home. Garbage dumpsters should also be located twenty feet away or further.

Safe Spider Killers

  • Vinegar

    Mix water and vinegar in a bottle and apply over areas spiders potentially establish harborage locations. Vinegar acids injure or exterminate most spider species.

  • Peppermint

    Essential peppermint oil is a powerful spider deterrent and is also scientifically proven effective against some rats. Consider purchasing an essential oil humidifier.

  • Other Products

    Boric acid, a compound often used in household products, sticky glue traps, and over-the-counter pesticides can prove effective; however, be careful not to put these where children, pets, or elderly can come in contact with it.

Fox Pest Control Spider Management

When spiders come into your home and make it their own, there is little you can sometimes do, so a spider management company is exactly what you need to get the job done. Our Pest Pro Technicians are friendly and well-trained, and our commercial-grade products, used in our best Home Protection Plans, are guaranteed to keep you and your family safe from every kind of pest this winter. Don't wait, pick up the phone and call for your free estimate today, because pests ... it's what we do.

Posted on December 13, 2019.

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