The brown house spider is one of the most common types of spiders and it is typically characterized by long thin legs and light brown to reddish hue. Its scientific name is Steatoda Grossa and it typically describes various species of house spiders. The typical brown house spider is known by several names including the following brown house spider, the false black widow, the dark comb footed spider, and the cupboard spider.
Are brown spiders a threat?
When people hear of the brown house spider they typically remember its other name which is the false black widow. The brown spider and black widow have a lot of similarities which is why they are confused for each other. For example, they both suspend themselves upside down and both are nocturnal. However, the black widow is a venomous spider that while it looks like the house spider, it has a distinct red color right in the middle of its back which identifies it. The brown house spider is very much a nuisance and less of a threat.
Having said that they have been known to bite when they are trapped against your skin. Their bite is similar to a black widow’s bite but the effect is much more mild and manageable with first aid. It is very rare for these spiders to bite and even more rare for them to cause an anaphylactic shock reaction. These spiders are more of a threat to its prey which includes small insects, spiders and bugs. The females can live for six years while the male has a shorter life span of up to a year.
How do you get a brown spider infestation?
Brown house spiders are known to enter the house through cracks in the windows, foundation, doors, and holes in the floor. They love to live indoors where they are safe from predators and will hide under appliances and in the cupboard. In the house they will find food and shelter giving them a safe place to mate and reproduce.
You can tell that you have a brown spider infestation by sighting dead prey, many webs and their cocooned egg sacs. When the female lays eggs it can produce an egg sac that contains 10 to 250 eggs. Before their eggs become adults they go through two molts which happen within the egg sac.
Origins of brown house spiders
These spiders are originally from Europe but they have been moved around so much by man that they are now available worldwide. They are widely distributed around the western and southern states. You can keep them out of your home by sealing the gaps and cracks that provide an in into the house. In case of an infestation, calling a pest technician is your best option.
Black and white spider
The black and white spider is also known as the jumping spider. Their scientific name is Phidippusaudux and it is also commonly referred to as the orchard spider. They earned the name black and white spiders because of the distinct white spot (which sometimes can be orangish) on their backs. The ones with the orange spot are commonly mistaken for black widow spiders.
This spider is typically found in the garden areas and around the home. These spiders belong to the salticidae family and they are reputed to have extremely good eyesight so they hunt during the day only. There typical hunting style is stalking their prey before they leap on it and devour it. The black and white spider is characterized by one particular mannerism which is hanging off a dangling silken webbing. They use this as a fail safe way of getting around and staying in the air if their leap fails.
Why are they black and white?
The black and white color is to camouflage the spider against the tree as they hunt. It also ensures they don’t end up being the prey. The white markings are found mainly on the legs or sometimes it may be a pattern of white marking running through the body.
Are they dangerous?
Like we mentioned above because of the black hue of the spider and its distinct white markings it can sometimes be confused for a black widow. But black and white spiders are not poisonous or aggressive. They can bite when they are trapped against your skin and their fangs can penetrate the skin. However, they do not cause any adverse reactions should they bite you and the bite will heal in a day or two.
Anatomy of a black and white spider
They are small in stature with a stocky, furry body. Some members of the species tend to have velvety orange abdomens. They have eight eyes with a large pair infront which helps it navigate its environment astutely during the day.
How to deal with a black and white spider bite
Like other spider bites that are not venomous you will see a series of red, tiny bumps. To alleviate the itchiness that comes with the bite you can apply some calamine lotion to the site. Also apply a cold compress of ice pack if the pain and swelling persist. But a bite from a black and white spider is not a medical crisis so home based first aid will definitely alleviate the discomfort accompanying it.
Californian climate is conducive to some of the most commonly occurring spiders in the United States. It is dry and hot giving them optimum environment to breed and reproduce. Unfortunately, this may not be good news for residents of the golden city. But if you know what you are dealing with it may make the proximity of these eight legged creatures easier to bear.
Common California spiders
The California tarantula is nocturnal in nature and it is ground dwelling. It is a member of the Aphonopelma grouping of spiders which means it hunts on the ground. It mainly feeds on beetles, lizards, scorpions, other spiders and mice that it runs down. It is black to brown in color with a furry exoskeleton. The California tarantula has venom which can result in a severe allergic reaction in human beings. It uses it venom to paralyze its prey before killing it and eating it and this is why it can prey on creatures far larger than itself.
The yellow sac spider
This species of spider is common in California and love to find shelter indoors making its sac web in the elevated corners of a structure. The yellow sac spider is not venomous but it does bite and sometimes its bite can leave an ulcer that will take longer to heal. It is characterized by yellow coloring and black feet.
The black widow spider
The black widow can survive the very hot and dry weather conditions of California which is why it is popularly found in the state. California is popular for its grape vineyards which attract one particular genus of black widow spider: the Latrodectus genus. This is the most common type of black widow spider in California and it is found mainly in the vineyards. It may find its way indoor and its bite can trigger anaphylactic shock in people who are allergic to its venom.
Apart from the black widow spider you can also expect the brown widow spider in California. It is more timid than its black cousin and also it injects less venom but its venom is just as potent with similar results.
Wolf spiders are nocturnal hunters and they derive their name from their hunting mannerisms. They do not spin webs and wait for prey instead they stalk their prey just like wolves, lay in wait and pounce on them when the time is right. In the California weather they burrow underground and only emerge in the night. They are ground hunters as well. Their bite is not venomous but it can be uncomfortable.
These are some of the common spiders you can expect to find in California. This is not the exhaustive list but these are the ones to look out for the most.
Camel spiders are also known as sun spiders, wind scorpions or solifuges. They are arachnids in the order solifugae. These spiders became popular known during the Iraq war of 2003 when they were purported to be attack sleeping soldiers and eating them. They are known scientifically as galeodesarabs and they are carnivores. They have been associated with myths that paint them as blood thirsty hunter spiders that attack humans because of their carnivorous nature.
These myths were fostered by Middle Eastern folklore about spiders almost the size of a human being with the running speed of human beings and an appetite for large mammals. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The camel spider
This species of spiders is only the size of a tea cup so you can expect it to grow up to six inches in length. It weighs only two ounces and although it looks menacing it is completely incapable of consuming a whole human being.
Having said that, the camel spider is a prolific predator which targets much smaller prey like lizards, rodents and small birds. To human beings they impart a painful bite but that is the scope of their threat to humanity. They feature massive jaws which they use to grab their prey and systematically chomp into them in a sawing motion. They are not venomous but their digestive juices can turn their prey into pulp in a short span of time. They then use a sucking motion to consume the remains of their victim.
Their jaws make up a third of their total body length of six inches. You can distinguish them by their mouthy feeding parts. Because there are various species of this creature do not be surprised to encounter smaller versions of the same. They are very fast and also live a fast paced life within a short period of time. This means they are born, mate and die rapidly compared to other arachnids.
Where are they found?
Camel spiders are native to very dry and hot regions which explains why they feature in Middle Eastern stories and were a source of terror for soldiers in Iraq. But they are not only specific to the Middle East and can be found in dry and hot climates all around the world.
In Africa, they can be found in the Kalahari Desert where they have been dubbed the Kalahari Ferrari because of their speeds. They can move at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour which is double the walking pace of a human being.
Also known as the green lynx spider or by its scientific name peucetiaviridansHentz these type of spider is not harmful to human beings. It is characterized by a bright green hue on the abdomen and a red spot just above the tail end. You may come across this species mostly in the greenery in North America because it is the largest species of spider in the family of Oxyopidae.
Importance of the green spider to the environment
To begin with this is a beneficial insect predator. This means it will eat any insects that are damaging your crops clearing your garden of pests. The green spider is found on all the shrub plants strewn across the southern tip of the United States and other countries in Latin America and West Indies like Venezuela and Jamaica.
It is not considered a pest in farming communities because it feeds on insects and caterpillars that damage the crop while in the field. Unfortunately because they are indiscriminate predators that can also tend to feed on beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. However, their benefits far outweigh this negative.
What you need to know about the green spider
They are a distinct green to neon green color. These spiders have long thin legs that stand out because of black spots on them. The spots are not confined to the legs only but also dot the spider’s back and the femora. Their legs can also be yellow which makes the dots stand out even more.
They have a green abdomen which has a pencil like ending and chevron markings in white and red. They use their long spindly legs to pounce on their prey like a cat which earned them the name lynx. In fact, they are known to lie in wait for their unsuspecting prey and because they look like the green leaves they have the element of surprise on their side. The female grows up to 5/8 of an inch in length and has a slightly elongated oval to oblong abdomen. The male, on the other hand, grows to only half an inch and is much more reserved in character.
The green lynx spider is beautiful to look at and it is completely safe to handle with your hands. They have keen sight and they mate while hanging off the silken strand of a web. Once the female is pregnant it can camouflage itself by blending its stomach to look yellow, green, purple and white seeming like one of the flowers. It doesn’t spin a web to nest instead wrapping her egg sac in a protective cocoon protected by a maze of silken webs.
The green spider is more of a friend to humanity than a foe. In fact, we need the green spider and itsamazing lynx like skills to protect our food in the before it is harvested.
House spider bites
Encountering a house spider is not a scary situation unless you are allergic to their bites. Spiders are not attackers by nature especially not to humans. They prefer to run and hide from our presence and hunt when we are not around. This species of spiders look scary but they are generally harmless with an exception of a few like the black widow spider and brown recluse.
A typical house spider doesn’t have the fangs to even break your skin let alone the venom to cause you harm. Unfortunately, encounters with the brown recluse and black widows have given all house spiders a bad reputation and a larger than life, nefarious status. These two are the only common spiders that have potent venom that can trigger life threatening symptoms in human beings and animals. But even then their bite only becomes deadly if you have an allergic reaction to the venom that sends you into an anaphylactic shock.
Characteristics of house spider bites
Regardless of the species house spider bites tend to look the same. They will appear as tiny bumps on the skin which are red, painful and itchy. But that is as bad as it gets for a majority of the population. For people with allergic reactions to insect bites and stings there may be more intense symptoms like breaking out in hives, trouble breathing, elevated blood pressure and swelling of the parts of the body like the lips, eyelids and even the tongue.
When the brown recluse spider bites you may feel a quick sting which may feel pronounced over the next few hours as the area begins to swell and itch. The bite forms a small white blister in the center that when sometimes forms an open sore. Do not be surprised to see the skin turn blue or purple in the subsequent days especially if you have sensitive skin. You may also get some chills and a rash following the bite.
In the case of a black widow’s bite you will feel the prick as the spider bites you but within minutes to an hour you will begin to feel pain with some of it spreading into the affected limb and even to other muscles in the body. You may sweat profusely and experience stiffness in your muscles and stomach cramps as well. The bite site will continue to become red and swollen and also painful to touch.
In case of anaphylactic shock it is crucial to go the hospital emergency immediately. Some people already know that they are allergic to these bites but the majority don’t. if you begin to experience symptoms like vomiting and nausea or blurred vision, dash to the ER and seek medical attention.
Though it remains true as a description, the scope that defines pests in terms of spider pest control goes beyond the usual definition.
As far as gardens, lawns and lawn care are concerned, common pests in their wonderful growth and thriving are ironically not even primarily caused by insects. When it comes to the care of gardens, one must identify the possible sources of its most frequent ordinary ruin.
1) Always sweep and mop the floors daily, especially in doorways and other high traffic areas, both indoors and outdoors. Shake off rugs outside and also wash table cloths.
2) Make sure to dust off cabinets, window sills, bookcases, bookshelves, fans, tables, and other areas prone to collecting dust, as they can house and conceal insects. They can also be a breeding ground for termites, which could absolutely affect your establishment and your livelihood.
3) If you’re operating a restaurant, it’s imperative that staff cleans off tables immediately, especially outside, where flies and other insects will congregate quickly. Make sure spills are cleaned up right away.
This also holds true for areas unseen by customers, such as the kitchen. Clean up spills immediately and make sure dishes are washed and disinfected quickly to avoid attracting bugs.
4) Empty trash bins frequently. If you’re a restaurant throwing food outside, dispose of it in a large trash bin. Don’t litter! Make sure the large trash bin is emptied by daily trash pickup. If possible, have it emptied two times a day. Keep areas around trash bins clean to avoid swarms of bugs.
5) Have routine pest control done by a professional at your business. They can use stronger chemicals, even echo-friendly extermination equipment, to get rid of bugs and keep them away.
They can also identify areas prone to bugs and provide you with a plan for keeping them away.
6) Vacuum all furniture, including couches, chairs, pillows, seat cushions, and carpeted areas making sure to focus on creases and corners which are prone to bed bugs.
7) Make sure to routinely clean out kitchen cupboards and pantries in your kitchen or dining area. This isn’t just applicable for restaurants but for all places of business that keep food and sodas on-hand.
Discard old food, then dust off shelving areas. Complete by using disinfectant wipes.
8) Routinely clean out the refrigerator in your office’s kitchen or dining area, discarding old food. Just like the pantry, regularly take out all food and scrub surface areas with the cleaner to disinfect them.
9) Keep boxes and crates that are stacked high away from the wall so that you can always see what’s behind them. This will also prevent insects or rodents from getting into them from the attic or roof.
10) Make sure your attic and roof are routinely inspected for mice and bugs. Have these areas sprayed by a pest control professional.
Some Black Widow spider facts:
Equipped with a venomous bite that is estimated fifteen times more potent than the average rattlesnake; the Black Widow is hand down the most toxic creature found within the United States.
Studies reveal that less than one percent of bites end up being fatal, with resulting symptoms of difficulty breathing, muscle aches, and vomiting.
Make no mistake though, this has nothing to do with our immune systems fighting off the neurotoxins. Instead, it is because the Black Widow rarely injects high levels of venom for unexplained reasons.
This fact alone is the only reason the mortality rate remains low, and should never be forgotten when dealing with this species.
It is also interesting to note that only mature female Black Widows inject venom into their prey. They can easily be identified because of their shiny, solid black color and the trademark red hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens.
Their bodies measure about a 1/2 inch in diameter with long, thin legs. Males are tan in color and also have lighter patterns, and their bodies tend to be much smaller with slightly longer legs.
Juvenile Black Widows of both sexes do not possess venom either, and they often have light pale colors until they reach maturity.
The Black Widow has a lifespan of less than one year but within that period can lay in excess of 750 eggs.
They hatch within a month, and another two to four months are required to reach full maturity. Although birthrates are high, many juveniles of this species consume one another before reaching maturity.
Black Widows live within unevenly spun webs that are among the strongest silk varieties found, but they are also commonly spotted hiding beneath rocks, leaves, or other natural debris.
Like other spiders, they feed on a wide variety of insects but prefer cockroaches, beetles, and other spiders, but are also perfectly content feasting on mice, moths, flies, crickets, and other small animals.
A typical attack would encompass a quick venomous strike that causes near-instant paralysis or death within their prey, and within minutes the toxin begins to break down the flesh into a liquefied form.
As this process takes place this arachnid engulfs its victim within sticky webbing and eventually sucks out the soft, edible interior.
This species prefers warm, damp environments so obvious hiding places inside the home would include within blankets or towels, underneath furniture, and anywhere else with possible insect traffic since they will also seek warmer environments to survive.
If you spot other species of spiders during the winter months inside your home it may be wise to leave them alone.
Many of them prey on Black Widows and will reduce their presence. Also, consider a close inspection of the exterior of your home and seal any small cracks or crevices before the winter months approach.
If even a small infestation is found it needs to be eliminated immediately and probably best left to a professional with experience in the matter. If bitten by one of these arachnids, it is urgent to seek medical attention immediately.
Spider bites in humans fall into two categories: serious bites from two particularly dangerous species, and annoying bites that can be handled effectively using home remedies for spider bites. What’s more, these home remedies for spider bites are things you probably already have on hand in your kitchen and home first aid kit.
Let’s take a look at the two spider species that have dangerous bites:
The first is the brown recluse spider. First the good news: this spider has a limited range and is only found in the Southern United States down to the Gulf coast.
Now the better news: the bite of this spider is almost always painless and almost never fatal.
The bite of this spider seems to cause the death of cells and tissue surrounding the bite area. There is some argument that this cell death may be from a bacterial infection transmitted by the spider, and not from the spider’s venom.
The thing to watch for with this kind of bite is a rapid change in the way the bite area looks. If you have a bite that is changing rapidly, seek medical attention immediately, especially if you live in this spider’s natural habitat.
The other “big bad” of the spider world is the black widow spider. If you are bitten by a black widow, you may recognize the spider by its distinctive black body and red hourglass marking.
Even if you don’t recognize the spider, you will recognize the bite. The bite is immediately painful, and severe body cramps, headaches, and tearing follow soon after.
Seek medical attention immediately, as your symptoms will rapidly get worse. The good news here is that death is rare, and with proper medical treatment, you will likely have a very good outcome.
Just as people can be allergic to insect bites and stings, people can be allergic to spider bites. Most people who have these allergies know and carry appropriate medication with them at all times.
But anyone who is bitten is susceptible to an anaphylactic reaction.
Fortunately, despite their severity, allergic reactions and bites from brown recluse and black widow spiders are rare. Most of the time all you will need is a home remedy for spider bites.
The main issue with a spider bite, as with an insect bite, is irritation and itching. To soothe the area of the bite, try using a preparation with a waxy emollient base like beeswax.
If it has other nutrient ingredients, like bee pollen or propolis, so much the better.
An over-the-counter antihistamine, either oral or topical, will relieve swelling and make you more comfortable. Other things you can place on the bite site to help include a slice of raw onion or a paste of baking soda and water.
Use common sense, however, and know when a bite is an annoyance, and when you should be seen by a physician. If there are any signs of swelling, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
As you probably know, the vast majority of spiders use their webs to catch insects, which they eat later, although while the bug is still alive. The venom that spiders deliver with their bites is usually just toxic enough to paralyze their prey.
So naturally, if a spider’s venom is powerful enough to just temporarily subdue a mosquito or a housefly, there’s no chance at all the venom will cause any problems for a person.
It may hurt, just like a horsefly bite or even a bee sting, but there’s nothing more to worry about beyond that.
In most cases, there’s nothing more.
Like the wolf, they see very well at night. If you shine a light in their eyes, it will come back green. The wolf spider’s scientific name is Rhabidosa Rabida. Wolf spiders can be found all over the United States, from Florida to Texas and California, as well as northern territories like Ohio and Michigan.
- The wolf spider is an active hunter. This means it does not use webs to catch prey. Instead, they will chase or pounce on their prey.
- They have very powerful jaws. Spider jaws protrude and are called chelicerae – they are used to carry objects and crush prey.
- Wolf spiders are poisonous. Like most spiders, the wolf spiders bite is designed to liquefy the inside of its prey for easier digestion. Their bite hurts like hell, but they are not fatal to humans.
- These spiders can be identified by their eyes. The bottom row is composed of four small eyes of equal size. The top row, or posterior, is curved backward against the middle two eyes which are enlarged in size.
- Wolf spiders are huge. Some species may be anywhere between 1 inch or 1.5 inches (38mm) with an additional leg span of about 4 inches. Hogna helluo and Hogna carolinesis are the likeliest spider species found inside of the home, the latter being the largest. Wolf spiders pass through a series of skin molts on their way to adulthood.
- They live solitary lifestyles. Unless mating, they do not seek interaction.
- Night vision. They have a membrane in their eyes that comes back green when light hits it – it allows them to see at night also.
- Desert species are capable of burrowing. In high temperatures, the spider will burrow underground. The hole is covered with dirt and grass.
- They are hunted by wasps and birds. If stung, the will become paralyzed.
- Chemical receptive hairs on its body for detecting prey. Spiders will use these hairs to detect certain scents and maintain their orientation.
Their lifespan is about 2 years. It is believed that females live longer. Males will use rhythm to attract females.
Courtship is a brilliant display of jumping and drumming with the pedipalps (second inner appendages). They are also diurnal. This means they hunt both day and night, though some desert species prefer to hunt in cooler nightly temperatures.