Pest of the Month: Spiders

It’s peak season for spiders to invade your home and scare you. If you have a fear of spiders, also known as Arachnophobia, you’re not alone. Arachnophobia is the 3rd most popular phobia in the United States. That’s right, 30.5% of the U.S.population is afraid of spiders. So what causes such fear of these eight-legged creatures? One might think it’s the fear of being bitten, but based on a study from Graham Davey, it’s actually unpredictable movements and behavior, such as legginess, hairiness, sudden movements and crawliness.

Spiders in Iowa are generally harmless, but there are a few exceptions. If your home experiences an invasion of one of these long-legged creatures, contact Miller Pest & Termite for spider extermination. Here is a list of the most common spiders in Iowa. It is important to remember that spiders are relatively harmless unless they feel threatened.

Grass Spiders

The Grass Spider is often identified by it’s light brown color and two dark stripes running parallel on its back. Grass spiders typically reside in grassy areas and they catch their prey using webs. The Grass Spider is not harmful to humans because their venomous bite is not large enough to puncture human skin. Grass spiders feed on small insects and other prey that falls into their web.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

black and yellow garden spider

The Black and Yellow Garden Spider is easily distinguishable by the yellow and black coloring on its abdomen with orange, yellow, and black alternating bands on its legs. This spider lives in gardens, orchards, parks, and woodlands. The Black and Yellow Garden Spider preys on insects that land in its nest, but they are typically non-aggressive and not poisonous or harmful to humans.

Long-legged Sac Spider

The Long-legged Sac Spider, commonly known as the “Ceiling Spider” is light brown, white, tan, or yellow and almost looks translucent. They cling to walls and ceilings in your home and under your bed. It’s abdomen has a darker, line shaped marking. Ceiling Spiders are not dangerous to humans, even though they do live inside homes. If you do get bit by a Long-legged Sac Spider, the bite will hurt less than a bee sting.

Dark Fishing Spider

dark fishing spider

These spiders most commonly live next to water and feast on small fish and tadpoles. Dark Fishing Spiders navigate the way by quickly gliding across the surface of the water, rowing, or galloping. Dark Fishing Spiders are non-aggressive creatures that will rarely bite humans. They will only bite you if feel threatened or mishandled. A bite from a Dark Fishing Spider does not hurt any worse than a mild bee sting.

Black Widow Spider

Black Widows are identified by the hourglass shaped mark on their abdomens. Black Widows usually feed on other insects, using their large webs to capture their prey. A Black Widow Spider’s bite can be dangerous to humans because its venom is reported to be stronger than a rattlesnake. Black Widow venom affects everyone differently so it is important to seek medical attention if you are bitten by one of these dangerous spiders.

Carolina Wolf Spider

caroline wolf spider

The Carolina Wolf Spider is the largest Wolf Spider in North America. Their greyish-brown colored body is sometimes mistaken for the Brown Recluse Spider. They typically grow to be 3 to 4 inches in length, and have eight eyes that are arranged in three rows. Carolina Wolf Spiders are scared of humans. If you do get bit by a Carolina Wolf Spider, you will not experience any serious symptoms, unless you are allergic to the spider’s venom.

Common House Spider

Common House spiders vary in size, commonly growing up to 8mm in length. They are usually a brown or gray color with darker chevron shaped markings along their bodies. House Spiders are known for spinning many webs throughout a home which helps them to find the best prey-catching location. If you encounter a Common House Spider, don’t panic! They will only bite you if they feel threatened. A Common House Spider bite isn’t threatening to your health, but those allergic to their venom might experience swelling or other serious health conditions

Brown Recluse Spider

brown recluse spider

You can find a Brown Recluse spider hiding in dark dwellings around your home, corners, and under furniture. This spider is shy and non-aggressive towards humans, unless they are bothered or disturbed in their natural environment. Many humans will easily encounter a Brown Recluse Spider bite because they usually live in homes and become threatened by others invading their living environment. If you see a Brown Recluse Spider, it is usually a sign that many are living within your home. To be safe, call Miller Pest & Termite for a thorough home inspection and extermination.