Spiders are never pleasant to discover in your home, and it can be especially frightening if you are unable to identify whether a species of spider is dangerous or not. While they tend to travel solo, spiders left unchecked may multiply into a situation that is much more difficult to control.
While no one wants spiders in their home, they typically aren’t a major pest control issue in most cases. In fact, spiders are actually more likely to be a symptom of a different pest control problem.
What Attracts Spiders?
Spiders are predators by nature, so they are attracted by the presence of their food source: other pests! Just like most bugs and insects, spiders are primarily after two things when they invade a home: food and shelter. That’s why you may find spiders more frequently when the weather outside is chilly or wet, as they seek a warm and dry climate to build their nest.
If you see a spider in your home, they may just be seeking shelter. However, it can also be a warning sign that you have other pests somewhere in your home that the spider is hunting.
How to Prevent Spiders from Entering Your Home
To keep spiders from settling inside your house, you should practice all the usual pest prevention techniques, such as cleanliness and sealing possible entry points. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of an eight-legged visitor:
Caulk and seal exterior entry points, especially around utilities
Maintain window and door screens, repairing any tears or replacing damaged screen mesh
Maintain your landscaping, removing clutter such as wood piles, leaves, and other debris
Trim shrubs and trees back from your home
Use dim yellow exterior lighting instead of bright white lights, which tend to be attractive to spiders
In addition to these do-it-yourself techniques, you should also maintain regular pest control services to rid your home of food sources spiders will seek out. Implementing preventative pest control services is the best way to ensure your home stays free of all manner of invaders, spiders included! Spiders will look elsewhere if there is nothing good to hunt in your home.
Common Spiders in Kansas City
If you do see a spider in your home, it may be helpful to know whether or not it’s a harmful species. Fortunately, most spiders in Kansas City are relatively harmless, but knowing the difference between nonpoisonous and dangerous varieties can help you handle the situation more cautiously.
Harmless Spiders in Kansas City
The following species of spider are very common in Kansas City and, while all species of spider technically carry venom, will not cause significant harm if they do happen to bite you:
Grass spiders are light brown with white stripes along their oblong abdomen. They are very fast but tend to stay on their webs where they weave a funnel along one edge.
Wolf spiders are the most common species in Kansas City. They don’t build webs like most other species and will bite if provoked, though their bites only cause mild itching and swelling.
Jumping spiders are extremely small black spiders that can jump surprisingly far (up to 50 times their body length!). They are easy to identify because of their size and their propensity for jumping everywhere!
False widows make correctly identifying spiders important because they may be harmless, but the black widows they imitate are not. False widows have a large, bulbous abdomen like black widows, but they are a lighter brown color as opposed to the darker black of their more dangerous cousins.
Orb weavers come in all shapes and sizes in Kansas City, from large and colorful garden spiders to spiny castlebacks. They are called orb weavers because of the unique, circular grid webs they spin.
Dangerous Spiders in Kansas City
There are only two types of spiders in Kansas City that can cause true harm to humans beyond a small spider bite: brown recluses and black widows.
Brown recluse spiders are actually not as dangerous as many people think. While their bite can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like a deep sore, fever, and chills, these symptoms will usually resolve on their own without medical intervention. You can identify a brown recluse by its yellow-grey color and the unique violin shape on its back.
Black widows are infamous for the danger they pose to humans, as their bite is toxic to humans and can cause extreme symptoms like nausea and vomiting, muscle stiffness, stomach pain and cramping, trouble breathing, and even loss of mobility in the legs. Black widows have a bulbous black abdomen with red markings underneath and occasionally on top depending on the species.
It’s worth noting that human encounters with these dangerous species are extremely rare. Both brown recluses and black widows prefer to stick close to home, hunting from their webs rather than venturing out in search of prey. Still, if you do suspect the spider in your home may be one of these more harmful spiders, it’s better to contact pest control than risk any harm coming to you and your loved ones.
What to Do if You See a Spider
If you find any species of spider in your home (and especially if you discover more than one!), contact Advantage Termite and Pest Control! Our professional team can assess your home for signs of infestations that may be attracting spiders and can help you discover possible entry points where spiders and other pests may be getting inside. If you suspect it may be a dangerous variety, don’t try to handle it yourself. Call us at first sight — We do it right!