Spider Identification In Florida
What Are Spiders?
The warm, humid weather found in Florida is a haven for many pests, including spiders. In South Florida, wolf spiders, daddy long legs, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, orb weavers, and banana spiders are our most common eight-legged invaders.
While there are thousands of species of spiders living worldwide, they all have some common physical features, such as four pairs of legs, two body regions, and chewing mouthparts. They also have a shield-like carapace that covers their head. Spiders lack wings and antennae.
- Wolf spiders are a large species. They are brown with darker markings that help to camouflage them. They do not build webs; instead, they hide in burrows and chase down their prey. They are not good climbers and live at ground level.
- Daddy longlegs are not true spiders; they are part of the family Phalangiidae. They have eight very long, thin legs and two body segments fused together to give the appearance of a single oval-shaped body. Like spiders, they have fangs but do not inject venom. They use their fangs to capture and hold onto their prey.
- The black widow spider is shiny and black with an hourglass-shaped marking on their belly for which they are will-known. The venom of a black widow spider is strong enough to create health problems in people.
- The brown recluse spider is as its name describes - brown. It also has a distinct marking on its body; a dark “violin-like” marking. These spiders also have venom strong enough to cause health problems in people.
- Orb-weaver spiders come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are most well- known for inhabiting gardens and creating large wheel-shaped webs.
- Banana spiders are a very large species that have long inward-pointing legs. These spiders are usually red, yellow, or black. They are one of the largest web-weaving spiders living in the United States.
Are Spiders Dangerous?
In the United States and South Florida, the two most dangerous species of spiders that people encounter are the brown recluse and the black widow. They are not aggressive, but if you come into contact with either and a bite occurs, their venom is potent enough to cause health problems in people.
The black widow spider’s venom attacks the nervous system of its victim. The venom of a brown recluse spider causes the skin around the bite site to ulcerate. The ulcerated tissue is prone to infection and takes a long time to heal.
The good news is that you can sleep easily at night, knowing that most spiders we encounter are harmless. Harmless spiders have venom, but their venom is not strong enough to cause people harm. Wolf spiders, daddy long legs, orb-weavers, and banana spiders are all examples of harmless spiders that live throughout South Florida.
Why Do I Have A Spider Problem?
The warm, wet weather in Florida allows spiders and the insects they feed on to thrive throughout most of the year. Spiders love to feed on mosquitoes, and Florida offers a veritable never-ending buffet of mosquitoes. At Native Pest Management, we offer mosquito control services that will help.
Most yards in South Florida provide spiders with everything they need - plenty of lush vegetation to hide and hunt in, insects to feed on, and sources of water. When spiders are living in your yard in large numbers, they will likely find their way into your home.
Spiders don’t move inside to escape bad weather like other pests, but they do follow their prey inside or seek shelter to lay eggs. Yards or homes with lots of insect activity tend to have the most problems with spiders.
Where Will I Find Spiders?
Most spiders are nocturnal and are most active overnight hunting their prey. During the day, they hide within their webs or burrows. Spiders will hide out in dense vegetation and grass. Shrubs, bushes, and trees are all home to spiders. They also like to hide around docks, under decks, behind shutters and siding, or in doorways or under roof eaves.
Spiders that find their way into homes, sheds, garages, or other outbuildings and often get inside through:
- Open windows or doors
- Spaces in exterior walls, the foundation, or roofline
Once inside, they will seek out dark, quiet areas to hide and hunt for insects. Spiders live in closets, boxes, under furniture, in the corners of rooms, and on windowsills. They are also regular visitors to attics and crawlspaces.
How Do I Get Rid Of Spiders?
At Native Pest Management, we understand how annoying spiders living inside of your home can be. Once they use their eight legs to crawl inside, they are hard to eradicate.
We can provide our local, pet-safe spider control services to help you eliminate spiders and prevent them from returning. If you find spiders or any other pests in your home, reach out to Native Pest Management and schedule a free pest control inspection!
How Can I Prevent Spiders In The Future?
Preventing problems with spiders is difficult. The best solution to your spider problem is to partner with the professionals at Native Pest Management.
In addition to giving us a call, the following prevention tips can help:
- Keep your yard well-maintained. Eliminate overgrown shrubs and bushes, and keep the grass cut short.
- Cut back landscaping, weeds, and grass away from your foundation.
- Cover vents and drains that lead into your home.
- Seal spaces around air conditioners.
- Keep off outdoor lights when not needed. Lights attract insects to the exterior of your home.
- Inside, keep storage areas clear of debris and organized.
- Vacuum and dust your home to get rid of cobwebs.
- Carefully inspect the outside of your house and seal spaces found around windows and doors, in exterior walls, and the foundation.
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