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Spiders – although typically associated with dark and gloomy places – are actually common household pests in Arizona, and while they may not seem as threatening as other pests, they can pose several problems if left untreated. Some species, such as the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider, can deliver venomous bites that can be serious or even fatal.

In the following article, we will discuss the most common spider species in Arizona, the possible health risks they pose, the types of damage they can do to a home and its landscaping, how they enter residential homes, how to detect them in a household, ways to prevent them from entering a home, and how a professional pest control company can eliminate them before they become a bigger problem.

Common Spider Species in Arizona

There are over 900 species of spiders in Arizona, but some of the most common include the following five:

Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus spp.)

The black widow spider is one of the most feared spiders in the world, and for good reason. Its bite can be very painful and can even be fatal in rare cases. Black widow spiders are easily recognizable by their distinctive hourglass-shaped marking on their abdomens.

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

The closely related Arizonian species, Loxosceles arizonica and L.deserta. The brown recluse spider is another venomous spider that can cause serious health problems. Its bite can lead to a condition called necrotic arachnidism, which can cause tissue death at the bite site. Brown recluse spiders are often found in dark, secluded areas, such as crawl spaces and woodpiles.

Wolf Spider (Lycosidae spp.)

Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders that can be aggressive if they feel threatened. They are not typically considered to be venomous, but their bites can be painful. Wolf spiders are often found in yards and gardens too, where they prey on insects.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae spp.)

Jumping spiders are small, agile spiders that can jump several times their own body length. They are not venomous and are generally considered to be beneficial insects, as they help to control populations of pests. Jumping spiders are often found in homes and gardens.

Orb Weaver Spider (Araneidae spp.)

Orb weaver spiders are the spiders that spin the large, circular webs that are often seen in yards and gardens. They are not venomous and are actually beneficial insects, as they help to control populations of nuisance and destructive pests.

Health Risks of Spiders

While most spiders are not dangerous to humans, a few species, such as the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider, can deliver venomous bites that can be serious or even fatal. Symptoms of a spider bite can include pain, swelling, redness, itching, and nausea. In severe cases, spider bites can cause cramping, difficulty breathing, and even paralysis.

Types of Damage Spiders Can Do to a Home and Its Landscaping

Spiders can cause many problems in and around a home, including:

  • Webs. Spiders can spin webs in inconvenient places, such as doorways, windows, and around outdoor furniture.
  • Stains. Spider droppings can stain walls, furniture, and fabrics.
  • Damage to plants. Some species of spiders, such as wolf spiders, can damage plants by preying on beneficial insects.
  • Psychological distress. Some people are afraid of spiders, and their presence in a home can cause significant anxiety.

How Spiders Enter Residential Homes

Spiders can enter homes through a variety of ways, including via the following means that are also common to other pests:

  • Cracks and crevices. Spiders can squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices in walls, foundations, and around windows and doors.
  • Openings around pipes and utility lines. Spiders can also enter homes through openings around pipes, utility lines, and vents.
  • Hitchhiking. Spiders can hitchhike on plants, firewood, and other items that are brought into the home.
  • Doors and windows. Spiders can also enter homes through open doors and windows, especially if there are gaps or cracks around the frames.

How to Detect Spiders in a Household

There are a number of signs that may indicate a spider infestation in your home, including:

  • Seeing webs. Seeing webs in your home is the most obvious sign of a spider infestation.
  • Egg sacs. Female spiders lay eggs in sacs that can be found in dark, secluded areas of your home.
  • Spider droppings. Spider droppings are small, black pellets that can be found in areas where spiders are active.
  • Live spiders. Seeing live spiders in your home is a sure sign of an infestation.

Ways to Prevent Spiders from Entering a Home

Here are some effective ways to prevent spiders from entering your home:

  • Seal up cracks and crevices. Spiders can squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices, so it’s important to seal these up to prevent them from entering. Use caulk or sealant to seal up cracks around walls, floors, windows, and doors.
  • Repair torn screens. Torn screens can provide spiders with easy access to your home. Repair or replace any torn screens on your windows and doors.
  • Keep your home clean and clutter-free. Spiders are attracted to clutter, so it’s important to keep your home clean and clutter-free. Store food in airtight containers and regularly vacuum and sweep your floors.
  • Eliminate moisture sources. Spiders are also attracted to moisture, so it’s important to eliminate moisture sources in your home. Repair leaky pipes, faucets, and drains promptly.
  • Use natural spider deterrents. There are several natural spider deterrents that you can use to keep spiders out of your home. These include essential oils, such as peppermint, lavender, and cedarwood, as well as diatomaceous earth.
  • Regularly inspect your home. Regularly inspect your home for signs of spiders, such as webs, egg sacs, and live insects. If you see any signs of spiders, take steps to eliminate them.
  • Consider professional pest control. If you have a severe spider infestation, you may need to consider professional pest control. A professional pest control company will be able to identify the type of spider, assess the extent of the infestation, and recommend the best course of treatment.

In addition to these preventative measures, you can also make your home less attractive to spiders by removing potential food sources. Spiders are attracted to insects, so it’s important to control insect populations in your home. Use insect screens on your windows and doors, and regularly remove dead insects and other debris from your home.

If you experience persistent problems with spiders or other pests, DIY methods probably won’t be nearly as effective as needed. So, having a professional pest control service take care of the infestation is the best way to go.