Best Practices for Summer Spider Pest Control
If you ask me, anything with more that four legs is creepy. Spiders, having double that amount, rank mighty high on the list of undesirable pests. Based on the amount of customers that we help every year control their spider problems, I suspect that I am not alone in my thinking.
Spiders are a prime example when comparing the phrases and concepts of pest control and pest elimination. Some pests, particularly those that are colony or nest based, can be virtually eliminated. Others, like spiders, can indeed be controlled but there can never be complete assurance of elimination of the local spider population. The reason for this is that once hatched, spiders have no shared, communal living quarters. They have a wandering nature, coming and going wherever they want as an individual creature, which leads us to a common term for interior spiders as they are often referred to as “wandering spiders.”
Before we can review actual spider pest control for the summer months, it is best to have a brief and simple familiarity with some of most common types found here in the Portland Oregon area.
Common Portland Metro Spider Types
Yellow Sac Spider
This small, yellow-greenish spider is commonly found on ceilings or walls. They are most active at night and will build a silk cocoon-like home. They return in spring and early summer sightings are most typical.
Long-bodied Cellar Spiders
This long, skinny spider is some times referred to as daddy long legs. They can be found all year round. Most typically, they are found in high corners with low light, within a cobweb type of webbing. They seem to be the most common in homes and structures in the Portland area.
European House Spiders
This is more of a group than a specific species. Included in this group are Hobo spiders, the Giant House spider and Barn Funnel weavers. They tend to be aggressive, ambush type of hunters, commonly making hidden funnel webs in which they molt, lay eggs, and ambush prey as they walks by. These spiders vary in size from small to the diameter of an adult human palm. The three types cannot be easily distinguished from each other without magnification. Common locations to find them are in boxes, closets, storage areas and such where human traffic is minimal. The majority of sightings are males looking to mate. While all spiders have venom, the Hobo is commonly thought to be as severe as black widows or brown recluses. This doesn’t appear to hold water, however, as their bites can be more like a mosquito bite at first, then become itchy and take several weeks or months to completely heal. Their venom is not know to decay flesh or affect the nervous system. While there are no concrete facts concerning this issue, being medically proactive is always a wise decision.
Interior Spider Pest Control Methods
One of the most tried and true methods of spider control is consistent, exterior crack and crevice spraying of the structure to limit populations and potential prey. Since spiders are singular, non-colonized, and essentially infinite in population, as mentioned above, complete and consistent eradication is unlikely. Along with professional pest control, implementing IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices such trimming landscaping away from the home, limiting objects and clutter both inside and out of the home, and use of glue traps in typical residing areas of the spider inside the home or structure will aid in control.
Common Exterior Spiders, or Orb Weavers
European Cross Spider
These spiders are rarely found indoors. They can range from very small to the size of a 50-cent piece. They spin a web where they prey on any insect that gets stuck in their web. Cross spiders are bright colored with zigzag patterns and a heart shaped abdomen. There are many of different types of spiders found outside, but this is the one that most commonly catches the attention and causes annoyance to homeowners. Their webs can be large and numerous, and homeowners, often to their dismay, walks through them.
Exterior Spider Pest Control Methods
For the most part, the methods same as those for the interior spiders, just obviously without the interior focus. Orb weavers (the builders of commonly seen spiral webs) tend to not bother humans, other than their web building. While exterior crack and crevice treatment on the structure is recommended to reduce these spiders on the structure itself, it is not recommended to treat beyond the structure i.e. landscaping, large bushes, trees, fences. Orb weavers are actually “beneficial” and since they will not bite, it is wise to leave them unharmed.
What to Expect
First, it is important to know that despite urban legends and the like, spider bites are quite rare. Most spiders cannot bite humans, so consider other insects to be culprit if a bite does show up. Consistent control is achieved best with quarterly professional pest control at minimum. In some situations, monthly might be recommended and will commonly yield better results. Be prepared to have your Pest Control Technician ask you to trim or remove landscaping, remove clutter – don’t take offense. They are not casting aspersions but just making helpful suggestions.
When you are no longer seeing spiders in or around your home on a frequent basis, remember the work it took to get that point and the future work to keep it that way.
Now that you know a little more about what to expect for this summers spiders, why not call us for a free estimate – 503-968-5950.