Spiders

ABOUT SPIDERS

Spiders are found everywhere except Antartica. They are established in nearly every habitat, except for the air and sea.

All spiders are predators, feeding mainly on insects and other small arthropods. They capture their prey in sticky webs, paralyzing or killing them with venom. Spiders can survive without food for several weeks to a few months.

In the US, only two spider groups are considered dangerous to man. They are the widow spiders and the recluse spiders.

CONTROLLING SPIDERS

Thorough inspection of the building is essential and may have to be made at night. Identification is important for pest management and medical reasons. The key to control is the timely mechanical removal of spiders and webs but especially the egg sacs with a vacuum, both inside and outside. Seal and dispose of the bag immediately.

CHARACTERISTICS OF SPIDERS

Spiders are arthropods have eight legs and fangs that inject venom. They have two body regions, head and thorax along with an abdomen connected by a tiny waist. Spiders are antennae absent. They have slender legs, four pairs of them and have fangs that are connected internally to a poison duct.

The males are usually smaller than the females. In a week or more after mating, the female deposits 20 to several hundred eggs in a silken sac. It may be weeks later, or not until the following spring, before the spiderlings hatch and emerge from the sac. Spiderlings go through 4 to 12 molts before maturity. Most spiders live for one or two seasons.

Most spiders are nocturnal or active at night and will scurry away when disturbed unless they are tending egg sacs or young. During the day, they usually remain hidden and inactive in cracks and crevices or their webs. Bites usually occur when males are searching for females, or when people clean out neglected places such as basements, attics, garages or put on seldom-used clothing.