Spiders may seem like scary, unfriendly creatures. After all, films and folklore often present spiders as the evil arachnids that weave webs to lure their prey. Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is the most common fear in Western culture. But then there is Spiderman, who uses his super-spider skills to fight off the bad guys, and of course, there is the spider in Charlotte’s Web, who uses her web-weaving skills to save a pig’s life. Most real-life spiders are actually a lot more like Spiderman than the average person may realize. Spiders can be one of the most effective forms of pest control in your home.
All spiders assist with the annihilation of roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes, flies, clothes moths, mites, gnats, wasps, and even snails and worms. That’s quite a valuable skillset. Cellar spiders even kill the dreaded black widow spider.
Very few spiders actually cause harm to humans. They are scared of humans and only bite if they feel endangered or threatened.
Friendly California Spiders
Some friendly spiders you’ll find in California are funnel-web spiders, jumping spiders, garden spiders, cellar spiders (also known as daddy longlegs), and sac spiders. Garden spiders (or orb weavers) are the most common. They can be quite large and weave elaborate webs.
Did you know that not all spiders spin webs to catch prey? Some create protective cases for themselves or their eggs, and some only create silk threads to help them get from one place to another. That means you won’t need to worry about cobwebs forming from these spiders.
Not-So-Friendly California Spiders
There are mainly two species of California spiders that you need to be aware of–the western black widow (Latrodectus Hesperus) and the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus). These spiders prefer dark and dank places, such as woodpiles, gardens, garages, and closets. Both black and brown widow spiders will have a red or yellow hourglass pattern on their bellies. Female black widow spiders are the only ones that can actually harm humans. While they can cause severe symptoms, they rarely cause death.
It’s also good to know that brown recluse spiders do not live in California.
Keeping Spiders Out of the House
Generally, cobwebs are considered a sign of negligent housekeeping. While you may not be able to keep all spiders out of your house, here are a few ways you can minimize a spider invasion.
- Clean your house regularly
- Seal cracks and holes
- Make sure windows, doors, and screens close tightly
- Clean around the exterior of your house
- Get rid of the insects that draw spiders
- Have a pest control professional come in for periodic inspections and treatment
If you don’t mind coexisting with a few house spiders, you can enjoy some of the benefits of natural pest control in your home. If you have a garden, you’ll definitely want to consider keeping these helpful arachnids around. You can always call Killroy Pest Control if you become concerned about a spider takeover.