Finding a spider inside your home can be unnerving to some. Arizona is home to many types of spiders, (27 unique species to be exact) some which are venomous. Knowing how to identify these common house hold spiders can be invaluable because their bites can be lethal. Below are the most common arachnids found across AZ. (Pictures Included)
House spiders (also known as “Southern house spiders”) have earned their names by typically infesting people’s homes. Small and brown these arachnids are often mistaken for the Brow recluse spider which is much more harmful. House spiders are identified by the papery brown egg sacs in the webs. While not aggressive they have been known to bite humans. Their bite is not dangerous in and will heal quickly.
Brown recluse spiders are in fact dangerous when they bite. They live around homes and commercial buildings throughout Phoenix area. They are light brown/tan and their legs measure 1-1.5 inches. Fortunately you are unlikely to encounter a brown recluse spider because of their solitary nature. These spiders do not you to find them, so they don’t go out of their way to interact with humans. Typically brown recluse spider have webs in areas such as attics, amongst clutter, in sheds, and foliage. If you happen to find a brown recluse spider in your home, do not pick one up as they are venomous and dangerous.
The black widow spider is the most infamous spider in the United States. They are not unique to Arizona as they are found throughout the country. The best way to identify this spider is their black color with a red hourglass shape on their abdomen. This indicates that they are females which is important as these are the ones you need to watch out for. Their male counterparts are much smaller than the females and not dangerous. They are among the feared spiders in Arizona. Like the the brown recluse spider, the black widow spider is venomous and there are lots of them. If you find one, keep your distance and do not pick them up. You can always call a reputable pest control company to help.
Wolf spiders are almost as big as tarantulas and just as intimidating. As hunters, spiders will conceal themselves under chairs and tables when inside the house. Wolf spiders don’t often bite people but can bite humans if provoked. Wolf spider bites look like other bug bites. You may notice a red bump that’s also itchy and swollen. Fortunately they are not venomous. Female wolf spiders are 3/8 – 1 3/8 inches long, and males are 1/4 – ¾ inches long.
Spiders are common around the Phoenix valley. Some spin intricate webs, while others live in small burrows in the ground. Some can be found up high under the eaves of a building, others, low under bricks or wood piles. Identifying the species of spider is crucial in choosing the appropriate treatment method.
Most spiders you’ll encounter in and around your home or office are harmless. Even the large and frightening wolf spider is really all bark. However some, like the ubiquitous black widow, can be quite unpleasant. Easily recognized by the red or orange “hour glass” shaped mark on it’s abdomen, black widows should be avoided. A bite from a black widow can cause severe muscle pain, cramping, and nausia in healthy adults. You should seek immediate medical care for a bite involving infants, the elderly, or those with a compromised immune system as black widow bites pose significant health risks to these individuals. Usually described as “messy”, their irregular shaped webs are often found low to the ground and littered with leaves and other debris.
Regardless of size or species, one of the best ways to deter spider activity in and around your home or business is to simply keep areas free of debris and clutter. Move old wood piles or unused pavers away from your structure. Keep landscaping neat and trimmed. This, coupled with professional pest control treatment, can prevent spiders from moving into your home or place of work.
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