The term spider encompasses a wide range of species that could be potential invaders in your home. There are actually 45,700 species of spiders worldwide! While only a small portion of those species actually reside in Wisconsin, the ones that do are as varied in size, shape, and color as the high number of species would suggest. They also vary in preferred environment. Some spiders prefer to hide in dark areas, such as the basement. These spiders often like the moisture found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of your home, as well as the prey available in those places. Others like dry, warm areas such as sub-floor air vents, upper corners of rooms and attics, other areas that could have high activity for prey. Spiders can live in a wide range of climates and areas, and can live in houses, garages, sheds, under eaves, porches, in window frames, even under furniture and in closets.
One thing spiders do have in common is that they are predators. There are some spiders that even eat birds! The kinds of spiders found in Wisconsin feed on insects and other household pests, which is why they can become a household pest themselves. They catch prey by spinning webs, to which their prey will get stuck. They then wrap the caught insects in even more webbing, inject them with venom, and eventually devour the liquid remains. Also, they use their webbing to create egg sacs, whose size and shape also vary by species. Another commonality is that all spiders have eight legs, which is one of the easiest ways to distinguish them from other household pests. They also have only two body segments, as compared to most insects’ three segments.