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.

While many spiders are small enough that they cannot harm humans, there are also many species that can. Some species of spiders will bite humans if trapped in bedding or clothing, leaving marks similar to mosquito bites. These are normally not serious, however there are two spiders found in the United States that have life-threatening bites. Thankfully these two spiders, the black widow and the brown recluse, are rare in Wisconsin. The biggest causes of concern with spider bites are are bites to sensitive areas on the body, which could cause rashes or reactions.

While their bites may not normally be serious, they can still be a problematic household pest. Small populations outside the home are best left alone, as they are an efficient and cost-free form of external pest control. However, larger populations outside and populations inside could require professional control, and Advanced Wildlife Control is here to help!

Did You Know?
It is believed that arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, actually developed as a evolutionary form of protection, as so many spiders can cause harm to humans!