- Black widows – When people think about dangerous spiders, this is the first that pops into their mind. Black widows are black with characteristic red spots on their abdomen. For the most part, black widows avoid people. They like dank and dark spaces and feed mostly on insects. While it’s true their venom is poisonous to humans, humans are many times larger. It’s rare that a human actually dies as a result of a black widow bite. Nonetheless, if you are bitten, you should seek immediate medical attention. The black widow has a powerful venom that acts as a neurotoxin.
- The brown recluse – The brown recluse is a lightish tan. They too like dank, dark places. When bites do occur, the recluse is usually inside your clothing. That’s horrible to think about, but on the positive side, they don’t go out of their way to bite people. Their bites produce a venom which, while not as dangerous as the black widow’s, can become infected if not treated properly. And the bite tends to be painful.
- The funnel web spider – Funnel web spiders are dark brown with vertical stripes on their body and legs. Their two front legs are their longest. They feed on insects but are harmless to people. If you see them, you likely have an ant, termite, or fly problem.
- Cellar spiders – Cellar spiders have very long legs and very small bodies. They look scary, but they aren’t. You’ll usually find them in your cellar, hence the name.
- Garden spiders – Garden spiders are bright yellow in color. They tend to feed on flying insects and make their homes in areas like outdoor shrubbery and foliage. Their venom is not harmful to people.
- Wolf spiders – Wolf spiders are reddish-orange with black markings. They are quite common here in Missouri. Instead of creating webs, they hunt their prey (like wolves). Wolf spiders will bite, but their venom is not overly harmful to people, just irritating.
Avoiding Spiders In Your Home
The reason why spiders have set up shop in your home is due to the fact that your home supplies them with a lot of food. Keeping spiders out of your home, therefore, requires dealing with the infestation that is drawing them there.
Everyone will find a spider in their home every once in a while, but if you see a lot of them, you may have a bigger problem than you realize. Getting rid of the underlying infestation will cause the spiders to go elsewhere to find prey.
You can take proactive measures such as:
- Removing shrubbery around your home;
- Sealing cracks in your foundation;
- Managing infestations related to prey insects;
- Reducing outdoor lighting that draws flying insects;
- Replacing flood lights with sodium vapor lighting; and
- Reduce areas of clutter where spiders like to hang out.
You should also thoroughly inspect your clothing before you put it on to reduce the risk of spider bites and inspect your bedding if you have a current spider problem. For the most part, spiders will avoid you. You’re not food or a mate, so they’re not interested. However, if they feel threatened, they will attack.