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Black widow spider, showing hourglass, and shiny black body

Black Widow Spider

I can never say enough about spiders. They're just plain cool. Yeah, yeah, most of you don't agree with me, and you think the only good spider is a dead spider. To me, most spiders are good, but that's just me... These days, with indoor plumbing (no more spider bites on the rear when you had to do your business outside), and building codes that enforce sealing and exclusions, there shouldn't be a fear of spiders in the home. Oh, but we know that's not true, don't we? Spider bites are rare, , and there are only a handful of venomous spiders, at least in the US, but the fear is real.

Shall I deal with the two most feared ones? That would be the black widow and the recluse. As much as I hate to tell you, widow spiders are found in every single state of the US.

The most common, the Black Widow Spider has done us a big favor: It's shiny black with a red hourglass shape on its abdomen, so it's easy to spot. They like dark, secluded areas such as attics, basements, garages, crawl spaces, and they so love that pile of firewood you have stacked next to your patio. You move that wood without heavy gloves on, you're waiting to be bitten. Yes, it will hurt - a lot - and it will make you sick, and maybe have a fever. Then it will go away, and you won't die.

Brown Recluse

The Recluse Spider has a brown violin shape on its back, but who wants to get that close? They also like dark, undisturbed places. The pain on the bite site is intense, and because its bite contains a cytotoxin (a substance that is toxic to cells), it can break down the area around the bite causing large, open lesions.

If you think you can do a DIY to get rid of spiders, or even call a pest control professional to do it, I've got news for you...It's almost impossible to get rid of them. They will quickly recolonize the area and rebuild their web. If you're going to spot treat, focus on dark areas, cracks, attics and basements. Keep outdoor lights off, especially near soffits. This will decrease the number of insects near those areas, thus decreasing the number of spiders who come for the Smorgasboard. So all this is to tell you, if you don't want spiders, call a pest control professional to rid your home of insects.

Brown Recluse
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