A Homeowner’s Guide For A Spider Free Home
As a homeowner, this guide is all you’d ever need to keep your home spider-free forever.
In this post, you’ll find out what types of spiders can live in your home and where they can hide.
And you’ll also find out a highly underrated alternative to spider spray that very few homeowners know.
It’ll keep spiders away from your longer than anything else.
Plus a lot more.
Spiders – The Basics
Spiders are not insects. They belong to the family of arachnids, like the ticks, mites, and scorpions do.
However, like insects, spiders are also invertebrates with an exoskeleton.
It means that their skeletons are outside of their bodies.
The point to note here is that spiders also have an internal skeleton known as an endoskeleton.
There are three parts to an insect’s body – head, thorax, and abdomen. In addition, insects have two eyes, six legs, a pair of antenna, and if they’ve wings, they’ve four wings.
In contrast, spiders have eight legs, two body parts, and more than two eyes. The only exception is the brown recluse spider that has six eyes.
Spiders don’t have a separate thorax. Instead, their thorax and head are combined, which is known as prosoma or cephalothorax.
Spiders do not have wings or a pair of antenna.
You can put spiders that sneak into your home in two categories – hunting spiders and web-spinning spiders.
Web-spinning spiders make webs in calm and hard-to-reach places to catch their prey.
They lurk inside the web and wait till the prey walks in or flies into the net.
Web-spinning spiders have poor vision. They rely on the vibrations to reach the prey stuck in the web.
Resilient and adaptable, web-spinning spiders can survive both indoors and outdoors.
In contrast, hunting spiders do not make webs to hunt or catch their prey.
Some hunting spiders actively search for their prey to hunt. Others lurk and wait to capture the target when it comes close.
They’re swift and pounce on their prey to hunt them.
But hunting spiders can spin a tiny web to rest. They wouldn’t use that web for hunting.
All hunting spiders are outdoor spiders, and they’re better suited to live outdoors.
Hunting spiders are accidental intruders to your home. So, you might find a few of them in your home during the fall.
Hunting spiders cannot survive indoors for long.
If they’re indoors, they try to leave as soon as they can. Also, hunting spiders cannot reproduce indoors.
Common Web-Spinning Spiders In The US
These spiders grow up to 0.4 inches in length, and they’re brownish or grayish.
Their abdomen is more prominent than their head. As a result, comb-footed spiders aren’t that active.
Outdoors, they spin their webs in woods and rock piles. Indoors, you’d find these spiders in quiet areas like basement and storage rooms.
Their webs don’t have any design or pattern.
The American House Spider
It’s the most common spider found in the homes of the US.
It’s grayish or brownish with markings on its abdomen. And it measures up to 0.25 inches.
Its webs are loose, and like most indoor spiders, it spins its webs in the quiet areas of your home.
Another common spider in US homes, cellar spiders, measures up to 0.25 inches in length.
As its name suggests, you’d find these spiders in places like cellars and attics. But you can also find these spiders in basements, garages, and crawl spaces.
These spiders can also make webs in high places like ceilings.
Gray, and sometimes tan, in color, cellar spiders have long, thin legs that look very fragile.
Orb Weaver Spider
Orb weaver spiders are outdoor spiders, and entomologists categorize them under garden spiders.
These spiders are quite common in yards and gardens. You’d rarely see these spiders indoors.
Orb weaver spiders grow up to an inch long, and you’d find them in various bright colors.
They spin their webs in concentric circles between tall grasses. Their webs have a radiance that gives them a unique look.
The distinctive feature of an orb-weaver spider that you’d notice is a swollen abdomen, which also looks off-shape.
Despite their bright colors, orb weaver spiders aren’t dangerous.
In the US, there are four types of orb weaver spiders that you’d find outdoors.
These are barn spider, marbled orb weaver spider (the most beautiful and colorful orb weaver), Argiope (with yellow and black spots on its abdomen), and Banded Argiope (with yellow and black stripes running parallel on the abdomen).
Orb weaver spiders are horrible on the ground. They can’t move well if they fall from their web.
Also, orb weaver spiders have the weakest eyesight in the spider species.
They’re not dangerous to humans. It’d be best if you leave them alone if you spot them in your yard or garden.
Funnel Weaver Spiders
Funnel weaver spiders are of moderate sizes, with 0.75 inches in length.
You’d find them as brownish or grayish with noticeable stripes on the head.
On the abdomen, you’d also find a pattern of stripes or spots.
Like orb weavers, the funnel weavers are also capable of surviving both indoors and outdoors.
In outdoors, you’d find them resting on their web in low shrubs and bushes.
Indoors, they spin their webs near the ground, around steps, foundation, and at times underneath furniture.
Funnel weavers’ web is a horizontal flat tunnel-like web. They use the web both for hunting and for resting.
There are two common types of Funnel weaver spiders in the US – barn funnel weavers and grass weavers.
You’d notice a couple of dark stripes on the head of the barn funnel weavers.
Indoors, barn funnel weavers can secretly hide in closets, drawers, and wardrobes.
The grass spider is an outdoor spider that builds its funnel-like webs in the short grasses of lawns and gardens.
The distinctive features of grass spiders are three light-colored and two dark-colored stripes behind the head.
Black Widow Spiders
Despite numerous instances of black widow spiders sneaking into homes, these spiders are outdoor spiders.
You’d find black widow spiders all over the US.
Black widow spiders are black with an hourglass-like red mark on their abdomen.
But many black widow spiders can only have red spots rather than an hourglass-red mark.
Black widow spiders make webs near the ground. They build their webs to hunt crawlers rather than the flies.
Inside your home, you’d find black widow spiders in unfrequented and hard-to-reach places that don’t receive much light.
Outdoors, black widow spiders live in places like woodpiles, organic debris, loose wood bark, and underneath stones.
Black widow spiders can grow up to 0.4 inches in length.
The two significant signs of infestation of a black widow spider are egg sacs and their webs.
Common Hunting Spiders In The US – They Don’t Spin Webs
You’d rarely find these spiders inside your home. But they might accidentally sneak in.
Wolf spiders can grow up to an inch long. They’re dark brown with hairy bristles on their body.
You’d find them outdoors hiding, under the rocks, bushes, beaches, landscapes, gardens and yards, and in agricultural fields.
They love warm weather, and daytime is the time when they prefer to hunt.
Wolf spiders can hunt at night too, but it’s rare and only if the nights are warm.
Wolf spiders crawl fast, look scary, but they’re not aggressive to humans.
Yellow Sac Spiders
Yellow sac spiders are medium-sized spiders that grow up to 0.4 inches in size.
As the name suggests, they’re yellow.
Some yellow sac spiders can have a blackish spot at the rear of the abdomen.
Yellow sac spiders are night hunters, and they hunt small insects.
They don’t spin webs. To build a hiding place, sac spiders will roll up the leaves into a tube, or they’d make a sac underneath the stones.
If they ever get inside a home or a building, they’ll move high up on the walls near the ceilings.
You’d find fishing spiders near the swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers, and near streams.
Fishing spiders prefer damp places to live and can grow up to an inch long.
They’ve thick, strong legs. The leg span is quite broad, and they can cover nearly four inches.
Dark in color, most of the time black, with visible white markings on the abdomen.
A fishing spider can dive inside the water to hunt prey like tadpoles and small fish. They can also glide on the surface of the water like a boatman.
Jumping spiders are blackish or dark-colored and grow up to half an inch in size.
Jumping spiders pounce on their prey to hunt them. They can jump quite a distance which is more than their size.
You’d also notice a hairy texture on their abdomen, mouth, and legs.
Jumping spiders have a wide range of motion. That makes them crawl both sideways and backward.
Among spiders, jumping spiders have the strongest vision. They can see objects up to eight inches away.
Jumping spiders are day spiders when they do most of their hunting.
If they get inside your home, you will find them in areas that receive direct sunlight.
So, you’d see them in places like near the windows and on ceilings and walls where there is natural light.
Outdoors, jumping spiders hide in tall grasses, underneath loose barks of trees, and underneath the rocks and stones.
Jumping spiders can spin their web, but they mostly use it to keep their egg sac and rest, not to hunt.
Another half an inch long spider with a brownish body and grayish abdomen, parson spiders are fast movers like the wolf spiders.
Parson spiders are nocturnal hunters by running down and chasing their prey.
Like most hunting spiders, parson spiders also hide underneath stones and loose wooden barks.
If they manage to sneak into your home, the only types of places they like to hide are in cracks on walls and floors.
Sometimes, they can get into open jars and drawers too.
Crab spiders come in various colors like yellow, red, brown, and gray.
They grow up to 4 inches in length.
The front four legs are longer than the rear four legs. This feature makes the spider resemble a crab.
Like the jumping spiders, crab spiders can also move backward and on either side, left or right.
Crab spiders are passive hunters.
It means that they hide and wait for the prey to come close before it pounces on it.
You’d never find a crab spider indoors. Outdoors, crab spiders hang around on flowers, branches, twigs, and leaves.
Brown Recluse Spider
Brown recluse spiders are hunting spiders that prefer living outdoors.
But they’re resilient enough to survive indoors too.
Inside your home, brown recluse spiders hide in places like the attic, basement, garage, and in the crevices on walls and floors.
These spiders are brown, and an adult brown recluse grows up to half an inch in size.
Brown recluse spiders spin webs. But their web isn’t as dense as other web-spinning spiders.
The primary purpose of spinning the web is to rest while not hunting.
Brown recluse spiders don’t spin webs for hunting purposes.
Like the crab spider, the brown recluse spider is also a passive hunter.
It lurks and waits for the prey to come close before it pounces on it.
How To Keep Your Home Spider-Free?
Till now, you’ve covered a lot of ground.
You know now why spiders get inside your home, where they hide, and how to identify them.
Now you’ll learn how to get rid of spiders.
Spiders enter homes from cracks and crevices around your home.
Spiders can also hide in your car if they could able to get in.
You may bring them inside your home, unintentionally, by moving in plants, firewood, and cardboard boxes where they might be hiding.
So, to stop siders from entering your home, you must caulk the gaps and cracks of your with a quality silicone-based sealant.
That’d deny the spiders an easy entry to your home.
Check any outdoor stuff for spiders before you bring them inside.
Also, clutter and dirt inside the home make your home an easy hiding place for spiders.
Clear the clutter, and vacuum clean your home often to make it unattractive to spiders.
While cleaning up the clutter in spaces like attics and basements, wear a pair of gloves and shoes.
It’ll protect you from any accidental spider bites.
If you find an individual spider, you can trap it by placing a jar on the spider.
Slide a piece of paper or cardboard under the jar. It’ll seal the opening of the jar.
Slowly lift the jar. Ensure that your hand is pressing against the paper.
That’ll stop the spider from escaping the jar.
Take the jar out of your property, which means out of your yard too.
Then remove the paper from the jar opening and slowly keep the jar on the ground. The spider will crawl away from the jar.
Refrain from throwing away the spider. Spiders are soft, and throwing them away can kill them.
If you’re sure there are hidden spiders inside your home, then you can lure the spiders out of hiding by using pheromone-based spider traps.
These traps are sticky and attract the hunting spiders because they emit a smell that bugs emit.
If you’ve got a storage room in your home, ensure that you keep boxes off the floor, away from the walls.
That’ll reduce the chances of spiders taking refuge in these boxes and storage items.
Again, wear gloves while doing it to protect yourself from spider bites.
Also, remove the spider webs by using a vacuum cleaner.
And, this is the most important thing to keep your home spider-free, get rid of any insects and bugs inside your home.
These bugs and insects attract spiders to your home, causing them to sneak inside.
Should You Use Insecticides To Kill Spiders?
No, because using pesticide sprays isn’t a long-term solution to make your home free of spiders.
Pesticides do kill spiders, and there are many spider-killing sprays that you can buy.
But these pesticide sprays only work when you spray directly on the spiders.
If you spray the pesticides or aerosol sprays on the surface, then spiders can easily avoid those surfaces.
If you want to kill spiders, which we don’t recommend because they’re harmless, then you can smash the spider under your boots or with a rolled-up newspaper.
If you do it, then dispose of the spider’s body and clean the surface with a disinfectant.
If you don’t, then it’ll attract other bugs like ants and cockroaches.
Instead of using pesticides or spider sprays, use sorptive dust.
Sorptive dust contains silica aerogel and pyrethrins. These compounds get stuck on the bodies of the spiders and insects when they crawl on the dust.
Once stuck on the spider, the dust will penetrate the spider’s body, and it’ll dry out the spider from inside and kill it.
Sorptive dust is a better and permanent solution against spiders than spider sprays.
Pour it on the gaps and cracks in attics, basements, walls, floor, and other hard-to-reach difficult places.
It’ll kill and deter spiders from hiding in these places.
No matter what you choose to kill spiders, spider sprays, or sorptive dust, please read the instructions on the product label before using it.
But remember, spiders are essential for our ecosystem. And they eat bugs and insects to keep your home and garden free of them.
Trapping them and releasing them far away from your home is a better option than killing them.
Do spiders bite humans? Yes, they can, but usually, they don’t unless you provoke them or they get accidentally squeezed against your skin.
When they’re left alone, spiders, including the giant hunting spiders, are harmless to humans and pets.
But their bites can cause irritation, itching, redness, and lumps.
If you’re allergic to bug bites, spider bites can also cause allergic reactions.
Black widow spider bites are painful and can cause bacterial infection if you don’t treat them asap.
No deaths have ever occurred in the US because of spider bites.
Not all spiders like to live inside your home. Many don’t, even if they accidentally sneak in.
In this guide, you’ve learned what spiders are more likely to hide in your home and where.
There’s also a detailed guide to stop these spiders from entering your home.
On top of that, in this post, we’ve mentioned a great alternative, sorptive dust, to spider spray and explained why it’s a better choice.