Seeing spiders in your home in no picnic. They are a common household pest, but that does not make their presence any less unsettling. Adding to the discomfort is knowing that to the untrained eye it is difficult to tell which ones are safe. Below we will take a look at why you might be seeing spiders in your home. More importantly, we discuss how to get rid of them.

Why Are They in Your Home?

Spiders are often drawn inside the home in an effort to seek shelter as the weather starts to turn colder. But one of the biggest draws is food. We do not mean human food, but spider food, they love eating other insects. If you are seeing more eight-legged friends than usual, you may have an infestation of some other type of insect. The good news is that 98% of spiders are harmless to humans. Their appearance may be unsettling, but that is about as malicious as they get. It is, however, a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common venomous spiders in your area so you can readily identify and get rid of them if you do spot them.

Venomous Spiders in Florida

In Florida, specifically in the Tampa Bay area, there are two types of venomous spiders to watch out for: widow spiders and recluse spiders. There are a few different species of each type, but they have some similar characteristics to help you identify them.

Widow Spiders

There are four species of widow spiders in Florida: southern black widow, northern black widow, red widow, and brown widow. Widows have round, globe-like bodies and shiny abdomens with long, skinny legs. They can be quickly identified by their telltale hourglass markings on their abdomen. They are nocturnal, and they prefer habitats where their presence is not readily known, like in wood piles or under deck boards. It is recommended that anyone reaching into some place or thing where their hands will be out of view should wear gloves to avoid being bitten. It is also recommended to check your clothing or shoes before putting them on, especially if you have boots that are kept outside for any period of time.

Recluse Spiders

There are three species of recluse spiders in Florida: brown recluse, Mediterranean recluse, and Chilean recluse. Recluses can be identified by their violin-shaped markings on their dorsum, or the area behind their head. The Chilean recluse has only recently been spotted in Florida, but it is considered the largest and most dangerous of the three species.

How to Get Rid of Spiders

To get rid of spiders in your home, You should take steps to pest-proof your home, such as sealing all cracks and holes in the walls and roof. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the side of the house. Make sure that any food scraps or crumbs are not left out. Keep your garbage properly sealed. In particular with arachnids, you will want to vacuum up any cobwebs or nests immediately when you see them. Pay special attention to dark corners and any hard-to-reach spots in your home when cleaning. If you still find arachnids in your home, give us a call to determine what is drawing them so you can eliminate them once and for all.