Mention Halloween, and what ghoulish pest comes to mind? For some people, it might be bats, but many others will say it’s spiders. Californians can count on encountering spiders throughout the fall season in and around their homes as overnight temperatures begin to cool. That’s when natural food sources outside diminish, and spiders will try to gain access to home interiors in search of food, water, and shelter.
The sight of a spider-costumed trick or treater at your door may not send shivers up your spine, but one crawling across the kitchen or living room floor can spur a Freddie Krueger-like reaction from some people.
Spiders often get a bad rap, because there are only a few commonly encountered species in California that are dangerous. Many spider species are actually beneficial predators to California’s ecosystem, as they eat other insects that damage and destroy plants and agricultural crops.
Clark, your neighborly pest, termite, and lawn care expert, would like to put the spotlight on some commonly encountered spiders in California that you should to be aware of this fall – and all year around.
Be particularly aware of black and brown widow spiders, as these species are known to administer a painful bite when disturbed or threatened.
A note on the widely feared brown recluse spider: The brown recluse is an enigma in California; there are no populations of the brown recluse in the Golden State. However, this species trends with homeowners when it comes to spider control. In fact, fewer than 25 verified brown recluse specimens have been collected over several decades across the state.
Learn more about spiders from Clark.
Clark’s spider control and prevention tips
How do spiders get inside your home? They can enter houses, and other structures, through cracks and other openings. They also may hitchhike inside on items like plants, firewood, and boxes.
It’s good practice when performing the following tips, or when removing items that have been in storage for a long period of time (e.g., camping gear, seasonal decoration, old papers and clothes, etc.), to wear heavy work gloves so you’ll avoid accidental bites.
- Regular vacuuming or sweeping of windows, corners of rooms, storage areas, basements, and other seldom-used areas will help remove spiders and their webs. Vacuuming spiders can be an effective control technique, because their soft bodies usually don’t survive this process. Indoors, a web on which dust has gathered is an old web that is no longer being used by a spider.
- Seal cracks in the foundation, along siding, etc., and gaps around windows and doors.
- Install good screening on widows and vents, which not only will keep out many spiders, but it also will discourage other insects, which are prime food sources for spiders, from entering.
- Place boxes off the floor and away from walls, wherever possible, to help reduce their usefulness as a harborage for spiders. Sealing boxes with tape will prevent spiders from taking up residence within.
- Clean up clutter in garages, sheds, crawlspaces, and other storage areas.
- Outdoors, eliminate places for spiders to hide and build webs by keeping the area next to the foundation free of trash, leaf litter, heavy vegetation, and other accumulations of materials.
- Trimming plant growth away from the house and other structures will discourage spiders from first taking up residence near the structure before they moving indoors.
- Outdoor lighting attracts insects, which in turn attracts spiders. If possible, keep lighting fixtures away from windows and doorways.
- Sweep, mop, hose, or vacuum webs and spiders off your home regularly.
If you’re experiencing problems with spiders and need the spider control experts at Clark to take a look, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.