As the fall season settles in, many homeowners in Georgia are gearing up for the seasonal battle against fall pests. Among the various critters that make their way into our homes and gardens, orb weaver spiders are a common sight. While these eight-legged arachnids may appear intimidating, understanding their characteristics and behaviors is essential to maintaining a pest-free environment.
Identifying Orb Weaver Spiders
Orb weavers belong to the Araneidae family and are known for their distinctive circular webs, which they expertly spin to trap flying insects. These spiders come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, but they all share some common features:
- Web Patterns: Orb weaver spiders create large, intricate, and symmetrical orb-shaped webs. These webs are usually positioned horizontally in gardens, between trees, or near outdoor lights.
- Body Characteristics: Orb weavers typically have round or elongated abdomens and long, slender legs. Their coloration varies but often includes shades of brown, black, yellow, or green.
- Size: These spiders can range in size from as small as 1/8 inch to over 1 inch in body length, depending on the species.
- Distinctive Markings: Some orb weaver species have unique markings on their abdomens, such as zigzag patterns, colorful spots, or distinctive shapes.
Common Places to Find Orb Weaver Spiders
Orb weaver spiders are outdoor creatures, and you’ll most commonly encounter them in the following places:
- Gardens: They often build their webs among plants and shrubs to catch flying insects.
- Wooded Areas: Orb weavers thrive in wooded environments where they can find trees and bushes to create their webs.
- Outdoor Structures: These spiders may spin their webs near porches, decks, or outdoor lights to take advantage of the insects attracted to these areas.
The Benefits and Disadvantages of Orb Weavers
Before rushing to eliminate orb weaver spiders from your property, it’s essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages they bring.
- Natural Pest Control: Orb weavers are efficient hunters and play a crucial role in keeping insect populations in check. They can help reduce annoying and potentially harmful pests around your home.
- Low Maintenance: Once their web is built, orb weavers require minimal attention and maintenance. They can be considered natural pest control allies.
- Aesthetic Concerns: Some homeowners find their large webs unsightly, especially when they are positioned in high-traffic areas.
- Fear Factor: Orb weaver spiders can be intimidating due to their size and appearance, leading to arachnophobia in some individuals.
Fall Pest Control: Preventing and Managing Orb Weaver Spiders
If you wish to minimize orb weaver spider presence around your home, here are some practical tips:
- Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean outdoor lights and remove debris from bushes and shrubs to discourage spiders from setting up shop.
- Seal Entry Points: Ensure that your home’s windows and doors are tightly sealed to prevent spiders from entering your living spaces.
- Professional Pest Control: Consider hiring a pest control expert for thorough fall pest control services. They can assess your property’s unique needs and develop a customized pest management plan.
- Reduce Outdoor Lighting: Reduce outdoor lighting during the night, as it can attract insects that serve as orb weavers’ prey.
Don’t let orb weaver spiders and other fall pests disrupt your peace of mind this season. Take proactive steps to manage and prevent their presence by reaching out to our expert pest control team. Request a free pest control quote today and ensure a pest-free environment for you and your family.
In conclusion, while orb weaver spiders can be beneficial for natural pest control, they may also pose challenges for homeowners. Balancing their advantages and disadvantages and taking preventative measures can help you enjoy a pest-free home during the fall season.
South Florida Pest Control: Fall Pests
After the humid temperatures of summer, most of us are looking forward to a cooler climate as fall approaches. As we say goodbye to our summer pests, fall pests are quickly emerging. Often searching for a warm place to inhabit and an accessible food source, fall pests will invade your home if proper preventive measures are not in place. Check out our list of fall pests you should look out for, and some do-it-yourself prevention tips to avoid them.
There are several species of rodents looking to your home for shelter, including the house mouse, Norway rats, and roof rats. While these creatures have different characteristics, they each need a warm place to nest and a food source to survive. These creatures are often found in our attics, basements, crawl spaces, and kitchens. Preventing these creatures from entering homes starts with rodent prevention measures placed inside and outside the home.
Inspect your roof for any damage, including broken tiles or gaps under eaves, which can be an entry point for mice and roof rats to your attic. Likewise, utility pipes can have gaps; consider sealing around them with steel wool, caulk, or concrete. Rats like to inhabit where there’s clutter; make sure the less used areas and rooms in your home are clean and utilize plastic storage boxes with tight lids.
Sneaky, small, and often undetected, ants can become a major nuisance if they infest. These pests are attracted to warmth, food sources, and moisture. Commonly infested areas include bathrooms, kitchens, and our food pantries.
The first step in preventing ants from invading is sealing small gaps and holes around your home. These pests can fit into holes smaller than a dime, making it important to check throughout the home’s interior and exterior. Inspect windows, doors, and utility pipes that potentially have these openings. Clean up any leftover food, crumbs on the floor, and spills.
Known for being a year-round pest, seeing these pests inside your home is always alarming! While these creatures are looking for a food source and water, they can bring diseases into your home and trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Homeowners will usually find roaches in our bathrooms and kitchens.
The best way to avoid cockroaches is to identify how they got inside in the first place. Inspect areas where you’ve noticed they have infested before. Seal any noticeable cracks and crevices that lead from outside to inside your home. Roaches will utilize clutter and hide in it during the day, making it essential to clean out piles of old newspapers or magazines, cardboard boxes, paper bags, or other clutter in your home.
Dealing with a pest infestation is never ideal, especially during the busy months of the year. Consider contacting your local South Florida pest control company for an evaluation and treatment plan.
The cooler weather of fall drives many pests indoors in search of warmth from the cold, shelter from the weather, and food when supplies are scarce. These overwintering pests will spend the cold season indoors, often in your home, until the weather warms back up in the spring. Some common fall pests are spiders, rodents, roaches, and stinkbugs. Don’t let these pests take over your home this fall. Keep them out with these 4 fall pest proofing tips.
1. Seal Them Out
The first step in pest-proofing your home is to seal them out. Pests can be very creative when it comes to finding ways into your home. Screen attic vents, chimney openings, mail slots, and pet doors. Seal any cracks or crevices on the exterior of your home with caulk or steel wool. Seal around any utility pipes that enter your home. Replace or repair weatherstripping on doors and windows. Repair any loose mortar around windows and foundations. Install door sweeps on your doors. Repair and replace any window screens.
2. Dry It Out
Most pests need water to survive. Many prefer a moist environment to thrive in. Eliminating sources of water will help keep pests out of your home. Keep crawlspaces, attics, and basements dry and ventilated. Consider crawlspace enclosure. Use a dehumidifier in garages and basements. Make sure you have a proper drainage system installed outside your home. Install gutters and keep them clear of debris. Consider installing gutter guards to help eliminate clogs. Make sure drainpipes are diverting water away from foundations. Repair any leaks as soon as possible. Get rid of any standing water on your property.
3. Clean It Up
Pests will also be drawn to any areas of your home where they can find food. Eliminating these food sources will go a long way towards pest-proofing your home. Keep kitchen counters and appliances clean. Store food in airtight containers. Empty your trash regularly and use trashcans with lids. Clean up after each meal, making sure to not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Seep, mop, and vacuum regularly. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
4. Don’t Forget Outside
Some pests will lurk outside your home and use every opportunity they can to hitchhike their way inside. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and inspect it carefully before bringing it indoors. Keep shrubbery trimmed and grass mowed. Don’t let any limbs or branches touch the exterior of your home. Inspect any storage boxes, decorations, etc. before bringing them inside.
If you have a problem with pests during any season of the year, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.
You May Also Be Interested In:
3 Types of Cockroaches & How to Prevent Them
Why Am I Seeing Oriental Cockroaches?
Fall Termite Control – Is it Necessary?
Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall
The Importance of Mosquito Treatments
Spider sightings tend to increase when the weather cools off. While most spiders prefer to live outdoors, a few will make their way inside in search of food and water. Most spider species also mate in the fall, increasing the numbers we see as they go in search of their partner. Young spiders are born in the spring, taking the summer to grow and mature. By fall they are bigger, venturing out and starting to build their webs. All of these factors combine to increase the number of spider sightings we see near the end of the year.
There are many types of spiders common to this area, some venomous but most harmless. Here are 9 of the most common spiders in Georgia to look out for this fall.
Joro spiders are a non-native species originating in Asia that were first spotted in Georgia in 2014. Since then they have started to expand their population throughout the southeastern United States. Joro spider eggs hatch in late spring, with sightings as early as May. They will build their webs anywhere they can find, including decks, porches, houses, plants, landscaping, etc. They are larger than most other spider species in the US. Females can measure up to 4″ in length with males only reaching about 1/4″ in size. Their colors vary – males are usually brown while females can be blue-gray or yellow with red markings on their abdomen and black legs with yellow bands. They are commonly found on the edges of woods and around homes. They are not usually seen indoors and their bites are rare. There is no research to show that Joro spiders are dangerous to humans.
The black widow is one of the few structure-invading species of spiders in our area. Their fangs are big enough to penetrate human skin and their venom is powerful enough to cause side effects in humans. In fact, they are the most venomous spider in North America. Antivenom for their bites does exist. Female black widows grow to lengths of 3/4″ while males are about half that size. They are one of the easiest types of spiders to spot with black bodies and distinctive red hourglass markings on the underside of their abdomen. They have very round body shapes. These spiders can be found indoors and outdoors, preferring protected, sheltered areas to live in. They are most active at night, spinning webs to catch their prey in. Outside they can be found around decks, in barns and outbuildings, under rocks, or in woodpiles. Inside they can usually be found in areas that aren’t disturbed or used frequently, such as garages, basements, closets, and crawlspaces.
Brown widow spiders are another non-native species, although can now be found throughout the southern and western United States. Bites from the brown widow aren’t as potent as those from their black widow cousins and don’t cause nearly as bad of side effects. Only brown widow spiders bite. Brown widows also prefer undisturbed areas to live in but can often be found in garages and basements, gardens, on patio furniture, on mailboxes, on outdoor toys, and in storage closets. Female brown widows grow to about 1/2″ long while males are about half this size. Both males and females are brown in color with tan and black legs. They also have the hourglass marking like black widows, but theirs are orange in color.
Brown recluse spiders are commonly found in the southeastern and midwestern United States. They are also easily identifiable by the distinctive markings found on their bodies. These spiders are known for “secretive” behaviors, preferring to hide in warm, dark, dry habitats. They are commonly found in woodpiles, basements, and closets, especially in old shoes that aren’t worn often. They will bite, with symptoms taking up to 3 hours to show up afterwards. Brown recluses range from 1/4″ to 1/2″ in length. They are tan to dark brown in color with a dark fiddle-shaped marking on their back.
Wolf spiders are another common species you may see this fall. These spiders don’t use webs to catch prey; instead they hunt their prey, utilizing their speed to catch them. There are over 100 species in the US and Canada. Female wolf spiders grow from 3/8″ to 1-3/8″ in length while males range from 1/4″ to 3/4″. They are usually dark brown or yellow with striped markings on their legs. They are also very hairy. Wolf spiders hunt at night and hide out during the day. Once inside, they usually stay at lower levels and are often spotted in the floor along walls and under furniture. Outside they are found in woodpiles, under rocks, and other sheltered areas of landscaping. They can be beneficial to have around because they eat other pests that can cause problems around your home. They can bite but it is extremely rare.
Common House Spider
The common house spider gets its name from the fact that it is commonly found inside homes. These spiders are commonly found worldwide. They don’t pose a threat to humans and are more of a nuisance pest. Their webs in your home are the biggest issue they cause. Female house spiders grow from 3/16″ to 5/16″ in length while males range from 1/8″ to 3/16″. They are yellowish-brown in color with dirty white abdomens and dark stripes that meet at an angle.
Orb weaver spiders are named for the orb-shaped webs they create. There are over 2800 species of these spiders worldwide. Adults range in size from 1/2″ to 1″. Their coloring varies greatly among species; they are mostly reddish-brown to gray but some varieties are a vibrant yellow color. Because there is such variation among species, the best way to identify an orb weaver is by it’s large, circular, wagon-wheel shaped web. Orb weavers don’t pose any threats to humans but their large webs can be problematic around your home.
The crevice spider, also known as the southern house spider, are commonly found in the southeastern United States. They are often mistaken for brown recluse spiders. They range in size from 1/2″ to 3/4″. Males are usually brown or amber in color while females are black or gray and resemble tarantulas. They prefer to build their webs at higher elevations and are usually found on the outside of houses, outbuildings, and barns. They are known to crawl across anything in their path, including humans! They do not pose a threat to humans, however.
The trapdoor spider is a large, hairy spider that can range in color from yellowish brown to reddish brown to black. They have powerful jaws and sharp fangs. Trapdoor spiders get their name from the burrows they construct with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation and silk. They spend most of their lives underground and usually hunt at night. Trapdoor spiders are not aggressive and, in fact, are often timid when confronted. They can bite but this is rare. They do not pose a significant threat to humans.
Once you’ve identified the spider(s) you have around your home, the next step is preventing them. You can prevent spiders by:
- Getting rid of webs as soon as you spot them.
- Decluttering your home to help eliminate hiding spaces.
- Sweeping and dusting frequently.
- Using natural spider repellents like peppermint oil and cinnamon.
- Keeping firewood away from your home.
- Shaking out clothes and shoes before wearing them.
- Storing unused or seldom used items in sealed bags or boxes.
- Contacting your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation, treatment, and prevention plan.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Fall Spider Identification Guide
American Cockroaches: How To Identify and Prevent
Are Mosquitoes Still Active in the Fall?
What Attracts Centipedes To Your Home?
7 Signs You Have Cockroaches