Georgia is home to a variety of fascinating arachnids, including the intricate orb weaver spiders. While these eight-legged creatures play a crucial role in controlling insect populations, encountering them in and around your home can be a cause for concern. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of orb weavers, exploring how to identify them, where they commonly reside, and essential tips for prevention and control.
Identifying Orb Weaver Spiders: Nature’s Web Artists
Orb weavers, members of the Araneidae family, are renowned for their distinctive circular webs, meticulously crafted to capture unsuspecting prey. Recognizing these spiders is key to effective pest control. Key features include:
- Web Structure: Orb weavers construct spiral-shaped webs with a hub at the center, creating a classic orb shape.
- Coloration: These spiders come in a range of colors, including brown, black, and vibrant yellows and greens. Some species may have intricate patterns on their abdomens.
- Size: Orb weavers can vary in size, with some species having small bodies, while others can reach sizes of up to an inch or more.
Common Habitats of Orb Weavers in Georgia
Orb weavers are adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, both natural and man-made. In Georgia, you may encounter them in:
- Gardens and Yards: These spiders often take residence in gardens, where their webs can capture flying insects like mosquitoes and flies.
- Wooded Areas: Orb weavers thrive in wooded environments, using trees and shrubs to anchor their webs.
- Around Buildings: Structures with outdoor lighting can attract insects, providing a perfect hunting ground for orb weavers.
Prevention and Control Strategies
While orb weavers are generally beneficial, their presence near your home may cause discomfort. Here are some practical tips for prevention and control:
- Regular Cleaning: Keep outdoor spaces tidy by removing debris, such as leaves and tall grass, which can attract insects and subsequently orb weavers.
- Seal Entry Points: Ensure windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent spiders from entering your home.
- Outdoor Lighting: Use yellow-toned outdoor lights, which are less attractive to insects and, by extension, orb weavers.
- Professional Pest Control: If orb weavers become a persistent issue, consider seeking the expertise of a professional pest control service. Trained technicians can assess the situation and implement targeted solutions.
If you find yourself caught in the web of orb weaver spiders, don’t hesitate to take action. Our experienced pest control team is here to help. Request a free pest control quote today to safeguard your home from unwanted arachnid visitors. Let us weave a plan to keep your space pest-free and comfortable.
The thought of spiders in your home is enough to make anyone feel a little unsettled, but these household pests are actually beneficial to have around. They are a natural form of pest control, keeping other pest populations like mosquitoes and flies under control in and around your home. Although there are a few venomous spiders found in our area, most others are harmless and don’t pose a threat to you or your family. While it’s not realistic to expect to eliminate every spider from your home, you can make it less inviting for them to help keep them out without the use of harsh chemicals or pesticides. Here are 7 natural spider control remedies you can use around your home.
Use Spider-Repellent Plants
There are several plants you can place inside and outside your home to naturally deter spiders from coming around. Lavender, mint, eucalyptus, and citronella are known to deter spiders from building their webs near them. If incorporating these plants into your landscaping isn’t a possibility, you can also spray essential oils with these scents, in addition to peppermint or tea tree oil, anywhere spiders are a problem. You can also crush mint and place it in sachets inside your cabinets or other areas where spider activity is high.
Eliminate Hiding Places
Spiders are masters of hide and seek. They can be found hiding in cracks, crevices, cabinets, knotholes, behind baseboards, inside seldom used items in your home (such as shoes), under rocks, in woodpiles, and under piles of leaves and dirt. By getting rid of these hiding places you can encourage spiders to seek shelter somewhere besides in your home. Move leaves, grass clippings, compost and woodpiles away from your exterior walls. Dust and declutter your home on a regular basis. Frequently dust any areas where cobwebs appear. Organize your storage areas and get rid of any empty boxes.
Get Rid Of Webs
Spiders spin webs to trap their prey as a food source. If you come across spider webs either inside or around your home, remove them as soon as possible. Eventually the spiders will move on and build their webs somewhere else.
Keep Outdoor Lights Off
While spiders aren’t attracted to your outdoor lights, other pests that they feed on are. Mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and other common prey for spiders are drawn to your outdoor lights, providing a literal buffet for a waiting spider. Keep your outdoor lights off as much as possible to help cut down on your outdoor pest populations.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth is a crumbly material made of the fossilized remains of an algae called diatom. DE can be sprinkled on the ground around your home and used as an insecticide. DE kills several pests in addition to spiders and can be used around your family and your pets.
Natural Spider Repellent
There are some organic substances that work as natural repellents for spiders. Vinegar is a common one. The acetic acid in vinegar gives a sour taste and odor to spiders who come into contact with it. Mix equal portions of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray it around your home, especially in areas where pests may be getting inside. Citrus is also a natural spider deterrent. Keep citrus fruits in a bowl on your kitchen counter and use the leftover peels to rub onto your windowsills and doors to help keep spiders out.
Seal Them Out
Spiders can get in through the tiniest cracks and crevices in your home. Make sure to regularly inspect the exterior of your home and seal any places where pests might be gaining entry inside. Be sure to check doors and windowsills and use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any cracks and openings.
While most spiders don’t cause any problems in your home, they can become a nuisance, especially in your yard or garden. Webs can be built in inconvenient places; they can cover your plants or hide blooms, stunting their growth. If you have a problem with spiders or need some help getting them under control, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
Spiders are often found in secluded areas where they are rarely disturbed. Your home offers the perfect place to hunker down during the winter and provides them with food, shelter, and even a mate.
Spiders feed off other insects, so they can be beneficial for you over time. If you do begin seeing an influx of other insects, it might mean you have a higher population of spiders as well. Your home offers warmth, which is what these overwintering pests are really in search of once winter hits. They will also enter your home due to how easy it can be for them. Any crack, crevice, or opening is an invitation for these pests to enter your home.
Spiders can be considered a form of natural pest control but can be unsightly if discovered in your home. Check out these tips to keep spiders out of your home:
- Clear Clutter: Messy environments create the perfect oasis for spiders. Be sure to keep clutter at bay to lessen the chances of a hiding spider.
- Seal Doors and Windows: Monitor the exterior of your home for any potential openings and get this fixed as soon as you can. It won’t only keep spiders out, but also any other household pests.
- Trim Bushes: Keeping hedges, tree limbs, or any other plant trimmed away from your home will make it more difficult for these arachnids to gain access to your home.
- Inspect Items: Before bringing any outdoor items inside, inspect them for any hiding pests.
If you suspect a spider problem, then reach out to your local pest control company for a free inspection today!
It’s a common myth that spiders come into our homes to overwinter until spring. In actuality, they most likely were already there to begin with. These household pests are more active in fall and early winter for two main reasons: they are preparing winter and the upcoming scarcity of food and they are mating and in search of a partner to reproduce with.
House spiders take up residence in your home year-round. Spiders can be beneficial to have around as a form of natural pest control as they eat other insects (even other spiders) found around your house.
One exception to this is the brown recluse spider. They will seek warmth and food indoors in the winter by hiding out in dark, unused areas of your home. Brown recluses are identified by the distinct violin-shaped mark on their back. They will bite and are considered harmful to humans.
You can prevent spiders in your home by:
- Checking your foundations for cracks and repairing them immediately.
- Checking windows and doors each season. Repairing any cracks and check seals.
- Decluttering, especially in basements, attics, closets, and pantries; this limits the places they can hide.
- Vacuuming and dusting frequently, especially in rooms that are seldom used.
- Checking any items before bringing them indoors, including pets, firewood, plants, boxes, decorations, etc.).
- Investing in routine pest control. Eliminating other pests limits food sources for spiders, leaving them to search other places for a meal.
If you have an issue with spiders, contact your local pest control company for an inspection.
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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.
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