Spiders are arachnids that help control other pests but can still cause fear in many people.

What are spiders?

Spiders are arachnids and, like all arachnids, they have eight legs. They are also identified by their two body regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen. Spiders are beneficial in nature, feeding on and controlling nuisance insect populations. Spiders often become problematic for people when they decide to invade homes, businesses, and outbuildings. Many species of spiders live in our area of northeastern Texas. Four of the most common are black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, orb weaver spiders, and wolf spiders.

Black widow spiders
Black widow spiders are shiny, black, and have a unique red, hourglass-shaped marking located on the underside of their abdomens. They can also have light red or white markings on the abdomen and back.

Brown recluse spiders
Brown recluse spiders range in color from yellowish-gray to black. Their abdomens are covered in gray hairs, and their long legs are darker in color than their bodies. They also have three pairs of eyes that are arranged uniquely in a semicircle. These spiders have a distinctive violin-shaped pattern on the top of their bodies.

Orb weaver spiders
Orb spiders are so named because they create distinctive round, wheel-shaped webs. Orb spiders have hairy or spiny legs. They are light brown to black in color and have different brightly-colored markings, depending on the exact species.

Wolf spiders
Wolf spiders are dark brown with pale or yellowish markings, and their robust bodies and powerful legs are covered in hair. They are not web-building spiders; instead, they create burrows in the ground where they wait for prey to come by so they can run after them and hunt them down.

Are spiders dangerous?

Spiders are typically divided into two categories: either nuisance or dangerous spiders. Dangerous spiders are those that possess venom that is potent enough to trigger serious health problems in people. Brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders are examples of dangerous spiders. Nuisance spiders, while annoying to deal with, pose no significant threats to people. Wolf spiders and orb weaver spiders are some examples of common nuisance spiders that can be found in our area.

Why do I have a spider problem?

Spiders are attracted to any property that offers them food, water, and plenty of safe, out-of-the-way shelter. Spiders are shy and reclusive by nature and want to stay hidden away from people and other potential predators. Things like tall grass, dense vegetation, gardens, woodpiles, and areas underneath decks and porches provide excellent places for spiders to hide out and create their webs or burrows in. If you have high numbers of insects living in or around your home, you are providing spiders with ample food sources, meaning you will most likely have large numbers of spiders living in close quarters with you and your family.

Where will I find spiders?

Spiders are usually found living and hunting for food outside, but they do often find their way inside of homes, businesses, garages, sheds, and barns while out hunting for prey. They also often enter inside when the weather outdoors becomes too hot, too cold, or too wet for them to live comfortably. When they find their way inside, spiders are most often found hiding out in basements, closets, attics, crawlspaces, and other dark, quiet, and secluded spots that they come across.

  • Black widow spiders build their irregular-shaped webs near the ground. They prefer locations that are dark, dry, and secluded. Inside, you will find them in basements, crawlspaces, garages, and other outbuildings. Outside, they place their webs in hollow tree stumps, in shrubs, in woodpiles, and under decks.

  • As their name suggests, brown recluse spiders prefer to place their webs in out-of-the-way places. Brown recluse spiders place their webs in protected areas such as behind wooden shingles, in basements, in garages and sheds, and in rock piles and woodpiles to hide away from people.

  • Orb weaver spiders place their circular, grid-like webs in a variety of outdoor locations such as bushes, gardens, and trees, under decks and porches, and around exterior lights. Inside, they build their webs in the corners of basements, closets, and doorways.

  • Wolf spiders create their burrows in secluded areas outdoors like in landscape timbers and leaf piles, in woodpiles, and under rocks. Inside, they are usually found at ground level against walls, in the corners of rooms, or under furniture. They may also hide inside clutters in basements, garages, and sheds.

When are spiders most active?

Spiders living throughout our area of McKinney, Texas are primarily nocturnal pests. Black widow spiders are most active when the temperature is about 70 degrees and can be found constructing their webs overnight. Brown recluse spiders are active throughout the entire year, especially when living inside temperature-controlled homes. Wolf spiders have excellent night vision and spend their nights hunting for prey. During the day, they retreat to their protected burrows. Orb weaver spiders spend their evenings building or repairing their webs. Some spend the early morning hours tearing down their overnight webs, hiding during the day and emerging at night to rebuild their webs.

Interesting facts about spiders

1. Black widow spiders received their name from the common myth that the females consume the males after mating. This mating phenomenon rarely occurs, however. The black widow spider is considered the most venomous spider living in the United States, but it is important to know that bites are rarely fatal to people.

2. Brown recluse spiders have fairly long lifespans; some have been known to live for 4-5 years, but the average lifespan is 1-1/2 to 2 years. Their ability to camouflage naturally allows them to hide within their surroundings and stay out of sight, so their exact coloration determines where they live.

3. Orb weaver spiders often consume their webs in the morning to take in the dew that has built-up on the web at dawn. They also take their webs down so that birds or other small animals don’t get caught up in them.

4. Wolf spiders have extremely good eyesight and can see in four directions at once, helping to make them the excellent hunters they are. Wolf spiders communicate with each other using short purring sounds. Females with their fur-covered bodies are often confused with tarantulas, but are two completely different species.

How do I get rid of spiders?

To eliminate and/or prevent spiders, partner with Around The Block Pest Control. Our friendly and highly trained professionals deliver modern and effective pest control solutions. We will work closely with you to eliminate spiders and stop future spider populations from making themselves at home in your Texas home or business.

Around The Block Pest Control offers a variety of residential and commercial pest control services: general pest coverage, organic services, bed bugs control, fire ant control, mosquito control, rodent control, and more. To learn more about the spider control services we offer throughout northeastern Texas, call Around The Block Pest Control!

How can I prevent spiders in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following tips can help to prevent problems with spiders invading your property in northeastern Texas and surrounding areas:

  • Seal entry points in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline of your home.

  • Inside your home, keep storage areas organized and free of clutter.

  • Remove piles of excess debris and clutter from your property.

  • Place weather stripping around exterior doors.

  • Make sure window and door screens are intact.

  • Cut shrubs and bushes back away from the exterior of your home.

  • Reduce hiding spots in your home by storing items in sealed containers, not in flimsy cardboard boxes.