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Pests in Public Buildings and Private Residences: Spiders

A collection of resources regarding pests that infest public buildings and private residences.

All About Spiders


North American Spiders List

North America is home to about 3,400 of the categorized 40,000 species of spiders in the world. Spiders are known as Arachnids and fall under the class Chelicerata and order Araneae, taking various shapes and forms as well as colors and behaviors. Regardless of the individual species, all spiders consist of eight legs and feature two-piece bodies made up of the cephalothorax (front) and abdomen (the bulbous rear). The cephalothorax contains a multiple-eye arrangement (the number varying by species), mouth parts and the legs while the abdomen holds the the silk-producing facilities of the spider.
Spiders can generally be identified by the type of web they create though not all webs are used to capture prey. Some are used in courtship rituals while others are used to secure egg sacs. Silk is produced by specialized glands found in the abdomen of the spider that are formed of liquid protein generated within the body. This protein hardens once it is outside of the body and released through the rear of the abdomen, guided by spinnerets that allow the spider to customize its release as needed. It is not wholly uncommon for spiders of different species to share a web or a spider to steal another's prey. Other species rely on the element of surprise and bury themselves in loose soil, springing out when prey passes - injecting them with powerful subduing venom.
From; accessed August 25, 2017.


USA Spider Identification Chart

Spider Identification - Dangerous - Venomous?

Spider identification of venomous and dangerous spiders most commonly found in homes, their habitat areas, venom toxicity and spider bite first aid procedures.

Centers for Disease Control - Venomous Spiders

Venomous Spiders

Venomous spiders found in the United States include the black widow and the brown recluse. These spiders can be dangerous to outdoor workers. These spiders occasionally find their way inside structures or buildings and can also present a risk to indoor workers including machine operators, janitors, and cashiers ( Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Review - Insects bites, stings cause thousands of workplace injuries ). Spiders are usually not aggressive and most bites occur because a spider is trapped or unintentionally contacted. It is important for employers to educate their workers about their risk of exposure to venomous spiders, how they can prevent and protect themselves from spider bites, and what they should do if they are bitten.

How to Get Rid of Spiders in the House

How to Get Rid of Spiders in the House

Most spiders prefer living outdoors, but all too often, you may run across a few spiders that have found their way indoors in search of food or shelter. Getting rid of these pests is most easily accomplished by keeping them out, but after they get inside, there are a variety of proven and unproven remedies you can use to scare them off or kill them. This wikiHow will offer a few common pest control methods to use against spiders the next time they infest your house.

How to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders

How to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are typically found in the southern regions of the United States including Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. Here are the best ways to deal with a brown recluse spider invasion in your house or apartment.; accessed February 1, 2020.

How to Identify and Treat Spider Bites

Are most spiders poisonous?

The majority of the 3,000 spiders in the United States aren’t poisonous. Even if most spiders did bite, their fangs are too small or weak to puncture human skin. Their bites may leave itchy, red wounds that heal within a week or so.
The spiders that do manage to bite through our skin and insert toxic venom can cause serious health complications. Read on to learn what spider bites look like, what varieties of spider leave certain bites, and how to treat spider bites.


What do spider bites look like?
Identifying a spider bite is easiest if you saw the spider that bit you, but it’s possible that you won’t notice the wound until hours later. Look for things like swelling, a red welt, skin damage, and any troubling symptoms that accompany the bite.
Other possible symptoms that accompany spider bites include:
  • itching or rash
  • pain around the area of the bite
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • blister that’s red or purple in color
  • sweating
  • difficulty breathing
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever
  • chills
  • anxiety or restlessness
  • rashes
  • swollen lymph glands
  • high blood pressure

Spider bites often take longer to heal than other insect bites, and they may affect skin tissues. It’s important to keep the bite clean to reduce the risk of infection.