By now you’ve probably seen all the social media posts (see image on the left) regarding a recent spider invasion from a teenagers bedroom in Australia. Videos and images have been on most of the social media outlets and major news channels. The spiders are gone by the way and no one was bitten. The spiders simply came inside to escape intense rain and humidity in that part of the “down under”. And yes Australia has some incredible species and sizes of spiders!
Many people think you have more spiders inside your home during the winter but it’s not necessarily true. While cold-blooded spiders have different ways of surviving and coping with freezing temperatures. Chances are if you have spiders in your crawlspace or a storage shed they are relatively harmless and seeking shelter that has a water and food source. Spiders eat other insects that can be worse than a spider bit. That said, no one was to be bitten by a spider.
Brown spiders will come inside during the winter. The venomous brown recluse spider is among this group. But their name is true, they are reclusive and don’t like to be around humans or pets. Most of their bites occur when they feel trapped or caught off guard. Typically they make their winter indoor homes in crawl spaces, attics with boxes, or storage goods in which they can hide. They like dark tucked away places. The brown recluse has a violin mark on it back and typically only bites if someone unknowingly disturbs its habitat like reaching in the dark into a box where one is residing. Make no mistake getting bitten by one will most likely require medical attention, especially if you have a weak immune system, or underlying physical condition. A serious bit from a brown recluse can cause nerve and tissue damage left unattended.
Many of the spiders you find inside your home during the winter live there year round. Wolf spiders, the common house spider, sac spiders, jumping spiders and others typically live inside, underneath your home in your crawl space, basement, attic or places where there is less human activity or natural enemies. Spiders do perform natural insect control for most houses without the residents knowledge. Among their diet are roaches, mosquitos, moths and flies.
Certain spiders can survive extreme cold by lowering their body temperature similar to cryopreservation. Not all, but many species can survive temperatures well below freezing. They secrete a chemical that is much like antifreeze, but it takes time over the life of a spider for it to resist below freezing temperatures. Other species lay egg sacs in late fall before freezing temperatures and the baby spiders survive by staying inside the sac until warmer temperatures arrive in the spring.
Black widow spiders are a species that suspends its breathing and goes into a semi-hibernation state in cold months. They are good at surviving extreme cold weather as they go into a semi-dormant state and rarely active during the winter months.
Arachnaphobia is one of the more common types of phobias. The fear of spiders or anything that crawls can create absolute panic and anxiety in many people. It’s not something to joke or laugh about. The fear is real. Professional termite and pest technicians understand the fear and they are trained in identifying specific types of spiders especially between poisonous/venomous versus non-poisonous ones. Your local pest control company can eradicate a spider population, leave non-threatening spiders should you decide and seal up gaps, cracks and crevices which are spiders favorite entry points.
At Apex Termite & Pest Control we have three generations of experience in the termite and pest control business. We understand pests like spiders and can offer a treatment plan tailored for your situation. We are in the business of providing peace of mind for homeowners. Contact us today for more information on termite bonds, pest treatment, and inspections.
General Manager, Apex Termite & Pest Control