Arachnophobia consistently ranks amongst the top fears in America. After all, who wants a venomous creepy crawler roaming their home? Taking precautions can go a long way in preventing chance encounters with spiders in your home. While not all spiders are considered to be bad, some pose dangerous health risks to humans or animals that encounter them due to their venom.
Keeping your home free of clutter is one of the primary ways to decrease spider activity. Storage areas, closets, attics, and crawlspaces are favorite places of spiders as they prefer to be undisturbed. Keeping clutter out of these areas will give spiders fewer places to hide. Store items in airtight totes/containers and always inspect these items prior to bringing them into the home. A quick crack and crevice vacuuming will eliminate hiding spiders and egg sacks that may be present. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your Christmas tree, wreaths, or any other decorations that may have been outside or in storage for a period of time to ensure that no spiders have hitched a ride into your home.
Exclusion techniques are the same for spiders as they are for many other pests. Seal gaps, cracks, and crevices on both the interior and exterior of the home. Torn window screens should be repaired or replaced. Door sweeps should be in good condition as should weather stripping. Remove debris and vegetation from around the foundation and trim back branches and shrubs that touch the home.
If you are bitten by a spider, contact your health professional and immediately clean the wound. If you have the ability, capture the spider, or take a picture to help with identification. Spider bites are commonly misdiagnosed. While many pose no significant health risk to humans and pets, adverse reactions are always a possibility and some spiders do pose major health risks. Being able to identify the type of spider can often guide treatment.
Homeowners encountering spider infestations in their home should contact a licensed pest control professional for assistance.