Spider Control in Colorado Springs CO

Funnel Web Spiders

This species is the most common spider found within homes in Colorado.  When funnel web spiders are outdoors, they build their dense mat style web around corners of buildings, shrubs and thick grass.  Their common name comes from the funnel portion of the web where the spider hides waiting for prey to enter the surrounding web.  Commonly mistaken for brown recluse (which is NOT native to Colorado), the funnel web spider lacks the characteristic violin or fiddle marking on the back, have four pairs of eyes instead of three, are much more rapid in movement and have striped legs.

Jumping Spiders

Active hunters, they stalk their prey and pounce on it rather than utilizing a web to capture it.  Their ability to jump several body lengths has a tendency to surprise most humans and can be used as a means of escape just as easily as it is used for hunting.  Silk is used for covering eggs, laying down a trail and constructing temporary shelters.  Most jumping spiders are brightly colored.  Jumping spiders have seemingly large eyes in comparison to their size.

Wood Louse Hunter/Roly-poly Hunter

Although their bite is painful, their venom is not known to cause medically related problems.  These spiders live in a silk retreat and hunt at night.  Feeding primarily on pill bugs and other hard-bodied prey, this species reaches a length of approximately ½ inch.  Unlike many other spiders, this species has a smooth body appearance with the body being a cream to grey in color with distinct reddish colored legs.

Cellar Spiders

Commonly mistaken for daddy-long-legs, cellar spiders are often found in dark corners with untidy webs that are fairly extensive.  Females carry their egg in their chelicerae (jaws) in a loose silk sac.

Yellow Sac Spiders

Like jumping spiders, yellow sac spiders are active hunters.  Their common name comes from the silk sacs in which the spend daylight hours.  Typically found in homes during the fall, this species is suspected of being the source of most spider bites in humans although their bite does not cause known medical problems, the bite is fairly painful; however, the pain typically subsides within a short period of time. Sac spiders are typically pale in color and their sac-like retreats can be found in corners of rooms or cracks in walls when indoors.

Wolf spiders

Wolf spiders do not produce a web to capture prey, they are active hunters.  Depending on their species wolf spiders can be rather large in size, which may cause concern in residents.  Larger species are often mistaken for tarantulas.  Females have an unusual habit of carrying her egg sac attached to her spinnerets.  Spiderlings hatch and crawl up onto her back where they stay for the first few weeks of their lives.  Wolf spiders are normally shy, although they will bite in defense and are not dangerous to humans.  Coloration is typically browns, grays and black.

Ground Spiders

As indicated by their common name, ground spiders are typically found at ground level, under rocks and logs, only emerging to hunt.  Some species of this spider wander indoors during colder weather.  Ground spiders are harmless to humans.

Widow Spiders

The spider species with the most potential for human harm in Colorado, widow spiders’ venom contains a nerve venom which at times may be of medical concern in humans.  Although these are non-aggressive spiders, they will bite to defend themselves.  The bite is painful and typically occurs after a female widow is provoked. The western widow is among the most common in Colorado.  Their webs are built in dark undisturbed sites such as crawlspaces, window wells and cellars.  A red or orange “hour-glass” shaped marking on the abdomen is characteristic of widow spiders; however, the shape is often varied and not perfect.  Overall color of adult females is black while males and immature spiders of this species may have brown, red and white markings on the back.  Cobweb spiders are likely to be the most commonly mistaken for widow spiders.

 Females lay eggs in sacs which are frequently covered in tough silk.  Web spinning spiders often attach the eggsac near their web while other spiders carry the sac with them until it hatches.  Upon hatching, many species of spiderlings climb to the top of a nearby object, produce long filaments of silk and are carried away be the wind.  This method of dispersal is referred to as ballooning.  Their ability to disperse in this manner in addition to other factors which affect their rate of survival can cause large variances in the number of spiders in a given area from year-to-year.  Specific characteristics such as eye pattern can be utilized by entomologists to identify a specific species.   Spiders have six to eight eyes depending on their species, which are usually arranged into two rows.  True spiders all have venom although few spider bites require medical attention.  Spiders bite humans only as a means of defense. Venom is intended for the immobilization of prey.

How many spiders are inside an egg sac?2018-08-21T19:14:17+00:00

This will vary based on the species of spiders, but for black widow spiders, there are roughly 200 individual eggs inside one egg sac. Typically the eggs will hatch inside the sac about two weeks after they are laid, and will remain inside the egg sac for several additional days.

Do spiders die in the winter?2018-08-21T19:13:43+00:00

Spiders seek shelter during the colder months. This can be the inside of your home, or underground burrows or hollowed areas where they will be sheltered from direct exposure to cold temperatures.  While most spiders lay their eggs in the fall, those spiders who are able to find shelter and are able to feed on other insects year round, will be able to continue to reproduce and lay eggs year round.

What is the most common spider found in my home?2018-08-21T19:13:03+00:00

Cobweb spiders, cellar spiders, funnel weaver and grass spiders are the most common spiders found in homes, and are generally seen during late summer and early fall. For more information on spiders that are commonly found in CO, please visit: http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/spiders-in-the-home-5-512/

What should I do if I am bit by a spider?2018-08-21T19:12:23+00:00

Common first aide practices are what we generally recommend customers to follow. First, be sure to clean the area of the bite thoroughly to prevent any potential infection, apply ice to reduce pain and swelling, or if serious symptoms develop such as increasing pain or swelling, we would recommend to seek medical attention.  Try to save a sample of the spider if possible, in the cases of black widows, medical doctors are able to provide you with an antidote, but are only able to do so when positively identified as a black widow bite.  Spider bites are difficult to diagnose as there are other medical conditions that create the same symptoms.  Spider bites in general, specifically those who are diagnosed as a “brown recluse bite” are greatly overdiagnosed in the State of Colorado.

Are black widow bites fatal?2018-08-21T19:11:46+00:00

Black widows produce a toxin that affects the nervous system, and muscle pain and tightness of the chest are some of the most common side affects to a bite. Swelling can be seen in some extremities, but is rarely observed at the location of the bite.  Other symptoms that may occur after being bite by a black widow is restlessness, sweating, difficulty with breathing and speech.  While most symptoms are severe only the first day, some may continue for several weeks or a month after the bite, but after the first 2-3 days, the symptoms will usually decline.  In most cases, black widow bites typically affect the extremely young or elderly more severely than the rest of the general population.

Are black widow bites common?2018-08-21T19:11:18+00:00

Black widow spiders rarely bite humans, and typically only do so if/when they are provoked. Most bites occur when you inadvertently come in contact with widow spiders, such as sitting down on a rock outside where their web may be, or moving stacked fire wood or wood debris piles.  Most widow webs are commonly found in cool, dark, undisturbed sites such as wood piles, corners or garages, crawlspaces, sheds/storage areas, or rodent burrows that are no longer active.  Female black widows do not leave their web to forage or find food.  They strictly eat and feed on what is caught in their webs.

But I have seen them in my house, how can they not be here?2018-08-21T19:10:48+00:00

Brown recluse spiders are the most commonly misidentified spider in CO. We have several common species here that look similar to the brown recluse spider.  Some of the most common household spiders that are mistaken for the brown recluse spider are: Funnel Weavers, Cellar Spiders, Wood Louse Spider, and Wolf Spiders.

Are Brown Recluse Spiders found in Colorado?2018-08-21T19:09:57+00:00

Recluse spiders are not indigenous (native) to Colorado, and it would be a rare occasion to have one in your home. Our cold winters and dry climate make it difficult for them to live in our environment.  For more information regarding the Brown Recluse Spider and CO, please visit: http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/brown-recluse-spiders-in-colorado-recognition-and-spiders-of-similar-appearance-5-607/  Brown recluse bites in Colorado are very rare.

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