Spider Identification Guide

What are spiders?

Spiders are arachnids and related to mites, ticks, and scorpions. They all have two body parts, chelicerae (fangs), and eight legs. All spiders lack antennae and are wingless. Spiders are beneficial pests that prey on garden pests and other nuisance insects. Some of the most common species of spiders that people in Alabama come into contact with are house spiders, black widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders. 

a black widow spider on a web outside a human

Are spiders dangerous?

Most spiders, like house spiders, are an annoyance to deal with but cause no real problems for people or our property. Some species, though, like the black widow and brown recluse spider are dangerous and should always be avoided. Dangerous spiders have venom that is strong enough to cause health problems in people. While a bite from a black widow or brown recluse spider is usually not life-threatening, symptoms from a bite should be looked at by a medical professional. 

Why do I have a spider problem?

Spiders love properties with lots of insects for them to hunt and plenty of places for them to hide. They are shy reclusive creatures and like to build their webs or burrows in sheltered, out-of-the-way spots. Spiders hide in shrubs, bushes, woodpiles, and gardens. These eight-legged creatures tend to hide in spots that are close to a home’s foundation, which allows them to find their way into a house while following their prey. Spiders also move into homes, garages, and sheds when the weather outside becomes too hot or cold. 

Where will I find spiders?

Spiders live outside in dense vegetation, gardens, tall grasses, under fallen logs, tree stumps, and shrubs, and bushes. They seek shelter near our homes behind shutters and siding, under decks, under roof eaves, and in doorways.

Spiders also infest our homes, cluttered garages, sheds, barns, and other outbuildings. Inside, spiders like to hide and build webs in the corners of rooms, in doorways, in closets, under furniture, and in basements and bathrooms.

What types of spiders are in Alabama?

A black widow has a plump abdomen that is shiny and black. Females have a red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen. These spiders may be small or large depending on their age.

Brown recluses are light tan to medium brown in color. Their legs are long and spindly, and they often look almost translucent. The backs of the abdomen and thorax may be different shades of brown. These spiders may be about the size of a nickel or a quarter. They are especially distinguishable by the violin shape on their backs.

Yellow sac spiders look similar to brown recluses but have a yellowish hue if you look closely at them. They have hairless spindly legs and are about the same size as a recluse. However, they lack the violin shape on their backs.

Grass spiders and house spiders may be mistaken for brown recluses. They do not have a violin shape on their backs. Also, their abdomens may have designs, and a brown recluse's abdomen does not have a design.

There are plenty of other types of garden and tree spiders. While their bites may hurt and cause a bump, most other spiders that are native to Alabama do not pose health risks.

How do I get rid of spiders?

Get rid of house spiders, black widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders by partnering with the trusted experts at Custom Pest Control. For over 20 years, we have been helping home and business owners maintain pest-free properties. If you are looking for a personal approach to pest control, look no further.

At Custom Pest Control, we customize our pest control programs to meet the unique needs of each of our customers. Let our family protect your family from North Alabama’s toughest pests! For more information about our spider control service, reach out to Custom Pest Control, and speak with one of our friendly professionals today.

How can I prevent spiders in the future?

The best way to prevent problems with spiders is to partner with a professional and implement the following prevention tips in and around your Huntsville, Alabama home:

  • Inspect your home’s exterior and repair any possible entry points. 
  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • Repair or replace torn screens.
  • Remove excess woodpiles, rock piles, leaf piles, and fallen trees from your property where spiders can hide.
  • Keep outbuilding windows and doors closed.
  • Limit hiding spots for spiders in your home by making sure storage areas are neat, organized, and free of clutter.
  • Remove spider webs as soon as you see them.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly.
  • Put into place a professional pest control program to help reduce insect activity in and around your home. Fewer insects will equal fewer hunting spiders.
 

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