There are about 40,000 different known species of spiders, and their breeding habits aren’t all the same. Some mating rituals end in violence, while others end with the male and female simply going their separate ways. Spiders have a characteristic in appearance that is easily recognized by most people. They possess eight legs, which immediately separates them from insects, which have only six.
These are the common species of spiders that we deal with in Alberta and Saskatchewan
- Ant Mimic Spiders
- Cellar Spiders
- Cobweb Spiders
- Crab Spiders
- Fishing Spiders
- Funnel web Spiders
- Giant House Spiders
- Giant Crab Spiders
- Hobo Spiders
- Jumping Spiders
- Orb Weaver Spiders
- Sac Spiders
- Widow Spiders
- Wolf Spiders
But spiders aren’t all bad. They do provide a form of natural pest control by catching insects in their webs. However, that doesn’t mean they have an open invitation to come into our homes.
Tips for Spider Control
- Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free.
Dust and clean your home thoroughly on a regular basis, particularly by vacuuming. This helps eliminate webs, spiders and their eggs. After vacuuming, dispose the contents of the vacuum bag outside of your home.
- Fill in any cracks along the window or doorframes and along the foundation.
Replace any broken window screens.
- Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
- Trim back branches so they do not touch the side of the home and create a bridge for spiders to crawl inside.
- Spiders love to hide in wood piles. If you’d like to keep spiders out of your home, avoid stacking wood against the house.
- Remove spider webs that you find inside.
- Check or even wash clothing or bedding that has been sitting in storage for a while.
- Shake out shoes before putting them on especially if they have been sitting in storage.
- Reduce their numbers of prey…other insects.
- Making sure that there is no stagnant water anywhere inside or outside of the home is one of the most important pest prevention tips for any homeowner this summer.
Facts About Spiders
A spider web – A spider web is a device created by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets, generally meant to catch its prey. Spider webs have existed for at least 100 million years. Many spiders build webs specifically to catch insects to eat. However, not all spiders catch their prey in webs, and some do not build webs at all.
The hunters – Some species of spiders do not use webs for capturing prey directly, instead of pouncing from concealment or running them down in open chase such as the wolf spider.
Spider bites – Spiders are not aggressive by nature but when they are startled, they can bite. Spider bites are often just a mild irritation but still, the experience of dealing with this well hated creepy crawlies is not a good way to enjoy this spring and summer. In North American, the species which is dangerous to humans is the black widow, European house, and the brown recluse spiders. If you are in doubt of a spider bite you should consult a physician.
How they kill their prey – Most spiders use their fangs to inject venom into their prey, this will paralyze the victim. They also regurgitate digestive fluids to help digest the prey. The prey will begin to liquify and the spider will start to take the prey in its jaw/pedipalps in mostly liquid form. Prey is also subdued by wrapping it up in silk. Usually to keep it for later.
What do Spiders eat – They commonly consume flying insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths and butterflies, crickets, grasshoppers and beetles.
Mating – While it’s a myth that all female spiders cannibalize the males after mating, certain species do. The black widow, for example, takes its name from its habit of devouring the male after copulating. In one species of orb-web spider, Argiope bruennichi, the female starts cannibalizing the male while they mate. Though he is being eaten as he mates, the male continues the mating ritual so that he can inseminate the female. Because of this determination, about 70 percent of males don’t survive their first mating.
It is important to eliminate an active spider problem outside your home. This will eliminate the potential of spiders migrating inside.
Let’s be honest. Spiders are scary. And spiders inside the home can make life miserable, especially for arachnophobes. Don’t let spiders become a problem.