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Spiders: Pest Control Friend or Foe?

A lot of people have a fear of spiders. Some of these fears are legitimate – raise your hand if you don’t want to lose a limb to a black widow bite – but some people’s fears are more in line with the 1990 movie Arachnophobia. (Note: most spiders won’t eat an entire human being in under twenty minutes).

Many of the most common spiders found in the Pacific Northwest actually play a beneficial role in the ecosystem and should not be eliminated. The trick is knowing when to keep your eight-legged house guests and when to employ a pest control solution.

How are spiders helpful?

Although considered a pest themselves, spiders are actually one of nature’s most efficient pest control solutions. Spiders catch and kill an amazing number of flying and crawling insects, including flies, gnats, moths, aphids, beetles and mosquitoes.

What types of spiders are beneficial?

The most common “good” spiders include wolf spiders, crab spiders, dwarf spiders, orb-web spiders, buzzing spiders, and many others. While some species will indeed bite a human, most are not aggressive or dangerous.

When should I call a pest management professional?

There are only four common household spiders in the Pacific Northwest that you should be concerned about: hobo spiders, black widows, yellow sac spiders and brown recluses. While rarely found indoors, these spiders contain enough venom to harm a human and, unlike many other types of spiders, they have mandibles strong enough to pierce the skin. Call a professional pest control company if you suspect you have any of these spiders in your home.

Part of Eden’s Enhanced Service Program is a bi-monthly “spider sweep” during which your technician will walk the perimeter of your home and sweep away any webs on your home. Spiders will get tired of rebuilding in the same place if webs are knocked down repeatedly, and they will be forced to find another home.

[ photo by: aussiegall ]

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