Spiders are just one of those creatures that many people are afraid of. Granted, it is typically an irrational fear since humans are so much larger than spiders; but there is just something about those long, spindly legs that freak people out. Plus, because some spiders can be venomous and there are so many types of spiders in Florida and across the globe, many people would rather play it safe rather than sorry and avoid all spiders no matter the threat.
Fortunately for those of us here in South Florida, we will only typically deal with the ‘creepy 6’ this fall and the better news is that only one of these is actually poisonous to humans. So let’s take a look at these spiders and some common facts associated with each one.
- Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider – The female of this species is most commonly white with black spots and has 6 red spines; however, she can have a yellow abdomen with black spines. Males have a gray abdomen with white spots and no real spines, but 6 small ‘bumps’ instead. These spiders create a spiral wheel-shaped web. They eat small insects that fly into their web by first securing it by snapping the strands of the web and wrapping the prey with it and then biting the insect to paralyze it before carrying it to the center of the web for consumption. These spiders do bite humans, but they cause a limited reaction of swelling and redness that usually disappears with a day. They are not considered to be poisonous spiders.
- Wolf Spider – This dark brown spider has yellow or tan stripes and long, spiny legs. They are very fast runners and aggressively hunt down their prey. They sit and wait for an opportune moment to pounce on and capture their next meal. They eat small ground-dwelling insects and other spiders. These are nocturnal spiders that are known to have very strong eyesight. They can and do bite people when necessary, but they only cause redness and swelling at the site, they do not 'hunt' people. They are not considered to be poisonous spiders. That being said, wolf spiders are common in Florida.
- Golden Silk Spider (aka giant wood spider) – The female is an orange and brown spider that has feathery tufts on its legs. The males are smaller and rather plain – usually dark brown without markings. The males are most commonly found on the web with the female. It is a species of the orb-weaver spider and is considered to be the largest orb-weaver species in North America. They are known for building sticky golden colored webs to trap their dinner which consists of small to medium-sized flying insects. These spiders will bite if held or pinch causing a slight redness and some pain. They are not poisonous to humans. If you see orange spiders in Florida, it's most likely the Golden Silk Spider!
- Black and Yellow Argiope Spider – This spider is black with flame shaped yellow markings. They build round flat webs with zig-zag patterns in order to catch small flying insects. Some of these webs can be up to 12 feet across. This spider can be found hanging upside down in the center of the web waiting for a meal. The female is able to capture prey up to 200% of its own size but will only bite as a last resort when threatened by a person. Their bite leaves only mild swelling and slight redness. They are not considered to be poisonous to humans. If you see yellow spiders in Florida, it's probably Argiope Spiders!
- Jumping Spider – this fuzzy spider is known for its eyes. It has 4 eyes on the front of its head and 4 on top. They are believed to have colored vision that rivals that of humans. They seem aggressive because they won’t back down or run off, but they are really just curious creatures. These pests will crouch down in wait and then pounce on their prey and can jump up to 50 times their body length! They eat insects, spiders, and pollen. They only bite people when threatened and their bites mostly harmless to humans, but some people may have allergic reactions requiring immediate medical attention.
- Brown Recluse – This shy, brown spider has a violin shaped marking that is quite unmistakable. It likes to remain hidden and will rarely come into the open. It is known for having only 6 eyes, two in front and two on each side of its head. They will spin irregular webs not to catch prey in, but to rest in. They are considered to be poisonous to people. Their bites can cause a systemic reaction within 24-26 hours including fever, chills, nausea, weakness, and joint pain. Also, the skin around the bite will die. A bite requires immediate medical attention.
Chances are that no matter which spiders you find yourself dealing with this fall, you will not want them living in or around your home; and one call to the professionals here at Hoffer Pest Solutions will mean you don’t have to. We have been providing quality pest control services to South Florida homes and businesses since 1975 so we are well acquainted with the habits and habitats of spiders and can easily deal with these pests. Our year-round pest control services are a sure way to keep you from having to deal with spiders and other pests in your South Florida home or business.
Make sure that you don’t have to deal with one of these ‘creepy 6’ this fall by calling Hoffer Pest Solutions today. You will be glad you did!