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During late summer and fall, spiders often appear in
and around homes and other buildings. In the vast majority of cases,
spiders are welcome in our environments because they feed on insect
pests and other small invertebrates. There is an old saying by authors
unknown that illustrates mans’ long held appreciation of spiders: “ Kill
a spider, bad luck yours will be, Until of flies you’ve swatted
Hundreds of different species of spiders may occur in urban areas.
Some are large, colorful and are relatively sluggish. Others are small,
drab in color and can run very quickly. Some are considered ‘hunters’ and
move about in search of prey. Other spiders spin ornate webs in landscape
plantings or under the eaves of homes. Regardless of how a spider finds
its food, constructs its nest, or gets into homes or yards, their presence
should be considered good luck. However, even though only a very few spiders
can deliver venomous bites to people, it is wise to treat all spiders
with respect. Catching and removing those that enter the home is wise.
Sticky traps are available over-the-counter, that are very effective in
controlling ‘hunting’ spiders in the home.
Spiders that build webs outside of the buildings are of little
concern as they will be gone after the first hard freeze. Removing their
webbing is a small price to pay for the benefit that they provide in pest
Learn more about spiders at:
--Tim Gibb, Extension Entomologist, Department of Entomology,
Plant and Pest Digital Library and Digitally Assisted
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
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