Spiders Have Special Benefits But Beware Of That Bite

Many Americans warmly welcome four-legged friends into their homes, but few are comfortable when creatures with eight legs wander in​ from outside.

Even though they make you​ shriek, some spiders play a​ positive role around your​ home by preying on​ other pests. for​ some homeowners, their contributions to​ reducing unwanted insects far outweigh the fear they evoke.

"Many household spiders are not dangerous to​ humans," said Orkin, Inc. entomologist Ron​ Harrison, Ph.D. "However, there are a​ few species with a​ venomous bite. The key is​ distinguishing between those that make harmless houseguests and​ those that present a​ threat to​ your​ family."

Several spiders can protect your​ home from pesky invaders. Cellar spiders-the web-spinning species most common​ in​ homes-have been known to​ prey on​ black widow spiders. Some, like the spiny orb weaver and​ house spiders, can hunt crickets and​ small flying insects. Wolf spiders can help rid lawns and​ gardens of​ common​ pests. Even the brown recluse-the most dangerous spider to​ humans-can assist by eating cockroaches, silverfish and​ other soft-bodied insects.

When protecting your​ family from venomous spiders, it​ is​ important to​ identify key characteristics of​ harmful species like the black widow, brown recluse and​ yellow sac spiders, whose bites can cause severe skin​ irritations.

• Black Widow: Females are shiny black, with a​ red hourglass-shaped mark on​ their abdomen.

• Brown Recluse: this​ spider is​ yellowish to​ brown in​ color, with a​ dark brown violin-shaped back marking; legs are long and​ thin​ with fine hair.

• Yellow Sac: this​ spider has yellow coloring; its abdomen is​ often much brighter than its head or​ legs.

According to​ a​ survey conducted by Orkin, Inc., spiders have a​ noticeable presence in​ two out of​ three American households. So when spiders make frequent appearances in​ your​ home, trust an​ experienced professional to​ identify the species, consider its web-building or​ hunting behaviors and​ determine the best way to​ control the infestation.

Homeowners can take some steps to​ prevent spider invasions and​ reduce potentially harmful encounters, such as​ removing food sources and​ discouraging nesting by keeping low-traffic areas, such as​ cellars or​ closets, clear. However, a​ licensed pest control company should be called upon​ to​ treat and​ repel spider infestations.

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