We have quite a variety of spiders in Merrimac. Some hang out in gardens and protect vegetables from plant-damaging pests. Some hang out in landscaping and feed on aphids and other insects that can damage ornamental plants. Some create their webs around windows and help to stop flies from getting inside. If you live in Merrimac, you may find yourself ignoring spider webs because you know that Merrimac spiders can be beneficial. We don't have dangerous spiders that are found in other states, like black widows and brown recluse spiders. The spiders we tend to tangle with are wolf spiders, American house spiders, daddy longlegs, grass spiders, and orb weavers. While these spiders can provide some benefits, such as eating mosquitoes before they give you West Nile virus, they're not entirely harmless. Here are a few things every Merrimac resident should know about spiders in our region.
Spiders That Don't Bite
We have a few spiders that don't bite. A very common non-biting spider in our area is the daddy longlegs spider, also known as a long-bodied cellar spider. You can tell these spiders from short-bodied cellar spiders because they have long legs. While long-bodied cellar spiders have fangs and venom, they aren't able to bite you. Another common long-legged pest that won't bite you is the harvestman. The harvestman is actually the proper daddy longlegs. It isn't a spider. While it has eight legs, like the long-bodied cellar spider, it doesn't have fangs or venom. These are not hunters, they are opportunistic feeders that munch on insects and insect eggs. We provide this distinction for a reason. While daddy longlegs spiders are as harmless to humans as harvestmen, they are hunters that will eliminate unwanted pests on your property. They're pretty good to have around if you can tolerate their webs.
Spiders That Bite
We have some spiders in our area that can bite, but they don't typically bite. A wolf spider, as an example, is quite docile. Some people even handle these spiders, though we wouldn't recommend doing this. An orb weaver or some other spider in your landscaping or garden may also bite you, but it is more likely that they will move away when they detect you. The chief concern with spiders is accidentally making contact with one, such as walking through a web or using a pool towel that has a spider clinging to it. That sort of thing. If you're on the lookout for spiders and their webs, you can usually avoid getting a bite.
How Bad Do Merrimac Spiders Bite?
Most of the spiders in our area have a bite that feels like a little pinprick. A few may be slightly worse. There might be a burning sensation along with the pinprick, and it can feel like you've been stung by a bee. You could also experience some flu-like symptoms if you have a reaction to the venom, or you might have necrosis in the heart of the wound. But Merrimac spiders won't have you running to the hospital.
Should You Have Spiders Around?
There are benefits to having spiders on your property, but diminished benefits to having them in your landscaping or on your exterior walls. If you want spiders around to help with pest control, understand that it is far better to hire a human. A human won't leave unsightly webs all over your property or surprise you in the bathroom at three in the morning. A trained human is even better; with training, humans are remarkably adept at controlling all of the pests a spider might control.
If you'd rather not have spiders around, and you want to deal with spiders on your own, we have a few helpful tips.
Remove webs as soon as you see them. Some spiders create egg sacs in their webs. These sacs can have up to 300 spider eggs in them. If you remove the webs and the sacs before the eggs hatch, you can significantly impact the spider population around or inside your Merrimac home.
Remove the food sources that attract spiders to your property. Spiders primarily feed on insects, and there are several ways to get control of insects with little or no effort, such as replacing white exterior lights with yellow lights. Insects are not able to detect light in the yellow spectrum and are not attracted to it.
Address moisture. A damp perimeter won't only attract spiders but it will attract their food sources as well. Cleaning gutters and repairing your gutter system is a helpful first step to controlling moisture.
If you'd like a technician to perform your pest control, reach out to Freedom Pest Control. We have highly-trained professionals and we know how to get control of Merrimac pests. When you want freedom from unwanted pests, Freedom Pest Control is the answer.