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Archive for the ‘Spiders’ Category

Long Bodied Cellar Spider

Posted on: May 16th, 2012 by pelican

Color: Pale yellow to light brown or gray
Legs: 8
Shape: Long skinny legs with a small body
Size: 1/4-3/8” (6-9mm)
Antennae: False
Region: Found throughout U.S.

Cellar spiders are commonly referred to as “daddy-long-legs” because of their very long, thin legs and as their name implies are found in dark and damp places. There are about 20 species of cellar spiders in the United States and Canada.


Cellar spiders build loose, irregular, tangled webs in corners. They hang upside down on the underside of the web. The webs are not cleaned but instead a new web is continually added. This habit can result in extensive webbing in a relatively short time.


The spiders and their webs are usually found in dark and damp places, such as cellars, basements, and crawl spaces. They can also be found in the corners of garages, sheds, barns, and warehouses, on eaves, windows, and ceilings, and in closets, sink cabinets, and bath-traps. Cellar spiders seem to fare better in areas with higher relative humidity,


Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans. While they are commonly found in homes, they usually stay in one place. They are not known to bite. Urban legend has it that their venom is of the most deadly of spiders, but their weak mouthparts keep them from injecting venom into humans. While it is correct that they cannot successfully bite, their venom is not very potent.


Seal cracks on the outside of the home, especially around doors and windows, and use screens to prevent entry into homes. Using yellow light bulbs for exterior lighting may reduce the number of spiders and other insects as they are typically attracted to white-light sources. Additionally, lowering the humidity in basements, cellars and crawl spaces with the use of a dehumidifier or ventilation can discourage cellar spiders from living there.


House Spiders

Posted on: May 3rd, 2012 by pelican

COLOR: Yellowish brown, abdomen dirty white with a few dark spots (sometimes with a black triangular spot in the center) to almost black, with several dark stripes meeting at angle above tip of abdomen; legs
SHAPE: Elongated abdomen
SIZE: 3/16 – 5/16“ (female) 1/8 – 3/16” (male)

This is usually the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. This spider is found worldwide and is common throughout the United States and Canada.
The house spider randomly selects its web sites and creates a tangled web. If a web does not yield prey it is abandoned, another site is selected, and a new web is built. Survival is low in modern homes with low humidity and few insects, higher in garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, etc. because of more prey and generally higher humidity, and highest outdoors in protected places.
Inside structures, house spiders are most likely to be found in upper corners, under furniture, in closets, angles of window frames, basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Outside they are often around windows and under eaves especially near light sources which attract prey.
House spiders are nuisance pests but pose no threats to humans.
Seal cracks and use screens on windows and doors. Use a vacuum to remove adults, egg sacs and webs. If a broom is used, adults usually escape.


Brown Widow Spider

Posted on: April 19th, 2012 by pelican

ScienceDaily (May 10, 2007) – A dangerous spider is making itself known to Louisiana residents. The brown widow spider is becoming more common, according to entomologists with the LSU AgCenter.
Generally found in tropical areas, the brown widow spider is closely related to the black widow spider and is poisonous, according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dennis Ring.
Experts say the spider ranges in color from gray or tan to dark brown and may reach 1 inch to 1½ inches long. Like its better-known black widow cousin, the brown widow spider has a yellow-to-orange hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen. It also has black and white marks on the top of the abdomen and often has dark bands on its legs. “Its venom is more toxic than the black widow’s,” Ring said. “But it doesn’t put out as much venom in its bite.”
Ring said the brown widow spider is most often found in areas that haven’t been disturbed, such as brush piles, wood piles and areas where hurricane debris has accumulated. They also can show up in crawl spaces, under chairs, in garbage can handles and under flower pots, eaves and porch railings.

“These spiders are shy and are less likely than black widows to bite humans,” Ring said. “Nevertheless, they can bite when they come in contact with a person’s skin.”
Ring suggests wearing gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when working outdoors, especially in areas that don’t get a lot of human activity.
In addition to recognizing the spiders themselves, Ring points out that the egg sac of the brown widow is different from that of the black widow. The white-to-tan-colored egg sac of the brown widow is lumpy. The black widow’s egg sac is smooth. The egg sac can be found attached to the web and is about one-half inch in diameter.
The best remedy for controlling brown widow spiders is to remove areas where they may nest, according to Ring. The LSU AgCenter entomologist recommends picking up clutter and sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows, as well as in driveways and sidewalks.
Ring added that brown widow spiders also can be controlled by using spray or powdered insecticides labeled for spiders.


LSU Agricultural Center (2007, May 10). Venomous Brown Widow Spiders Making Themselves Known In Louisiana. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2012, from¬ /releases/2007/05/
A brown widow spider. (Credit: Dr. Chris Carlton, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum).

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