The Creepy, the Crawly and the Dangerous: It's Spider Season Again
You've got that right! It's that time of the year when the wife jumps on the bed and screams blue murder for you to come kill the eight-legged intruder in the corner. While it is nice to feel needed once in a while, one wants to maintain some sense of hearing by the end of the season... In this post, we're going to explain the types of spiders that can be expected, and share some fascinating facts about the creepy crawlers – the good and the bad.
Spiders in Ontario
Not scared of spiders? That's a good thing, because there are more than 35,000 named species in the world and many of them have made a home for themselves right here in Ontario. This time of the year, the doc spider is most common, and can be found in your summer home, cottage and campgrounds.
You'll be glad to learn that most spiders are harmless, and actually help keep insect populations in check. They are usually quite peace loving and seldom aggressive and most spiders have harmless venom. Only the brown recluse
(mainly found in the Southern US, but it's been argued for many years now whether brown recluse spiders live in Canada, but there have been several cases in Ontario of brown recluse bites) and black widow
(usually found in rural southern Ontario's, they're still very rare in these parts). Those are very dangerous and about ten others that are venomous.
Spiders can often be found:
- under rocks
- in or under playground equipment
- on plants or in grasses and tree branches
- in underground caves
- in cabinets
- under furniture
- in boxes
- in windows
Dock spiders (Dolomedes) are a common sight for fishermen and cottagers lounging on the dock in Canada. Also known as the fishing spider, this incredible creature:
- can swim
- can walk on water
- catches fish
- carries its egg sac in its fangs
Thankfully, they are more scared of us than we are of them, and will only attack if they feel threatened.
Spiders are Great Roomies
Afraid of sharing your home with spiders? Once you have read the following facts, you may become more hospitable towards them.
On the contrary, there are several reasons why spiders are sometimes regarded as beneficial insects:
- They are some of nature’s best pest control agents, trapping and killing many unwanted house guests (flies, mosquitoes, fleas, moths, mites, etc.), some of which are disease-carrying and dangerous to humans. According to some estimates, having one spider inside the house means having 2,000 fewer other bugs every year.
- They keep the garden healthy by feeding on a variety of pests that attack flowers and vegetables, including butterflies, wasps, moths, flies, and others.
- Most spiders commonly found in Canadian homes, including house spiders, fishing spiders, cellar spiders, and wolf spiders are neither equipped nor willing to harm humans.
- Spiders’ silk is one of the strongest natural fibers in the world, used by people in some parts as fishing nets; synthesized spider silk is currently used in creating the next generation of parachutes and bullet-proof vests.
How to Handle Spider Infestations
No matter how much we try to reassure our clients, many of them still don't want spiders in their homes. In most cases, spiders will keep their own populations in check, but it is possible that their numbers may grow beyond what you are comfortable with, and that means you need to step in before there's a complete invasion. Here's how:
- Spiders enter through cracks and holes, so mend those.
- Cover your air vents with fine mesh.
- Apply caulk around doors, windows, and entry points for cables, wires, and faucets.
- Don't store any trash, mulch, debris, and firewood away from the structure of your home.
- Use sealed bags to store any seasonal clothing or linens rather than cardboard.
- Vacuum all hidden spaces in closets, basements, attics, window frames dark corners to prevent spiders from building webs and lay eggs.
Large spider populations can be controlled or eliminated using safe, nontoxic methods. Get in touch with Greenleaf Pest Control to effectively eradicate the problem.