The emotional energy that creates a fear of spiders is probably a waste when it focuses on creatures that do not deserve it. The roughly 3,400 known species of spiders in North America provide free pest control by using venom to paralyze their insect prey or by spinning webs to trap them.
Recognizing Insect Predator Spiders
Most of California’s spiders wait for insect prey to enter their webs, but others take a more direct approach. None of these attack humans.
With an appearance that vaguely resembles a tarantula, the wolf spider has no web. It's two large eyes that sit above a row of smaller ones help it attack other spiders and ground-dwelling insects usually at night.
As its name indicates, the house spider usually builds webs in the corners of homes, but it also weaves its characteristic three-dimensional cobweb outdoors. It feeds on insects, mosquitoes, and flies.
A long and thin body that has yellow-orange rings around its joints helps identify the green lynx that lives in woody shrubs and small bushes where it eats other spiders and any insect.
Amazingly thin and delicate legs help identify the long-bodied spider that usually lives in cellars. Loose and tangled webs provide a place for it to hang upside down and wait for prey such as black widow spiders, mosquitoes, flies, and moths.
Cross Orb Weaver
A wheel-shaped, spiral web and a plain white cross on its back identify the cross orb weaver. At night, it consumes its web along with the insects that it contains and spins a new web the next day.
Avoiding Dangerous Spiders
Two California spiders have a venom that can harm humans, and they use it when someone purposely or accidentally provokes them.
The distinction that the name conveys is that only the female black widow is poisonous, and her bite is dangerously more toxic than rattlesnake venom. Nature calls attention to her ability to harm humans with a red hourglass under her abdomen. She bites when she defends against a threat, but she is not aggressive.
A light brown color and the shape of a dark fiddle on the back of a spider that is about the size of a U.S. quarter may identify it as a brown recluse. Confirmation, however, depends on the presence of only six eyes instead of eight. The brown recluse is shy and avoids contact with humans, but its bite requires medical attention.
While eradication of most spiders is counterproductive to pest control, the poisonous species create a threat from painful bites. At Sorenson Pest Control, we provide custom programs that meet all pest control needs.