The arrival of spring brings with it many things. While many people look forward to warmer weather, blooming flowers, and a new baseball season, something less pleasant is also waking up for the year. That’s right, May is spider season.
One of the least desirable pests out there, Missouri spiders come in all shapes and sizes and range in danger. Next time you see something skitter across the floor, consult our guide to identify what you saw, what to be cautious of, and how to keep you and your family protected.
Wolf Spiders are the most common spiders in Missouri and can be identified by their primarily grey markings, which can include hints of black and brown. They stick pretty low to the ground, living in a variety of habitats, including sandbars, stream banks, low vegetation, or leaf litter. They’re also known to burrow tunnels underneath logs and rocks.
Although wolf spiders are excellent hunters, their diet consists primarily of insects, which they hunt at night. Despite their fearsome appearance, these spiders are very solitary and do not have a poisonous bite.
The best way to avoid run in’s with wolf spiders is to wear gloves while doing yardwork or handling wood piles, especially in heavily forested areas.
Filmy Dome Spider
If you’re enjoying the beautiful spring weather with a walk in the woods, chances are you’ll run into Filmy Dome Spider and one of its “snare webs”. These dome-shaped webs (hence the name) can be found anywhere from rock outcroppings to piles of wood. With their elongated yellow/white abdomens, they’ll usually stand out amongst the dark browns and greens of the woods. But if you run into one, don’t fear – your biggest problem will be getting a little web stuck on your face.
Brown Recluse spiders live up to their name by hiding in dark, small, and rarely used spaces. This predator is frequently found outside in woodpiles, sheds, closets, garages, and other dry and undisturbed places. However, it is also common for these spiders to make their homes indoors, where they are especially fond of old cardboard boxes, shoes, piles of clothes on the floor, inside baseboards, and under furniture.
These long, light brown spiders are known for a signature violin shaped marking on top of their bodies. Although the brown recluse is not typically aggressive towards humans, they are likely to bite if pressed against, such as when tangled in clothing or bedding, and have a mean bite that can result in significant swelling and redness. If you experience any of these symptoms after a spider bite, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor.
Avoid brown recluse infestations by getting rid of clutter, keeping clothing off the floors, and keeping storage items in plastic boxes.
Although they have one of the most intimidating names, black widows are more likely to instill fear for how they look rather than how they bite. The females of the species are the most recognizable with their glossy, black legs and red markings and tend to live along embankments or under logs. While a bite from a Black Widow can result in severe physical discomfort, the symptoms can almost always be relieved with appropriate medical treatment.
Although it’s common to fear spiders, it’s important to remember that most spiders aren’t harmful to humans. Spiders are essential to many outdoor ecosystems and rarely choose to make their homes indoors unless given the right conditions. If you’re looking to avoid arachnids entirely, your best bet is to keep up with a strict cleaning regimen and keep clear of areas where spiders are known to congregate.
If you run into a serious issue, contact Mick’s as soon as possible. We will:
- Determine the type of spider.
- Conduct a full property inspection.
- Apply EPA-registered materials outside your foundation to protect your home during the warmer months and reduce spiders along with their food source (other insects).
- Safely apply material inside all levels of the home and the garage.
Investing in our Home Protection Plan ensures your property and home stay spider free all year. Read more about our Home Protection Plan.