Spiders are plentiful in South Florida. Their mysterious ways tend to bother homeowners more than most other insect invaders. While they are quite common some types can be rather large and intimidating to see inside of your home. There are approximately 40,000 spider species that exist throughout the world. While spiders can be beneficial as they eat other pests there are some that are poisonous and even life threatening. Whether dangerous or not, most homeowners prefer to live without spiders in their home.
Most spiders will only bite humans in self-defense, and very few bites produce worse effects than, say, a mosquito bite or bee sting. Most of those with medically serious bites, such as recluse spiders and widow spiders, are shy and bite only when they feel threatened, although this can easily arise by accident.
The Southern Black Widow spider can be easily recognized because she is black with a red hourglass on the underside of her abdomen. The male is considerably smaller than the female, and he has a body up to half an inch long. The Black Widow typically remains outdoors. They are not typically aggressive unless provoked or if they feel threatened. Avoid putting your hands in dark areas that you cannot see, these are the types of areas that southern black widows typically will infest.
There are plenty of other spiders in our southern climate, such as the Grass Spider, Dark Fishing Spider, Southern House Spider, and the Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider, just to name a few. These spiders do not have the same strong venom in their bite, but it is very painful and treatment may be required.
The best way to prevent spiders in your home is to have the exterior of your home treated regularly to prevent them from entering. Another way is to vacuum regularly paying particular attention to corners and out of the way areas where spiders prefer to live. Female spiders can lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silk egg sacs. Ensuring that you vacuum up webs and egg sacs will reduce spider populations around your home.