Though spiders can be beneficial and eat bugs themselves, they are pests in the sense that they sometimes find their way inside. Many will leave messes in the form of webs and will bite if threatened. Here are the four most common spiders to Maine.
Named after: They are black and become a widow after killing and eating the male after mating
Identification: ¾" - 1 3/8", shiny black with red hourglass shape on abdomen. Males are about half the size of females.
Seasonality: Late Summer and fall
Why they are in/near my home: They are always on the lookout for secluded areas such as crevices and woodpiles and hide in dimly lit locations like basements, garages, and cluttered areas. They prefer a moderate temperature, are nocturnal, and shy in nature. Be careful around stumps and bringing firewood into the home. They don't prefer the inside, but the living conditions in a garage are very favorable to the way they operate.
Tips for homeowners: Keep your yard free of tall grass, debris, and piles of firewood. There will be fewer places to hide in seclusion waiting for their prey.
How Green Shield can help: Spiders like the black widow can be difficult to treat because of their solitary nature. One treatment is difficult to effectively get rid of spiders. Inspecting, treating, and continually monitoring is Green Shield's proven method of controlling them. Because the black widow produces one of the most toxic bites in the United States, if you see one (or their messy irregular webs), it is worth calling a professional like Green Shield to minimize risk.
Weird fact: The black widow's web is particularly strong, potentially being five times stronger than steel on a per-weight basis. If you come across a particularly strong web, it could be a black widow.
Named after: The female takes very delicate care of her egg sac, building a web for it in a secluded place and suspending it inside a leaf so it is further protected.
Identification: ¾" - 1 3/8", light brown or tan with a dark brown streak running from their head to abdomen. Their legs can be up to three inches. If you don't like the look of spiders, this one can be creepy to look at due to its size.
Seasonality: Late spring, summer, and fall
Why they are in/near my home: Typical locations are in leaf litter and plants, often seeing carrying large golf-ball sized sacs in their fangs. You won't find it resting on a web like most spiders, but on dense vegetation, where they are ready to attack unsuspecting bugs. Their bite is not dangerous but it can be painful due to the size of this spider. Be careful when raking leaves especially.
Tips for homeowners: Keep your lawn well mowed and landscaping trimmed. They like to find a secluded place with vegetation for their young to hatch safely.
How Green Shield can help: After a full inspection, Green Shield will apply a perimeter barrier around your home which will be paired with exclusion tactics. Harborage sites will be targeted such as fallen limbs, rocks, retaining walls, etc. Direct contact works best with spiders because they do not groom themselves like most insects, taking longer to be affected by products applied.
Weird fact: Many just think they are big wolf spiders. Look for them to be vertical or on a leaf rather than on the ground.
Named after: They build webs similar to classic Halloween web decor, producing an orb (circular) shape that can be very large.
Identification: ¼" - 1," they vary in size greatly due to there being many different species of orb spiders. Most are brightly colored with hairy legs, and a large abdomen.
Why they are in/near my home: They can build webs that are attached to rocks, leaves, limbs, or telephone poles. They are simply waiting near your home waiting for their prey.
Tips for homeowners: They aren't dangerous, but one way to reduce their presence is to reduce the population of insects that they will consume. Sealing up holes, cracks, and gaps on the exterior of a home is also effective.
How Green Shield can help: If assistance is needed, contact Green Shield and request a full inspection. We will be able to not only offer practical advice, but treat the necessary areas as part of a comprehensive plan.
Weird fact: Some female orb spiders can be ten times the size of their male counterparts.
Named after: When they were originally named, people thought they hunted in packs like wolves. We know this is not the case, and that the wolf spider, like all spiders, are solitary creatures.
Identification: ¾"-2," dark brown with markings that camouflage them
Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall
Why they are in/near my home: They are typically found on the ground level under rocks, leaf litter, stacked firewood, under decks, etc. They are quick and have great eyesight, occasionally wandering inside for shelter. Getting into basements is typical, with entry usually coming through windows or doors. They do not spin webs but reside in burrows.
Tips for homeowners: Clear firewood and debris. Keep your lawn trimmed with leaves ranked and weeds plucked. Remove all unnecessary clutter.
How Green Shield can help: If you want a spider-free home, Green Shield is at your service. We will perform a full inspection of the property, offer useful advice, and apply environmentally responsible products to areas where wolf spiders are present. Contact Green Shield for more information.
Weird fact: Their young are carried with them until hatching and then reside on their mother's back for about a week.