How do I recognize a spider?

There are many varieties of spiders in North America. All are easily recognizable by four pairs of legs and a large sac-like abdomen. The size of a spider generally ranges from 10 to 20 mm (1/2″ to 1″) in length. Colour varies from browns and greys to black.

Do spiders cause damage?

No. Since they feed on other insects they are considered beneficial.

Are spiders dangerous?

The presence of spiders and their webs are considered a nuisance. An exception to this rule are the poisonous species of which two are the most dangerous – the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Bites from any spider should receive immediate medical attention.

Do all spiders build webs?

No. Many varieties of spiders do spin webs for catching their prey, but an equal number are ground dwelling.

When are spiders most common?

Spiders are found year-round, but are more prevalent during warm months when their prey is readily available, in cold months spider activity drops off dramatically due to the lack of food. However, if the home has an infestation of another insect pest, spider activity will continue. Outside, the adult spider will die in cold months, but the young will survive overwinter in a dormant state.

When am I most likely to see spiders?

Spiders are generally shy and are more likely to be found in lesser used areas of the home and property, such as basements, crawl spaces, closets, wood piles and under debris.

What are their breeding habits? Do spiders multiply quickly?

The female spider lays or carries approximated 250 eggs in a silken sac and up to nine sacs may be produced in a year. The young mature in about 40 days and are capable of reproduction. Under ideal conditions where food is plentiful, an infestation of spiders can number in the thousands.

Can weather conditions affect the size of a spider infestation?

Because spiders trap and eat other insects, ideal conditions for a spider infestation exist when their food is readily available.

What can I do to prevent an infestation of spiders?

Good housekeeping, including sweeping and vacuuming basement or other unused areas of the home, as well as removing wood piles and high grasses away from the home will limit spider activity. However, since they feed on other insects, it is necessary to remove their source of food to ensure proper control.

If I have an infestation of spiders, what can be done to eliminate them?

If you are treating your properly for other pests, you are going a long way in controlling the number of spiders as well. However, if you are experiencing a continued number of spiders on your property or in your home, your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products and kits specially formulated for the control of spiders. Due to the nature of spiders, a single control method may not be effective and a PCO professional should be consulted for thorough results.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.