When you find a spider or multiple spiders in your Oklahoma home, it can be alarming. One of your first thoughts is probably whether the spider poses a threat to your family. Many different kinds of spiders live in Oklahoma and only some of them are dangerous. Nonetheless, even though most spiders will not hurt humans, it is understandable to not want these creatures around.
All spiders and many other critters like ticks have eight legs and segmented bodies. Since so many pests look alike, it is helpful to pay attention to the unique characteristics of each species. This can help you figure out what type of spiders you have in your home. Some of the most common kinds of household spiders in Oklahoma include the following.
Brown Recluse Spiders
The brown recluse spider, which is pictured above, is sometimes referred to as the fiddleback or brown spider. These spiders are one of the only types of spiders in Oklahoma that are a threat to humans. Adult brown recluse spiders are usually about half an inch big, and they have long, thin, fuzzy legs. They have soft bodies that are typically light to dark brown. They also have three sets of eyes, and just behind these eyes, they have a unique, fiddle-shaped marking on their bodies.
Brown recluse spiders hide out in dry, dark, sheltered areas, such as behind pictures, under furniture, and in unused shoes, attics, storage sheds, barns and other undisturbed areas. Their webs are usually low to the ground and look disorganized, but they don’t use the webs to catch prey. Instead, these spiders go out at night to hunt for food, and they use the webs as a place to rest and to lay eggs.
Their egg cases are off-white, and each case holds dozens of eggs, which typically hatch about a month after they are laid. Once they emerge from the egg cases, young brown recluse spiders usually look similar to adults. But, they are smaller and their bodies might be a lighter color. These spiders usually reach their full adult size in about 10 months to one year after hatching.
Brown recluse spiders are not aggressive, and unless they are disturbed, they do not usually attack humans. However, when these spiders do bite, they often leave behind painful and sometimes even life-threatening sores that require immediate medical attention.
For some people, the bite is immediately painful, but for others, the bite might not start to hurt for several hours. Either way, the area of the bite usually becomes more and more painful over time. Around eight hours after this spider bites a human, a puss-filled blister typically forms. It might involve a bullseye-type rash that is white in the middle and surrounded by a red ring. Following the bite, the victim is also likely to develop a fever and have trouble sleeping.
If the person does not receive proper medical attention soon after the spider bites them, then the skin at the site of the bite might become hard and then gradually die and fall off. This can expose the underlying muscle and leave the victim vulnerable to further infection.
Black Widow Spiders
These are one of the only other types of dangerous spiders found in Oklahoma. Black widow spiders have thin, smooth legs, and their bodies are hairless and globe-shaped. Both genders of these spiders have mostly black bodies and eight eyes that are arranged in two rows. However, the male black widow spider is just about one inch long and has light streaks on its belly. Meanwhile, the female is larger—about an inch and a half long—and it has a red hourglass marking on its abdomen.
Female black widow spiders are the ones with a dangerous bite. These spiders are some of the most venomous species in North America. If they bite a person, it might not feel like much at first. But, it can quickly lead to pain that spreads throughout the victim’s body and requires medical attention.
As the spider’s venom spreads, the person can experience symptoms from chills, cramps, vomiting and excess perspiration to very serious effects, such as difficulty breathing, partial paralysis and delirium. While the impacts of a black widow bite are severe, they rarely kill their victims. Death usually only occurs if the person who was bitten is very old or very young.
Additionally, these spiders are not aggressive and do not typically attack unless they are disturbed. They are most likely to bite if you bother them while they are guarding their eggs. Similar to brown recluse spiders, black widows also usually build their webs and lay eggs in sheltered areas that are close to the ground and in secluded areas, such as under boxes, stones or window eaves or in garages, attics or wood piles.
However, unlike the brown recluse, black widow spiders usually use their messy-looking webs to catch prey, in addition to holding eggs. The female typically hangs out near the web or upside-down in its web while it waits for prey to trap. A black widow lays greyish, paper-like egg sacs that usually house hundreds of eggs apiece. However, only around a dozen young spiders end up surviving from each sac because these spiders often eat their siblings when they are young.
These gentle giants can grow to more than three inches long. Between their size and dark hairy bodies, tarantulas can look intimidating. As with many other kinds of spiders, female tarantulas are usually larger than males and can live for 20 years or more. They do not usually build webs but instead, live in sheltered areas, such as under rocks and underground. Tarantula bites are not typically dangerous for humans, but they can still hurt. If tarantulas are disturbed, they might bite or use their legs to shoot out barbed hairs.
These spiders are one of the types of critters often found in Oklahoma that do not usually pose a serious threat to humans. They do not typically bite people unless you bother them, and their bites are often not harmful to humans.
Jumping spiders are usually small and stocky with eight eyes, in addition to bands of black and white stripes on their legs and bodies. Depending on the species, they might have red or golden bellies. They typically build webs in gardens and along the exterior of homes. They use these webs to jump and travel while they are hunting.
This kind of spider can be particularly frightening, as the untrained eye often mistakes wolf spiders for brown recluses. Wolf spiders primarily black and brown, and it has stripes along the length of its body. While some types of wolf spiders can get as big as three inches or more, they usually do not pose a threat to humans. They stay close to the ground in areas like heavy ground cover and beneath stones. But, they sometimes enter homes through gaps around windows and doors. Unlike many other species, wolf spiders actually carry their eggs and young spiders on their bodies and only use webs to provide shelter.
These spiders are large and brightly colored, and they are usually harmless. Orb spiders’ bodies can grow to over an inch long, plus they have long legs that extend far beyond their bodies. They can be found in gardens, on fences and around homes, and they spin large, circular webs that they use to catch prey.
Several different types of spiders can look alike, so it is best to contact a pest control specialist if you’re worried. These professionals have the training and experience needed to figure out what kind of spiders you are dealing with. They also have the skills and tools to set up a pest control plan that works best for you and your family’s schedule and needs, so you do not have to worry about it.
What Do Spiders Eat?
Spiders eat a wide variety of things depending on their species. But often, they eat common household pests. For example, many types of spiders eat the following:
- moths and
- several other kinds of bugs and insects.
Since spiders feed on insects, seeing a bunch of spiders could be a sign that you have other types of pests as well. This is one reason it is wise to hire a pest control professional if you see spiders around your house. A specialist can take steps to not only control spiders but to also control pest populations that could be attracting the spiders.
How to Get Rid of Spiders
Many types of spiders eat insects, so one way to try to get rid of spiders is to clean up areas that might be attracting the spiders’ prey. This might involve things like cleaning up food crumbs, keeping your doors and windows closed, promptly throwing away any food your pet does not eat and storing food in tightly sealed containers.
However, no matter how clean your home is, you might still have spider problems. For issues with spiders and any other kinds of pests, the easiest way to deal with it is to reach out to a trusted pest control specialist. A specialist can create a pest control plan that best fits your needs.
ABC Can Reduce the Number of Spiders on Your Property
Spiders have the ability to send a shiver down almost anyone’s spine. If you would prefer to limit your interactions with these creatures, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. We can create a custom pest control plan to reduce the number of spiders lurking on your property. Additionally, we can help with any other pest problems that could’ve attracted the spiders in the first place.