Did you know that about 30.5 percent of the United States' population suffers from arachnophobia, or fear of spiders? It's not hard to figure out why: spiders are creepy and crawly, and some of them are very dangerous!
When you come across a spider in your home, however, it's important to remain calm enough to assess the level of risk presented. Identifying the spider will allow you to know whether your fears are founded or whether you've just come across a harmless, albeit gross-looking, bug. On that note, here are four of the most common spiders you'll come across in Tennessee.
American House Spiders
American house spiders are very common, and you'll often find them spinning webs under furniture, in basements and in the corners of rooms. Females are about 1/4 inch across and cream or brown in color with yellow legs. Males are about 1/8 inch across and cream or brown in color with orange legs. Both sexes typically have dark rings on their legs.
If you find what you believe to be an American house spider, there is no reason to get too upset. These spiders do carry venom, but the venom will only cause an itchy bump to form if the spider happens to bite you. American house spiders don't bite if you don't threaten them. Trap the spider and take it outside; call an exterminator if you discover these spiders in your home on a regular basis.
Wolf spiders can grow up to two inches long, though they are usually closer to 1/2 inch in length. Their hairy legs, gray bodies and black splotches make them look threatening. Their bites do hurt; you will want to apply ice to the area and take a pain reliever if you are bitten. However, wolf spider bites are not deadly, and there's generally no reason to seek medical attention.
Wolf spiders are a common nuisance in the fall when they begin seeking shelter from the cool weather. If you are finding a lot of them in your home, your pest control expert can help you seal cracks and crevices where the spiders may be entering, as well as apply pesticides such as permethrin to keep the spiders away.
Brown Recluse Spiders
This is the kind of spider you really don't want to find in your home. Brown recluse spiders are brown in color with a distinct, violin-shaped mark on top of their bodies. They're between 1/4 and 3/4 inches in length with eight very long legs.
If you are bitten by a brown recluse, you won't initially feel any pain. The symptoms, which include tissue necrosis and extreme itching, appear about two to eight hours after the bite. Head straight to the emergency room if you are bitten.
Brown recluse spiders are not aggressive, so if you come across one, you should be able to safely trap it and take it outside. If you find these spiders in your home on a regular basis, definitely hire a pest control company to come eliminate them; your safety depends on it.
Black Widow Spiders
Another fearsome spider is the black widow, a species known for its glossy black body and the distinct red hourglass shape on its belly. Black widows can measure up to 1 1/2 inches in length, including their legs.
Black widow bites are venomous and can cause serious consequences like abdominal cramping, tremors and fever. The symptoms may not appear immediately, but you should head to the emergency room if you have even the slightest suspicion that you have been bitten by a black widow.
If you are frequently finding black widow spiders in and around your home, your pest control expert may recommend repairing cracks in foundation walls, keeping your yard free of debris and having your home's exterior sprayed to deter these pests.
It is not uncommon to find a spider in your home now and then. But if spiders are beginning to pester you on a regular basis, contact Bio-Lab Pest & Termite Control. Whether or not the spiders are harmful, we'll identify the pests and take measures to fend them off.