13 Easy Tricks To Keep Spiders Out Of Your Austin Home
February 15, 2021
While spiders are an important part of the ecosystem, they make poor roommates. If you’re an Austin-area homeowner, there are a number of nuisance and even dangerous spiders in the area you should be aware of. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what you’re up against and list thirteen helpful tips you can use to prevent them around your home.
Spiders In Austin, Texas
Some naturalists say you are never more than five feet from a spider since spiders are nearly everywhere, both inside and outdoors. Despite their creepy reputation, spiders are largely beneficial and help keep pests like flies and plant-feeding insects under control. Yet there are still numerous concerns spiders bring to homes they infest, and their webs can give your home or office a gray dirty feeling.
The greater Austin area of Texas has a plethora of spiders. These include:
- American Grass Spiders
- Yellow Garden ORB Weaver Spiders
- Woodlouse Hunter Spiders
- Carolina Wolf Spiders
- Black Widow Spiders
- The Brown Recluse Spiders
- Grey Wall Jumping Spiders
Potentially Dangerous Spiders In Austin
While there are hundreds of species of spiders found in our region, only a few present a serious health risk to Austin residents. However, the ones that do are a serious concern, and should not be allowed inside or around your home.
Brown recluse spiders are generally shy and most active at night. They have six eyes arranged in pairs, with a light to dark brown body showing a dark violin-shaped mark on the body with the neck pointing away from their head. They do not capture their prey with their web but energetically hunt insects. They use their web as a retreat, and it is here where they place their eggs. They typically live in dry, narrow crevices, under insulation, and in wall voids.
Recluse spiders bite when trapped or pressed against the skin, such as by accidentally rolling over one in a bed. The initial bite may be painless and only become mild to severely painful up to 8 hours later, at which point may itch, swell, and become tender.
Black widow spiders found in Texas include the western black widow, the northern black widow, and the brown widow. Female widows are black, average 1½ inches long; males are smaller and may have orange, red, and white markings on their backs and sides. Like all spiders, they have eight eyes in two rows.
Adult black widows live in protected areas outdoors or in structures that are open to the outdoors such as wood piles, garages, cellars, shrubbery, crawl spaces, rain spouts, gas and electric meters, and other rarely disturbed places. Black widow spiders will hang upside down in their strong, sticky, irregular webs and reveal their hourglass markings.
Black widow spiders bite only when threatened or pressed against the skin, say when people disturb a spider or its web. Their bite toxin affects the nervous system: after a pinprick sensation, the bite location becomes red and swollen and turns pale in the center. Within hours, a person may experience body pain that could last from 2 to 3 days. Other symptoms include tremors, nausea, leg cramps, abdominal pain, profuse perspiration, loss of muscle tone, and increased blood pressure.
First Aid For Spider Bites
You can treat most spider bites by applying an ice pack to local swelling and pain. However, if your reaction is serious, consult a doctor immediately and take along the spider for positive identification if possible. Bites can be more dangerous for children, the elderly, and people with health problems though few cases are fatal.
Preventing Spiders In Your Home Or Workspace
With the many potential problems spiders bring, prevention is always preferable to having to confront an infestation. Here are some tips you can use around your home or office to minimize your risk for spiders:
- Clear away piles of clippings, leaves, firewood, mulch from outside walls.
- Expose your yard to sunlight so the area is unappealing to spiders.
- Clear away as much clutter from your yard as possible that provide dark hiding places.
- Move shrubs and ground-covering plants away from the building.
- Seal all cracks and gaps along the exterior walls and around vents.
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows.
- Patch up or replace broken window/door screens.
- Spiders hunt at night so keep the outside of your home as dark as possible to limit the number of other insects drawn to your home that in turn attract spiders.
- Sweep and vacuum the floor to remove crumbs that attract insects, fewer insects will mean less food for spiders.
- Ditch cardboard boxes in favor of airtight containers made from plastic.
- Apply caulk around tiny cracks and cables that lead to the outside.
- Cut down on clutter by cleaning up piles of magazines, dirty clothes, books, and boxes.
- Place sticky traps around the house paying close attention to dark, hidden corners.
If spiders are invading your Austin home, don’t wait: contact the pros at Bella Bugs for help immediately. We have the tools and knowledge to eliminate spider infestations of every shape and size. Contact us today for more information and find out how we can get your Austin home spider-free in no time.