THE COMMON HOUSE SPIDER.
These little scary creatures, most people including myself like to think of spiders as little demons, they just appear all over the house and some are quite harmful which is very rare. Most spiders are really peaceful and all they want is to build webs and trap insects for food.
I could imagine what comes to your mind when you spot a spider crawling or hanging somewhere indoors or outdoors, I bet it’s really freaky.
You can spot this little creatures in attics, dark places, corners of the house, mailboxes, even rocks, vegetation, under furniture, garages etc. Let’s just say they are everywhere. The common house spider is of the genus Parasteatoda, species, p.tepidariorum and class arachnid. They are commonly referred to as the American house spider because they are really common throughout the environment in the United States.
What does a house spider look like?
House spiders are yellowish brown with dirty white markings on their abdomen and have eight legs and a single lens eye.
The female common house spider is approximately 5 to 8 mm in length while the male common house spider is approximately 4 mm in length.
Their body is divided into the abdomen; the back part hosting the spinnerets glands and the cephalothorax: the front part hosting the head and eye. These harmless spiders leave webs hanging all over the place till they find of course a relaxed place where they can feed but until then, they will leave disorganized webs to trap insects.
Is the Common House Spider Poisonous?
Spiders actually don’t bite humans. Can you keep a secret? Spiders are scared of us and would only bite if we threaten or try to hurt them. Common house spiders have venom as a matter of fact which is released during self-defence and in the process might paralyze their prey.
Spider bites rarely cause death, although most house spiders are not poisonous, species like The Recluse Brown, Hobo Spider and Black Widow are dangerous and can cause serious pain at the bite site, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, itching in most cases and sweating “if” the venom penetrates or injects through the fangs into the human skin.
What Does a Spider Bite Look Like?
Spider bite are not different from an insect bite. Only that they leave itchy red sores on the body that might swell and cause severe pain.
These bites are not noticed till a few hours later. This is to help most of us who blame the spider for most skin reactions and irritation when the actual blame should actually go to other insects like the mosquito. Spider bites heal up within few days but bites from the three most dangerous devils (Black Widow, Recluse Brown, and the Hobo Spider) can cause further complications including high blood pressure and might take a longer time to heal.
How Can I Treat a Spider Bite?
A spider bite doesn’t have the best appearance and comes with discomfort. Having a Spider bite may seem like the end of the world but there are few simple home tips and remedies to try out in healing your spider bite faster.
- Clean the bite site with soap and water or a clean towel to prevent infection
- Apply an antibiotic ointment
- Take antihistamines to relieve itching and swelling
- Apply a cool compress or ice on the affected area
- Elevate the wound, if on the arm or legs.
You can apply a topical like aloe vera gel, turmeric paste and essential oils like lavender oil. These oil is mild and helps to relieve pain and speed up healing. If you have been bitten by a non-venomous spider you can simply follow the steps above while still applying topical on it. If the bite is venomous:
- Calm down and rest
- Follow the home tips above
- Seek medical treatment ASAP
*If you have been bitten by the 3 devils Black widow, recluse brown and the hobo spider, I’d advise you see your doctor ASAP.
Most common types of house spiders
So you know what spider you see around your environment and how to identify bites, this is for you. Types of common house spiders include:
- American house spider:
the spiders are gentle and wouldn’t hurt you in any way. They look very little and very tiny but possess around the abdomen (pot belly). They are brown with dark spottings along their body. They are discovered hiding in corners, basement, mailboxes, and garages. American house spiders bite only if they are disturbed and might cause mild irritation only for a few days.
- Daddy longlegs:
the name sounds pretty funny, I bet you must have seen it lurking around under furniture, vegetation, tall grasses etc. They are characterized with long legs a thin and round body. These spiders are not venomous and wouldn’t harm you in any way. Daddy-longlegs coexists peacefully and play dead if they are threatened by predators. We can say these species are quite extraordinary.
- Wolf spiders:
wolf spiders are super hairy and have different colors: black, brown, tan and grey. They are found in garages, basement, sheds, cracks on the floor. They don’t bite, they hide just trying to find insects to feed on, hence, they are considered hunting spiders
- Black widow:
they are extremely dangerous. They are shiny and black in color with a brimstone-like color “hourglass shape” on their abdomen.
This species of spider is dangerous and if you get bitten by them you begin to have red marks with swellings. Symptoms like nausea vomiting pain and muscle cramps including high blood pressure sets in after a few hours.
They hide in dark places like garages and corners where they can’t be seen easily.
- Brown recluse:
another dangerous specie is the brown recluse. There are brown in color and have three pairs of eyes.
It is unique too because it has a brown “violin shaped marking” from the top of its head all the way down to its back.
Once bitten by a brown recluse, pain, fever, nausea, vomiting sets in. Another problem caused by the brown recluse is necrosis- the death of skin tissues and cells. You might want to see a doctor as soon as possible after being bitten by it.
You can locate them in basements, underclothing and furniture and corners. The brown recluse spider bite is quite noticeable since it looks like a white blister clustered around the affected area with a red ring around it.
- Hobo spider:
they are also called funnel Weaver because they build funnel-like webs. The hobo spider is light brown in color with dark and light spots all over their body. This species of spiders are found in dark places like basements, under furniture, beds and clothing. They really do not cause any harm anymore except irritation at the bite site.
- Sac spiders:
they are light yellowish in color and is nomadic. They are found along corners or on the ceiling. The sac spiders are harmless yet they bite and could cause swelling and pain at the site of the bite. They usually hide in their sac during the day and become active at night hence their nomadic nature
How do I get rid of spiders?
This insect probably invaded your privacy and walked in uninvited through small hidden holes in walls, cracks in the house, boxes with piles of clothing, all in the search of food. You really don’t need any help getting rid of spiders you could do them yourself.
- Cleanliness is of importance. Spiders like cluttered spaces – the attic, wardrobe, garage. Always clean and declutter spaces so they have no hiding spot to build webs and hatch spider lings.
- Always seal cracks, holes and tiny spaces that could welcome spiders
- Do not keep rocks, wood, or leaves around your home. They become a breeding ground for spiders
- Spray essential oils like peppermint, lavender, citrus-based, tea tree oil around the house to keep spiders away. You can incorporate vinegar spray as well.
- Light attracts bugs and other insects that the spiders need to feed on. Always put off the light to prevent spiders from intruding
- Clean and dust corners, shelves, in fact, the entire house so spiders won’t find insects or bugs and will stay away from your home.
How to Prevent a Spider Bite
Spider bites are quite uncomfortable and most of them may land you at your nearest clinic. You can prevent all the tantrums that come with being bitten by a spider.
If you are in the shed, barn or attic, make sure to wear a hat, glove, and long sleeve so spiders hiding doesn’t get directly to your skin and cause any problem that will leave you screaming and shouting kill it
Most of us have items we haven’t used and touched for a while, like shoes, clothes, books. As you come in contact with them make sure to carefully assess these items and shake them thoroughly because our dreaded creature surely hides in them.
You can apply insect repellent containing DEET to your skin and clothes so even while you are asleep, you are protected from creepy and even dangerous spiders that crawl at night.
Do you have any thoughts or experiences in relation to spiders? Share them with me in the comment section.