Installing Physical Barriers Is An Effective Way To Keep Problem Spiders Out Of Homes

The spiders that are encountered within Massachusetts homes most frequently include cobweb spiders, fishing spiders, yellow sac spiders and wolf spiders, just to name a few. Luckily, of the 13 recluse spider species that exist in the US, not a single one can be found in the northeast, and while the potentially dangerous northern black widow spider species is widely distributed in the northeastern US, they are almost never spotted within Massachusetts homes. The yellow sac spider and the agrarian sac spider are the two most dangerous species found in Massachusetts, and the former is found in homes far more often than the latter.

Yellow sac spiders are unique for being one of the few spider species that behave aggressively toward humans, as they are known to inflict unprovoked and painful bites that often result in the formation of blisters, pustules and ulcerated sores. In rare cases, their bite leads to secondary infection and/or systemic symptoms, like fever and nausea. Yellow sac spiders tend to invade homes during the fall in order to escape increasingly cold outdoor temperatures. Several wolf spider species wander into Massachusetts homes regularly during the warmer months, but like yellow sac spiders, wolf spiders tend to invade homes in the greatest numbers during the fall.

The large and hairy appearance of wolf spiders tend to give people a scare when they are encountered indoors, but wolf spiders are shy around humans and they only bite in defense or when mishandled. The Carolina wolf spider’s leg span measures in excess of four inches, making them the largest of North American wolf spider species. Larger wolf spiders often enter homes through the gap below doors, while smaller species can enter homes through foundation cracks. The best way to keep spiders out of homes is to install door sweeps, seal cracks on exterior walls, apply weather stripping to doors and install screens on crawl space openings. Spraying insecticide around the perimeter of a home can serve as a short-lived barrier, but physical barriers are far more effective than chemical barriers for spider control, as the latter must be reapplied frequently.

Have you ever found a spider as large as four inches in leg span within your home?