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Spiders

Cellar Spider

This species of spider is often confused with daddy longlegs because of their skinny bodies and long, spindly legs. There are two types of cellar spiders: long-bodied and short-bodied. Long-bodied cellar spiders have a 2″ leg span, while the short-bodied species have a ½” leg span. Both species have 9mm long bodies, and are brown, tan, or grey in colour.

Order/Family

Pholcidae

Scientific Name

Pholcus phalangioides

Biology

Cellar spiders originated from the subtropics, and therefore mate year-round despite any seasonal changes. After taking a year to mature, they can live for another 2 years. Female spiders will hold 20-30 eggs until they hatch. Young spiders will shed and change their skin 5 or 6 times before they mature.

Behaviour

Cellar spiders prefer to build their nests in close proximity of each other, creating web communities. They live primarily in basements and cellars, earning them their name, but also nest in crawl spaces, closets, attics, rock piles, and other dark, humid spaces. They eat small moths, flies, mosquitoes, and other insects and small pests. If food is scarce, cellar spiders won’t hesitate to eat each other.

Control

It is recommended that homeowners get rid of spiders by clearing away their webs and egg sacs with a vacuum or broom. Reducing the humidity in your home and limiting the spiders’ food source are also effective ways to make the habitat unfit for a lengthy stay. Seal cracks around windows and doors, fix any screens that have rips or holes, and plug any other entry points.

Common House Spider

Also known as the American House Spider, these spiders are the most commonly found types of spiders worldwide. Their bodies can grow to be 4mm – 6mm (1/4″) and have a leg span of up to 2.5cm (1″). House spiders are typically black, brown, tan, or grey, with patterns that make them look spotted.

Order/Family

Pholcidae

Scientific Name

Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Biology

Adult house spiders can live for over a year. Males seek out a female mate by plucking at her web until she responds. Over her lifetime, a female spider produces up to 17 egg sacs, each carrying 100-400 eggs. The eggs are wrapped in a silk sac and hung in the female’s web until they hatch and the spiderlings disperse.

Behaviour

Common house spiders build their webs in secluded areas of a home, such as corners of rooms, under furniture, window corners, and other warm spaces. Male and female house spiders share a web for long periods of time, and several other females will build webs in close proximity. On the rare occasion where two females cross paths, they fight to the death. House spiders feed on other household pests, like flies, mosquitoes, ants, and wasps.

Control

It is recommended that homeowners get rid of spiders by clearing away their webs and egg sacs with a vacuum or broom. Limiting the spiders’ food source is also an effective way to make your home an undesirable habitat. Seal cracks around windows and doors, fix any screens that have rips or holes, and plug any other entry points. Strong scents, such as essential oils, also deter spiders.

Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders’ bodies can grow 1cm – 3.5cm (1.3″) and have a leg span of up to 3″. They are patterned in black, brown, and grey hues, and rely on camouflage to survive. Because of their size and furry appearance, they can be confused with tarantulas.

Order/Family

Lycosidae

Scientific Name

Hogna aspersa

Biology

Wolf spiders are solitary spiders that only interact to mate, feed, or both. Female wolf spiders sometimes kill and eat the male after they mate. The female will then carry her eggs – over a hundred of them – in a silk sac under her abdomen until they hatch. Once hatched, the spiderlings cling to their mother’s abdomen for a few weeks before dispersing aerially.

Behaviour

Unlike most other spiders, wolf spiders hunt for their prey rather than building webs. They’re nocturnal and have the third-best eyesight of all spiders. Wolf spiders prey on other spiders (including their own kind), large bugs like grasshoppers and beetles, and the occassional small reptile. They dwell in burrows in woodlands, dry inland shrubs, wet coastal forests, meadows, and suburban gardens. In the fall, they seek warmth and can enter homes, settling near windows, doors, garages, basements, and houseplants.

Control

Clearing your yard of debris, such as grass clippings, leaves, firewood, or mulch. Reducing the number of dark hiding spots in your garden will deter wolf spiders from nesting there. Regularly vacuuming or sweeping rooms that are usually dark, such as cellars or attics, will also keep wolf spiders at bay. Seal cracks around windows and doors, fix any screens that have rips or holes, and plug any other entry points.

Need help withPest Control or Extermination?

If you think you have a wolf spider infestation, or need help with other pests, contact Terminix Canada using this form or by calling us at the number below:

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