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How to Get Rid of Spiders

Spiders are common household pests, but that doesn’t make them any less unwanted for many home and business owners. And with more than 49,000 spider species worldwide and an estimated 4,000 in North America alone, you’re bound to come across them regularly. While most species aren’t dangerous to humans, there are some to watch out for. 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to identify common spiders, prevent them from invading your home, and determine whether you have a possible infestation.   

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How to Identify Different Spiders

Spiders are arachnids—not insects—and are closely related to ticks and scorpions, feeding on other pests such as mosquitoes, flies, and moths. 

As a group, spiders are fairly easy to identify. These wingless animals have eight legs and usually either six or eight eyes. Many spin webs to trap the insects they rely on for food, while others actively hunt. Read on to learn about four spider species we’re most often asked about. 

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

Brown recluse spiders are true to their name. These shy, six-eyed, non-aggressive spiders range from tan to dark brown or gray in color and have long, slender legs. They feed on crickets and cockroaches and are sometimes called violin spiders because of the unusual violin-shaped marking on their backs. 

This spider tends to dwell in rarely-disturbed areas, including cluttered closets, garages, crawl spaces, and attics. Homeowners most often spot brown recluse spiders during spring. While brown recluse spiders don’t usually attack humans unless provoked, their bite can be dangerous. A brown recluse bite can kill skin tissue, causing skin necrosis in severe cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeking medical attention in the event of a brown recluse spider bite. 

Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)

Common house spiders, as their name suggests, are abundant in the United States. This spider has a yellow or brown body with banded yellow to brown legs. Common house spiders are abundant year-round and often build webs between eaves and walls and in window frames. 

These webs are often what leads to the characteristic cobwebs found in the corners of houses, barns, and sheds. Indoors, they often live in damp areas like basements and crawl spaces. Common house spiders aren’t usually dangerous to humans.

Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis)

Carolina wolf spiders are among the largest of the wolf spiders common in North America. They have dark brown bodies that are covered in scattered gray hairs. Like other wolf spiders, Carolina wolf spiders are hunting spiders. This means that instead of spinning webs to catch their prey, they hunt on the ground, running down their food with a speed that startles the humans who encounter them. 

These spiders live in holes or tunnels that they build in soil and often dwell under old boards, stones, and firewood. They hunt ants, grasshoppers, crickets, and other spiders, even taking down the odd lizard or frog when the opportunity presents itself. Wolf spider bites aren’t medically serious, and most symptoms generally disappear after 24 hours.  

Black Widow Spiders (Latrodectus)

Black widow spiders are a category of venomous spiders, several of which are common in the United States. Their ideal habitat includes holes, cracks, crevices, trash, and clutter—all of which human structures like homes and barns offer. The poster child for this genus is the western black widow spider. Female western black widows are shiny and jet black with a distinct red hourglass-shaped marking on their abdomens. 

Black widow spiders are more active at dusk. While they rarely bite humans, female black widows can produce a venomous neurotoxin that can cause intense pain and spread throughout the body. While bites are rarely fatal, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention if you suspect you have a black widow bite. 

What Attracts Spiders?


Spiders are attracted to clutter since it offers ideal hiding spots to build webs and hide. Keep your home organized, clean, and free of clutter to prevent spiders from nesting indoors, and remove debris piles outside regularly. 


As with all pests, spiders are attracted to food sources, so the more mosquitoes, flies, moths, and crickets in your house, the more appealing it is to spiders. If you’re dealing with an insect problem, a spider problem may not be too far off. Get rid of insect problems quickly by contacting a pest control professional

Signs of a Spider Infestation


While not all spiders spin webs, seeing webs around your doors or windows is a strong indicator that spiders are inside your home. Some spiders also abandon their old webs to build new ones, so make note of whether you’re seeing an increasing number of webs around your home.  

Egg Sacs

Spiders produce egg sacs that contain hundreds of unhatched eggs. An egg sac looks like a tiny ball of silk when intact. Egg sacs indicate that spiders are actively nesting within your home. 


Seeing large numbers of spiders crawling around the house is the most obvious sign of an infestation. Spiders can produce hundreds of young in a matter of weeks, which is why it’s important to act quickly to remove them.

How to Prevent (and Get Rid of) Spiders 

Want to prevent spiders from entering your home in the first place? Here are some of the things you can do to prevent spiders from coming inside.

Seal Cracks

Spiders are small animals, so it’s important to seal any cracks or gaps they may be using to enter your home. You can easily repair broken openings using caulk or insulation foam purchased at your local hardware store. Also keep an eye out for deteriorated weather stripping on windows and doors and replace as needed. This will not only help keep spiders out, but also many other pests as well. 

Address Your Insect Problem (If You Have One)

Regular pest control is an important part of spider prevention. By preventing other insects from infesting your home, you’re cutting off the food source of the spiders that seek them out. Prevent insects by keeping your home clean, reducing clutter, and removing sources of stagnant water like mop buckets, oversaturated plant pots, and slow leaks. If your insect problem is severe, call a professional for help.

Remove Clutter

Clutter is an open invitation for spiders to nest within—or outside of—your home. If you have firewood piles near your house, keep them at a safe distance from your foundation, windows, and doorways to prevent spiders from wandering inside. Checking in, behind, and under rarely-moved furniture and storage boxes can also help uncover hiding spiders. The more you move around items inside your home, the less attractive of a hiding spot it is for spiders. 

Clean Regularly

Keeping your home’s floors, carpets, crawl spaces, and other surfaces and crevices clean can help you both prevent and remove spiders. Vacuum, dust, and sweep these spaces regularly. Disinfect them using cleaning solutions and empty vacuums outdoors to keep any trapped spiders from crawling back out of the trash. 

When to Call a Professional to Remove Spiders

Overwhelmed by your spider problem? Don’t hesitate to call a professional. When it comes to pest control services, the experts at Joshua's Pest Control are knowledgeable, reliable, and efficient. Our experts know exactly what strategies and products to use to control spiders and can accurately identify the species you have to quickly remove them from your home. Get started with a free quote today.