The fear of spiders is something that researchers have studied extensively, and while there are still debates on the true origins of arachnophobia, spiders tend to creep people out. Spiders are misunderstood pests. While they are not always dangerous, they are a common presence in Southern Louisiana homes. Let’s provide you with valuable information on some of the most common spiders found in Louisiana to better equip you with recognizing and managing these pests in and around your home.
Types of Common Spiders in Louisiana
While there are several different types of spiders that you might find in Southern Louisiana, there are some spiders that are more likely found indoors:
- Brown widow spiders
- Cellar spiders
- Common house spiders
- Crevice weaver
- Jumping spiders
- Wolf spiders
Each of these spiders can be found in your Louisiana home. Before we break down whether or not spiders are dangerous or helpful and whether or not you should try to get rid of them, let’s first get into the observable differences between each of these spiders that can help you identify what kind of spider infestation you are likely dealing with.
Identifying the Spiders of Louisiana
Brown widow spiders
Brown widow spiders are not native to the region, but they are found in the Gulf Coast states because they like the warm climate. Don’t confuse these guys with black widow spiders – they are the least aggressive of the widow spiders and only bite when provoked.
- Light brown to mahogany in color with orange or yellow “hourglass” markings on the underside
- ½” in length (not including legs) and 1 ½” (including legs)
- Egg cases are textured and rough in appearance
Though many homes in New Orleans and the surrounding areas lack basements, cellar spiders, aka “daddy longlegs” are prevalent here. These long-bodied spiders are just nuisance pests because of their large webs, however, they won’t bite us, nor have they proven to be poisonous.
- Pale yellow to light brown or gray in color
- ¼ – ⅜” in size
- Eight long skinny legs with a small, oval-shaped body
- Loose, irregular webs constructed in dark, damp places
Common house spiders
Common house spiders are found everywhere in the U.S., including in Southern Louisiana, and they are considered a nuisance pest because of their webs and because female spiders can lay about 250 eggs in one sac, and there can be multiple sacs in one web.
- Yellowish-brown in color with a dirty white abdomen with several dark stripes meeting at an angle
- 3/16 – 5/16” (female) and 1/8 – 3/16” (male) in size
- A spherical, elongated abdomen
- They build webs in attics, basements, sheds, and barns
Crevice weavers are also known as southern house spiders. They are harmless to humans and like to live in dusty, unkept areas of houses, outbuildings, warehouses, and similar structures. They’re often confused with the potentially dangerous brown recluse spiders because of their color, size, and slender build.
- Plain brown to grayish-brown in color with the forepart of the body often darker in color than the abdomen
- ½ – ¾” (female) ⅓ – ½” (male) in size
- Both sexes are larger than the brown recluse spider
- They build disorganized, tangled webs with circular tunnels in the corner leading to a crack or crevice
Jumping spiders get their name because they leap at their prey by biting and grabbing simultaneously. They have the best vision of all spiders during the day, but their night vision is poor. Jumping spiders will bite, but only in defense; their bite is not poisonous.
- Usually black, sometimes brown, tan, or gray in color with pale markings
- ⅛ – ¾ ” in size
- Compact bodies with relatively shorter legs typically covered in dense hairs or scales
- Don’t use webs to catch prey and can be found hunting around windows and doors for insects
Are spiders dangerous?
It’s a common misconception that spiders are aggressive or dangerous. In reality, there are approximately 3,000 species of spiders throughout North America, and only two of them are considered harmful to humans:
- Black widow spiders can be found in southern Louisiana, but at a much lower frequency than the brown widow spider, especially in urban areas.
- Brown recluse spiders are found in the northern part of Louisiana, and less frequently in the southern part of the state.
In fact, most spiders are harmless and shy around humans. Unlike mosquitoes, spiders do not seek people to bite them. A spider will usually only try to bite you if it’s been squeezed or feels threatened. And while all spiders have venom, most of them cannot bite through human skin.
How to stay safe from spider bites
Both black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders have the ability to bite, pierce human skin and inject venom. According to the CDC, symptoms of a spider bite can vary by person, and they are rarely fatal. If a spider bites you, make sure you contact your primary care provider for medical advice. Keep an eye out for symptoms including pain, fever, and nausea.
Are spiders helpful?
While most people are afraid of spiders, they are helpful for the ecosystem, including garden areas around your home. Spiders are predators, but they eat a lot of insect pests including ants, aphids, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, flies, and months. This helps with population control.
How to get rid of spiders in your home
Just because spiders are helpful doesn’t mean they are allowed to come into your home uninvited. Here are some actions you can take to prevent a spider infestation:
- Seal points of entry including cracks in your foundation or siding and holes in your window screens.
- Inspect bags, boxes, and packages before bringing them inside, just in case a spider is trying to get a free ride.
- Keep your home “clutter-free” including attics and basements. Remember that spiders like to make their webs in secluded, unused areas.
- Contact a local, professional pest control company. They will be able to identify which type(s) of spiders are living in your home and help you safely get rid of these pests.
Spider pest control services in Southern Louisiana
With a diverse range of spider species, it can be difficult to identify and manage these eight-legged pests effectively. LaJaunie’s Pest Control is locally owned and operated in Thibodaux, Louisiana. We offer the following pest control services in New Orleans and the surrounding areas:
- Thorough, free pest inspection to identify what spiders you’re dealing with and the extent of your infestation
- A customized treatment plan based on the unique needs of your property and situation
- Same-day pest control treatments and service on Saturdays
- Exterior treatments on the eaves and foundation of your home to deter pests from entering the home
- Interior treatments to address current pest infestations
Give us a call at (985) 401-7244 or contact us here to schedule your pest control treatment today!