A bluish-white ring surrounded a tiny pin-prick mark on the back of my neighbours leg. The visual evidence of an insect bite. She claims it wasn’t painful at the time but when the itch became intolerable she sought out professional care. There was not any other noteworthy symptoms at the time but the doctor who treated her said it could have been worse and most probably a poisonous spider bite. Nothing makes me shutter more than the notion of a spider. Unlike my arachnid-phobic counterparts, I am ready to tolerate the sight of a web without going to a screaming heart-palpitating frenzy but I still don’t like them. What kind of spider leaves an ugly, itchy mark? We do not have poisonous spiders in Canada – Do we? The visual evidence of my neighbors harm is conclusive, we do have poisonous spiders here. She warned me about the infestations of our eight-legged buddies but I dared not to concede to such a belief until I saw the redness and swelling enlarge.
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There are many advantages of having these opportunistic feeders in our ecosystem, after-all, they deserve respect as a bug exterminator. Spider food sources depends on the species. White-tailed spiders are an obligate araneophange or (spider-eater), so they seldom feed on other creatures besides other spiders. Moreover, Salticids and Dipoena species of spiders mimic ants, blending right in to obtain their food source. All spiders are known to live within a restricted range of prey, amid couple of variations, most are quite suited to their habitat.
Generally, majority of spiders will only eat live prey and DO NOT hunt humans intentionally regardless of what you may fear, they only bite if they are provoked or unintentionally disturbed. Carnivorous and cannibalistic in nature, spiders are designed to inject venom into their prey to be able to immobilise. Fortunately the common house spider isn’t hazardous or dangerous to humans but it will bite if it feels threatened.
The two kinds of spiders which are considered poisonous in Ontario are the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. Bites from these two species can produce significant symptoms which require medical treatment. All arachnids prefer warm, humid climates so they are most visible during the summer months and are driven by innate survival instincts into our indoor environment by the cold harsh winter weather.
Spiders are solitary, tiny and are nocturnal. They need somewhere to entrap food sources to sustain their life. Avoiding a house invasion is simple – check for areas they could easily creep into; holes in widow or door screens, cracks in the walls, or windowsills, or doorways, and seal off them but watch out for your dryer vent, it maybe particularly inviting. To restrict their access into your indoor environment, inspect the interior of your home then do the very same outside but pay careful attention to spaces under porches or decks where they often reside unnoticed.
Once inside, they love to hide in cool, dark, dusty, or cluttered spaces and where there is air flow. They particularly like undisturbed areas in your house around large appliances, in cabinets or cupboards, and spots such as firewood piles, basements, crawl spaces, vents, closets, under beds, and attics. Paper products or cardboard boxes, left-over and poorly disposed food things, like bread crumbs appear to attract them too.
Natural Home Remedies for Spider-Free Living Areas
The simplest remedy is to vacuum regions where you have found spiders. Keep the vacuum clean and sealed. Some environmental deterrents, I researched, is to use chestnuts and diatomaceous earth (includes fossilized remains of diatoms, a form of hard-shelled algae ) around exterior walls of every room and by the door entrances. I tried lavender soap mixed with lemon oils as a natural spider hindrance with victory. Mix 2 tablespoons lemon essential oil with 2 cups liquid lavender soap in a spray bottle – shake to mix ingredients. Spray around all entrances; doorways, windows, or where spider webs are located.
Silicone caulking is best to use on all holes and cracks outside and in the inside of your dwelling. Above all, clean spider vulnerable areas by pruning excessive vegetation out, and remove cardboard boxes and clutter inside. My mom sprinkled strong spices in the kitchen behind the large appliances, and dusted everything with lemon pledge which is probably why my childhood home was virtually spider free. Other good ole fashioned home remedies to try include washing windows with ammonia and water followed by paper and kerosene (which evaporates and leaves a spoonful residue), placing hedge apples bits in known spider infested areas or simply plug high frequency devices in your home.
If you have to exterminate spiders, determine whether they are of the flesh destroying venomous type such as brown recluse spiders or the female black widow because a few web-spinners might in fact be beneficial especially if you live near water.