Since trees and humidity abound in Southborough, so do spiders

Spiders love to feast on all of the small insects that fly and crawl in all ends of Southborough from Hopkinton state park to your back yard. Understanding spiders is the first key to achieving spider control in Southborough. Here are the key facts you need to know about the local spiders.

spider in the tree

Biology

Spider bodies have two body sections – the abdomen and cephalothorax. They have 4 pairs of legs. Each leg has 7 segments. They have fangs and poison glands. They have a pair of chelicera that works as a type of jaw, but not one that chews. Spiders have to liquefy their pry in order to consume it. Spiders range in size from less than half a millimeter to 30-centimeter leg span. Most have poor eyesight that simply recognizes light from dark, but some spiders such as the jumping spider, have a great short-range vision that can discern color and shape. Females generally have larger abdomens than their male counterparts in the spider world.

Locomotion

Spiders move differently than what we are used to with other animals. When we think of bending and pulling of limbs, we think of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, but spiders function more like a machine. Their legs move by means of a hydraulic system that straightens their legs. The jumping spider controls how far it bounds along by how much it increases the pressure in the hind legs. Spiders can run, climb, and some can even “fly” with the aid of a silk balloon.

Silk

Spider silk is one of the strongest components when considering its weight. The silk is excreted through glands at the rear of the abdomen. It is a liquid when it is produced. It doesn’t harden when exposed to air but turns to a solid as it is stretched and pulled. Some spiders use the silk to traverse long distances. Some use it to build fine pattern webs or funnels while others create a haphazard look to their webs. Some spiders only use their silk glands to wrap their egg sacs or captured food.

Different Spider, Different Hunting Styles

Spiders are most known for creating webs that capture their prey, but not all follow this pattern. Some spiders such as the wolf spider are active hunters that capture their prey by an attack. The trap door spider doesn’t roam as much as the wolf spider but instead hangs out under a trap door as a passive hunter until its prey passes. When this happens, it springs out ambush-style to capture it. The Portia spider hunts with cunning tactics. It finds spider webs and mimics caught prey to lure the spider over. Once the deceived spider is within range, it attacks.

spider hunting

Spider Identification

Spider identification is key in knowing where they are likely to live and whether they may cause problems in certain areas or not. It is also important in distinguishing species that pose a threat to humans versus those that do not. The primary means of spider identification is in eye count, shape and pattern. Other features that are used in identification include web shape, presence of cribellum, cephalothorax shape, spinneret shape, legs, and hairs.

Understanding what kind of spider you are dealing with will help determine where it is located. Some spiders such as orb weavers are highly unlikely to end up indoors. They need to be outside to catch their prey in their ornate webs. Cellar spiders are also web builders but are highly likely to be inside of a home where it is moist.

Did You Know There Are Benefits To Spiders

Although spiders are associated with many fears, most of them are unfounded. They are far less likely to attack a person than is commonly believed. Most importantly, there are several benefits that spiders provide such as:

spider benefits

  • Pest control -they feed on other arthropods and tend to target pesky things such as gnats, flies, mosquitoes, etc. that are likely to carry disease
  • Pets – the Mexican rose tarantula is an especially common species that has been domesticated, but several others are enjoyable pets
  • Medicine – spider venom is being explored in several medicinal arenas including ED and male contraception
  • Fortune – In Chinese culture, the money spider was believed to bring good fortune
  • Engineering – studying spider silk has led to the discovery of very strong fibers that may be used to create better bulletproof clothing, parachutes, etc.
  • Culture – spiders are interwoven into several aspects of culture such as Halloween, comic book heroes, and may even have a connection to tinsel decoration
  • Moisture readers – In many cases, spiders can be indicators of areas where excess moisture is accumulating

Spider Control

Spider control begins with controlling the food source. This may be as simple as reducing moisture to an area or may require more extensive insect control measures. Exclusion tactics that reduce insect access will also reduce spider access, but insecticides do not work the same on spiders. If chemical controls are utilized, the selection needs to also work as an acaracide (anti arachnid instead of anti-insect). Other factors that are beneficial in many circumstances include changing the temperature and the lighting. For example, a large bay window that emits large amounts of light will attract a lot of flying insects in the evening. Putting different window covering on can change the situation entirely.

If you’re seeing spiders around your home call Rove Pest Control for a free quote or to schedule an inspection. We will assess the area and create a customized spider control plan to get your home pest-free.