Spiders have long been accepted as a “good” pest to keep around the yard or home. In general spider are predatory to some degree and this feature has been exaggerated over time to where it’s not uncommon to hear people say “a good spider population around the house is better than a bug-man”. This is an example of a classic urban legend.
Spiders may eat certain pests. But spiders will only appear where food is abundant. And they will not “control” or eradicate a given insect problem.
In fact spiders appearing on your home or inside living spaces is a warning you best heed. Remember, they wouldn’t be around unless they were confident they can find food. That means you’ve got some kind of pest active needing attention and you’ll be best served by taking action before the problem escalates.
SPIDERS GO WHERE THERE IS FOOD
In fact, recent data suggests spiders will move to an area only if the area can provide adequate food. This means they’re looking for an environment which has pests.
In order for any spider to survive, they need a good healthy insect population. And they need to feed on a regular basis. Without a good supply of food, they will either die or relocate.
The author has been in many attics and crawl spaces which had a lot of spider webs but the only spiders I was able to find were dead. These spiders had chosen poor web locations and paid the price. Conversely, healthy spiders on your homes exterior or in living spaces is sure sign pests abound.
COMMON SPIDERS FOUND IN AND AROUND HOMES
There are many types of spiders active throughout the United States. But in general, they come to our homes as either ground dwellers or web makers.
Spiders which thrive on the ground are usually much stronger compared to their web building cousins. These brutes are aggressive, usually nocturnal, great hunters and rely on their strong grip and bite. They stalk food at night and will feed on just about anything they find. Some of these have toxins but in general, they don’t need it. When prey is identified, they will usually stalk within pouncing distance, crouch, leap, rip, shred, bite, grab and kill – all within a few moments.
Web builders are spiders which are not built to be on the ground. They are usually more fragile, weaker, slower and not as well equipped to defend themselves when out of their webs. But what they lack in physical body strength they more than make up for with venom.
In most cases, web makers are equipped with toxins that can kill insects quickly. In some cases these toxins are so strong they can be fatal to humans.
Although data is limited and more research is needed to confirm suspicions, spider bites are no doubt more of a problem than currently recognized. In fact, most everyone knows the impact of a brown recluse or black widow spider bite. And though most venomous spiders are less toxic, they do account for the vast amount of reported spider bites annually in the U.S.
Like many insect bites, individuals can have allergic reactions making a seemingly harmless spider lethal. For this reason, spiders should not be handled. The reason is obvious; one should never roll the dice only to learn the spider they choose to hold was able to make them seriously ill.
HOW TO TREAT AN ACTIVE SPIDER INFESTATION
Spider treatments can focus on where you see them but in general, its usually best to get them where they originate. Obviously all spiders first come from outside. But ongoing problems in living spaces are just as likely to be sourced from attics or crawl spaces. To stop seeing spiders in the home, get the source treated. Sources will usually be one of the following:
- Outside treatments focused on the turf or home
- Inside treatments focused on living spaces
- Attic spaces
- Crawl spaces
In most cases, the type of spider you have will dictate the best treatment option. Crawling ground dwellers will cover large areas of turf and require yard treatments. Web makers will live on your home so focusing on the structure will be more productive.
To best treat your problem, first identify if you have web making spiders or ground dwellers and follow the recommendations below.
SPIDER TREATMENTS FOR OUTSIDE THE HOME
Spiders active in the yard will eventually get inside. Wolf spiders can cover 1/2 acre at night foraging for food. If allowed access to your yard, its just a matter of time before they get inside.
Web makers like the common house spider or Black Widow will first find your homes siding on which to nest. From there, a few harmless webs will produce eggs sacs hatching hundreds of young spiders. These young spiders are so small they’ll easily find their way inside leading to problems in living spaces. In other cases, they end up in crawl or attic spaces and once established, can become the source of a steady stream of spiders making their way to living areas.
To prevent spiders from getting inside, focus your treatments where it matters. For some, it means yard granules and spray. For others, total foundation spraying from ground to the roof will be required. The worse case scenario is when both spider types are active. This can most definitely happen but regardless, either can be managed. The key is to be aggressive outside the home. Once the outside is properly treated, you won’t have new activity inside.
TREAT THE TURF IF YOU HAVE GROUND SPIDERS
If your main problem are ground foraging spiders like the Wolf Spider, plan on treating as much of the yard as possible. These spiders can cover a large area on any give night. If you allow them to roam freely in the yard, some will end up in garages and other entry points. Eventually you’ll have an active infestation in the home.
To control nocturnal ground foraging spiders, apply MAXXTHOR GRANULES over all grass, flower beds and mulch areas with pine straw or wood chips. Ground dwelling spiders nest in these areas using small holes during the day. Maxthor spread over the turf will both kill nesting spiders and keep them off your yard so no one will encounter them during the day.
Maxxthor resembles sand and when applied properly, won’t be noticed.
Use 1.5 lbs per 1,000 sq/ft of turf and plan on treating every 1-2 months when spiders are active. In general, treating once a month is suggested until the spiders are gone. Once no spider activity is detected, apply more every 2 months for maintenance.
To distribute the granules properly, use a good GRANULE SPREADER. Ours will hold 2 lbs in the hopper and is well suited for treating over flower beds and other tight areas where using a traditional push spreader can be challenging.
BEST SPIDER SPRAY FOR THE TURF AND HOMES EXTERIOR
Since granules take time to “release”, they don’t kill quickly. Furthermore, granules need to be activated. This can be done by watering them in using an irrigation system. But the best way to get them active is to spray over the top using MAXXTHOR EC. This active is fast acting on spiders and will quickly kill off any nesting in the yard when applied.
Plan on using 1 oz per 5,000 sq/ft mixed with 3-5 gallons of water.
Any type of sprayer can be used to apply Maxxthor but you do need to use at least 3 gallons of water. Since water is the “carrier” of the agent, its important you use enough to ensure deep coverage into spider dens and nests. A good HOSE END SPRAYER is always a great way to apply Maxxthor; adding 1 oz to our sprayer and then filling it to the 5 gallon line on the sprayer will allow you to cover up to 5,000 sq/ft using your garden hose.
For 10,000 sq/ft (1/4 acre), add 2 oz of Maxxthor and fill the sprayer half way with water.
HOW TREAT THE FOUNDATION AND SIDES OF THE HOME
Treating the yard is important when managing ground dwelling spiders. But for web makers, the homes siding will be more important. If you have spider webs under soffits, around gutters, behind shutters and in window corners, you’ll need to treat these areas to kill off nesting spiders.
Web making spiders will bypass ground treatments because they tend to move by air. As young spiders, many will use webbing as “parachutes” so they can literally “fly” to new locations in search of good nest sites. Vertical obstructions like trees and structures will get in their flight patch and once they land, webs will form. If food is nearby, these spiders will grow to mature adults and reproduce. Once established on your home, its just a matter of time before then end up inside.
FIRST REMOVE ALL SPIDER WEBS
To control the invasion, you first need to remove the spiders living on the homes exterior. This can be done by physically removing their webs and then spraying all surfaces to ensure they don’t rebuild. Spiders are stubborn. Knocking down their nests will give the impression they’re gone but in fact they’ll come right back and within a day or two, rebuild their lost home. That’s not to say removing spider webs won’t help; in fact its an important part of the spider control process. But for web removal to mean anything important, you must treat immediately after you remove the webs.
To make web removal easy, use a WEB REMOVER WITH 10 FOOT HANDLE. These are “brush” like attachments that fit on the end of extension poles enabling you to “wipe” away and remove spider webs with little effot.
Webster heads will fit by threading them onto the end of special extending rods we offer. They come in three sizes and should be used just before spraying.
The small web remover is about 5 foot tall when contracted but when extended, about 10 feet.
The next size up is the WEB REMOVER WITH 14 FOOT HANDLE. This unit is comprised of two rods each being about 7 foot long. This model is more “commercial” and can handle daily use afield. For the average home owner, this model is well suited for both inside and outside web removal and will last many years.
The longest unit we have is the WEB REMOVER WITH 30′ HANDLE. It too is a commercial unit that can reach most any place around around the tallest of homes. It’s 30 feet in length and is comprised of 6 foot sections nested in one another. Each section is 6 foot long so the total length when fully extended is 30 feet. This tool is generally not needed for most homes but if you have a high reaching ceiling in your main entrance foyer or just a lot of spider webs 30-40 feet up around the outside of your home, this tool will make it easy to get them removed. It stands about 8 feet tall when fully collapsed and the average person using it can reach up over 35 feet when fully extended.
Another attachment that can also be used in your hand is the WEB SPINNER. This device is batter powered (you’ll need 2 “AA” batteries not included) and basically all you need to do is get turn the unit on and then get it close to a spider web. Like the way cotton candy is spun onto the the paper funnel that holds it, the Web Spinner will “wrap up” nasty webs in seconds making them look like a wad of cotton candy. This makes for effortless web removal (just don’t eat it!). And kids love them too. These come with adapter so you can mount them to the same poles that hold the Web Remover heads.
The Web Spinner comes “contracted” and is about the size of an average screw driver. But the spinning rod body extends like a radio antenna to over a foot in length and when turned on, will quickly collect any web within reach.
Web Spinners can also be ordered in “kits”. We offer three kits, basically the 5-10 Ft, 14 Ft and 30 Ft Web Remover Poles and Heads along with the Web Spinner. The Web Spinner fits on all three poles and is an excellent tool to use for web removal.
Remember, the big reason to remove webs is to get rid of developing egg sacs which will not be killed with the spray you also need to use. By removing the spider webs you will also be removing egg sacs and this is super important.
BEST INSIDE SPIDER SPRAY FOR THE HOME
Once the spider webs are all removed, use the MAXXTHOR EC to spray the homes exterior. Its repellent feature will help keep them out – especially if you spray up high around soffits and other points of entry spiders like to use.
But if you need to spray inside, get the BITHOR. This concentrate is more refined and can be used inside and outside too. So if you’re focused on just the foundation and inside the home, Bithor would be the way to go.
Mix 1 oz per gallon of water and plan on using 2-3 gallons to treat outside exterior siding, soffits, around windows, etc.
Bithor will has a fast working killing component that will kill spiders when first sprayed for an hour or two but then it goes into “stealth mode” and will not be detectable. During this time spiders coming in contact with the Bithor and will die but this will take a day or two. Plan on treating 2 weeks later to knock them out for good if you still see some around or active in areas you have not sprayed with anything listed below.
When applying Bithor, you’ll need a good PUMP SPRAYER. Our sprayer will reach heights of 15-20 feet and even higher with a little extra reach.
Another great way to spray up the side of the home is to “fog” out the treatment using a misting machine like our BUGSPRAY FOGGER. This electric machine features a 1.2 gallon tank and will propel the spray a good 25-35 feet up. The advantage of using a mist over a liquid is that the mist covers everything. This ensure spiders can’t hide or miss the treatment. And fogging is a lot more easier to do. One gallon of mixed product will cover the entire home too so it will use less product and a lot less time.
Bithor is labeled for use in fogging machines and works great on flying pests like mosquitoes and no seeums so fogging is great way to control a wide range of pests.
SPIDER CONTROL FOR INSIDE THE HOME
Once the outside of the home is properly treated, spiders won’t be invading attics, crawl spaces or living areas. But if you already have active spiders, treating inside will be required. This is true because spiders living in attics or crawl spaces can be so successful, they often times will generate big populations of spiders which will naturally migrate into living spaces. This means your home could be under attack from spiders being generated from inside the home.
To deal with the possible sources of spiders, you’ll need to at least treat living spaces where spiders are being seen.
For most homes, spraying baseboards with the BITHOR listed above will do the job.
But since spiders like to hide in cracks and crevices, treating around windows and doors with FS MP AEROSOL where you can’t spray liquids can help.
FS MP uses the same active as Fenvastar which is very irritating and quick killing on spiders. Each can comes with a small tube injector used to direct the spray into the areas where spiders like to hide.
Plan on treating once a month when spiders are active; less when no spiders are seen.
Now as good as the FS MP is for cracks and crevices, its not suggested for open space areas like ceilings, walls and other sensitive places. For these areas, a light misting with MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER will do the job.
Its odorless, water based and won’t stain when used properly. Just a little bit will take care of any target pests up “high”.
BEST SPIDER TRAPS
To help manage the problem, set out some SPIDER TRAPS in rooms with activity. These traps use a special spider lure that seem to work on most all ground dwelling and web making spiders. Safe enough for use on counter-tops, under furniture, along baseboards and under beds. Don’t expect them to “control” an active problem but instead, use them as a way to alert you to a problem you may have otherwise missed.
BEST ATTIC AND CRAWL SPACE TREATMENTS FOR SPIDERS
As stated above, spiders will often migrate into attics and crawl spaces and find enough food to live and breed. From these locations, their offspring will migrate into loving spaces producing an ongoing spider population in living spaces.
To stop the invasion, apply DELTAMETHRIN DUST to these spaces. Deltamethrin dust is a super stable insecticidal dust insect pests like spiders do not like. Where applied, the dust will kill them. And once in place, spiders and other pests won’t be able to use the area for nests. They’ll detect the dust as they enter treated zones and in turn, move away.
Deltamethrin Dust is similar in feel to baby powder. When “squirted” out into open space, it will fall to the ground and not fly around much like other less dense dusts. When applied using one of the dusters listed below, the dust will get “charged” as it enters the treated zone and this static charge causes it to adhere to all surfaces well further enhancing its performance. Plan on applying 1 lb for every 1,000 sq/ft of surface area.
So if your attic is 30 feet wide by 40 feet long, you’ll have 1200 sq/ft. But remember to dust the decking of the roof which will add another 1,000-2000 sq/ft depending on how much surface area is above the floor.
One of the big benefits of using Deltamethrin Dust is that unlike aerosols and liquid sprays which only last a month or two, treatments with this product will last a whole year.
To apply the dust throughout the attic, use a DUSTIN MIZER. This device is manually operated and will enable you to blow the dust a good 20-30 feet out ensuring good coverage.
Crawl spaces should be treated like attics too. These are prime locations for spiders but once dusted with Deltamethrin, you’ll eliminate these locations as nest sites.
The good thing about Deltamethrin is that it covers most any pest including camel back crickets, roaches, ants and even termites. To get the most benefit from dusting your crawl space, make sure all cracks are sealed and vents closed prior to dusting.
Lastly, since Deltamethrin is such a long lasting agent, its not a bad idea to dust any route of entry to living spaces like light fixtures, behind switch plate covers and around windows. For these application, a CRUSADER HAND DUSTER is well suited.
PEST AWAY SPIDER REPELLENT
PEST AWAY SPIDER WEB REMOVING SPRAY is one last product worth mentioning because of its unique ability to “repel” spiders and stop the formation of webs. Pest Away won’t kill insects but instead, it simply chases them away.
Pest Away uses all natural food grade actives which were discovered to be annoying to spiders. When sprayed outside around windows, under soffits and basically anywhere spiders webs have been an ongoing issue, Pest Away will both keep the area web free and force spiders to go elsewhere.
Pest Away is also fine to use on a boat or boat dock without worry or concern about contaminating the water below.
Pest Away mixes 2 oz to a gallon and a gallon will cover 500-750 sq/ft.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. On Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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