Spiders are one of the most commonly encountered pests in Arizona. Spiders are also one of the stealthiest pests, tending to lurk in out-of-the-way locations where they can blend in with their surroundings. Often, this stealthy behavior means that people are quite startled when they notice that a spider is present, making it more difficult for them to identify the type of spider and evaluate the potential for risk that it represents. The following list of the types of spiders that are commonly found in Arizona can help with identification.
Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders that are typically found outdoors. The species of tarantula that is common in Arizona is brown in color and seldom exceeds 5 inches in size. Although urban legends and horror movies have often cast tarantulas as killers, these spiders are not particularly aggressive and possess only a mild venom. They will bite if they feel threatened; most people who have experienced a tarantula bite liken the pain to a wasp sting. However, tarantulas can "throw" their hairs, and these hairs can be irritating or cause an allergic reaction, particularly if they reach the eyes, mouth or nasal passages. Due to their passive behavior and propensity to prey on many other unwanted insects, tarantulas are considered a beneficial spider to have around the home.
Black widows are one of the most-feared spiders in America. Female black widows are capable of delivering a potent venom, and although deaths are rare, black widow bites can make a human seriously ill. Black widows are usually no more than 0.75 inch in size. The female of the species can be identified by a red hourglass shape that is found on its abdomen and by its black, shiny body. Black widows prefer places that are close to the ground, so they are often found in corners of the floor, on home foundations, under stones and beneath shrubs.
The brown recluse is an aggressive spider that is between 0.25 and 0.75 inch in size. They can be identified by the brown-colored shape of a violin that appears on their backs. As their name implies, brown recluse spiders prefer areas where they will be undisturbed. They favor closets, garages, wood piles and rock gardens.
Wolf spiders have a threatening appearance, but they typically show little aggression toward humans. If threatened, they will bite, but their venom is not potent enough to cause a serious reaction in most humans. Wolf spiders have a mottled brown and gray coloration and a distinctive pattern on their backs. They are usually found outdoors near a source of water, but they may wander indoors in search of food, water or a mate.
House spiders are often mistaken for brown recluse spiders as they are similar in size and coloration. However, house spiders are not particularly aggressive, and although they will bite when threatened, their bites heal quickly and pose little danger to humans. House spiders may invade the interior of the structure or spin webs on the exterior.
There are many other types of spiders found in Arizona, but they are not as common. However, since it can be difficult to identify the different species, it is often necessary to engage a professional who can identify the spiders correctly and recommend the proper treatment for the specific spider. If you need help to control spiders or any other type of pest, contact the experienced professionals at Bill's Home Service Company.