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Spiders in Southern Utah: Which are Dangerous?

Black widow

The fear of spiders is universal, and not entirely unfounded.

Black Widow

The black widow is found throughout Southern Utah. The bite can be very painful. It will leave a red welt, swelling, numbness and can be dangerous for the very old or very young. If bit, seek medical attention immediately. The black widow is easily recognized by the shiny black body and the red under-body. You can also identify a black widow spider by its web. Where a garden spider will make a beautiful patterned web that looks almost like a work of art (think Charlotte's Web), the black widow has a web that is much more haphazard. The lines of the wed move in all directions with no pattern. The web lines of a Black Widow Spider are also identified by the crackling sound they make as they are broken. Their web is stiff and crackle and break when pulled. Most other spiders will not make noise when broken and will stretch slightly when pulled.

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Desert Recluse Spider

The Desert Recluse spider, a relative of the more famous Brown Recluse spider, is common in our area and its bite packs a punch. Although the bite initially is less painful than a black widow, long term it can become much worse. If you want to gross yourself out, just Google “brown recluse bite“ (but really, don't). The images are pretty terrible, although probably on the extreme end of what could happen. After a bite, the area around will begin to rout out. This area of nacreous can be the size of a dime to the size of a pie plate. If you suspect being bitten by a brown recluse, bring the spider with you (if you can safely) as you seek medical attention. Identifying a Desert Recluse spider requires getting quite close to the spider. So be careful. As a pest control tech, the best way we identify Recluse Spiders is by the eyes. Recluse spiders have 3 sets of eyes, where most other species of spiders have 4 sets of eyes. Easy peasy – if you want to have a staring contest with a spider that can melt a hole in your face with its venom.

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3 Easy Steps to Live Without Spiders in Southern Utah

Over the years as a pest control professional in Southern Utah, I have noticed that nothing gets the excitement of homeowners like spiders. Fear of spiders is almost universal and drives a lot of the motivation of our customers to be serviced regularly. Pest control for spiders is broken down into 3 areas:

  • Controlling the habitat for spiders
  • Controlling their food source
  • Elimination of live spiders and webs.

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Controlling the Habitat for Spiders

Spiders need a place where they can hunt or wait for prey and not be disturbed. Often we find Spiders in St. George  in barbecues, stacks of chairs, valve boxes, wood, in cracks and crevices around the house. Eliminating or treating these areas will cut down the amount of spiders in a home. Some spider hiding places can be removed, others just need to be treated by your pest control technician on a regular basis to keep the spiders from setting up shop.

Controlling The Spider's Food Source

All spiders in Southern Utah are carnivores. They eat other bugs, generally insects. These include roaches, ants, earwigs, other spiders, flies, pill bugs, even scorpions. So logically if a home has a lot of these pests around, the home will have spiders as well. One of the best ways to control the spider population is to control their food source. A general pest control service around a home on a regular basis is generally recommended. If my pest control technician walks around a home and finds black widows in every nook and cranny, he knows that there probably is a large population of other insects there as well.

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Elimination of Spiders

Once the habitat has been cleaned up and other pests are being controlled, spiders are easy to control. A general pest control service will maintain a barrier around a home for a month or two. Western Pest Control‘s technicians usually use a truck-mounted power sprayer or a backpack sprayer to treat the foundation of a home on a regular basis. This service includes finding and treating spider hiding places.

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Spiders in the St. George Area

As a native of Southern Utah, I have hiked and walked all over the beautiful red hills and black mesas in the area. Everywhere I go – no matter how remote – I find spiders. Most commonly, I find black widow spiders up in the cracks of natural rim-rock of mesas we have in our area. The black widows can find shade from the scorching Southern Utah sun, insects to eat, and a safe place to not be disturbed. Unfortunately, your Southern Utah home has the same qualities of that native rimrock. Having some kind of spider control is just a fact of life when living in this beautiful part of the world.

St. George area spiders are diverse and beautiful in their natural environment. I love seeing them in nature, but around my house, they are not welcome and need to be controlled for the safety and sanity of my wife and family!

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