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To most people, spiders are associated with horror movies, Halloween, and fear. Thanks to years of misdiagnosis of skin lesions by doctors, the public thinks every spider is potentially a brown recluse and every skin sore is a spider bite. Many “ brown recluse bites” were actually MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections. A number of things can cause necrotizing (tissue destroying) wounds. The public has gained a sense that spiders almost seek out humans to bite. This is false. Most spider bites are accidental and almost always singular. Two or more lesions most likely rule out spiderbite as the cause.

Florida is home to a large variety of spiders. The most important, from a pest control perspective, are few in number. Florida is home to 4 widow spiders---the Northern black, Southern black, Red, and Brown widows . The most common are the black and brown varieties.   Both can cause serious bites, but the black widow is more likely to bite than the brown. “Brown spiders” or “violin spiders”, such as the brown recluse, are in several states. There are 11 species in the U.S.   All spiders in the genus Loxoscelidae (violin spiders) can cause serious wounds. These spiders ARE in Florida, usually in older buildings in older cities like St. Augustine or Tarpon Springs. One client of ours in 2012 had an infestation in Tarpon Springs traced to Southwestern indian style furnishings that came from Mexico and southwestern states where these spiders are endemic. Experts saying “brown recluse” are not endemic to Florida are misleading. Other species of the same family ARE here and cause serious bites. Most violin spider bites occur by accident. They are “reclusive” (hence the name) and tend to hide in clothing sleeves or pant legs, linens, or under furniture during the day. They are passive hunters, wandering about at night for prey (their favorite being silverfish).

Other spiders of importance are the yellow sac, cellar, wolf, funnel-building, and the large Huntsman-type spiders. In 2011, a number of Mexican redrump tarantulas were discovered colonizing in a central Florida orange grove.

A common breeding ground for many spiders in the average home is the soffit, or eave, structure. It is a favorite hangout for silverfish as well as myriads of bugs that climb up from the outside. Most spiders enter the home through openings in door seals, and openings in ceilings or walls that lead to the attic. Sliding (patio) doors are especially guilty.

The control of spiders around the home or structure should address door and windows seals, openings in walls or ceilings, outdoor breeding areas (like patio furniture and wood piles) and the attic. SCOPE PEST SERVICES engages all these areas as time allows for the chosen service program. Attics are fogged with an aerosol generator . Soffits may be drilled with small 3/16 inch holes for unhindered treatment of this nesting ground. Door gaps may be sealed, wall penetrations foamed or patched, and glue traps placed in hidden places away from children or pets. Outside breeding sites are treated as needed , including the hidden recesses in children’s swingsets and play furniture. Widow spiders love to nest in outdoor recreational items----undersides of patio furniture, swingsets, privacy fences, corners of pool cage framing, grills, and above ground pool supports just to name a few.

Our tri-yearly service regularly inspects and treats these and other locations to keep your back yard and patios safer for family outings and children’s play.

Image Index

Spider 1

Spider 2

Spider Graph

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