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Spiders are one of the fascinating species to study. About 40,700 species of spiders are present worldwide, and hundreds of species are found in Maryland.
Spiders are generally predators and feed on insects or related animals. These bugs love to hide in shadowy places and frighten people when they least expect it.
Spiders are important in reducing the number of pests in the garden and the surrounding vegetation. Some species of spiders can live in homes feeding on other spiders, ants, flies, and cockroaches.
Most spiders are harmless and shy to humans. They do not attempt to bite people unless accidentally trapped or held.
Curious to know more about these fascinating creatures? Continue reading the article then as we share with you all the details.
Body of a Spider
Spiders are classified as arachnids. The front part of a spider’s body is called the cephalothorax. The back part of a spider’s body is called the abdomen.
There are finger-like appendages attached to the abdomen known as spinnerets. These structures are silk-spinning organs and are often used for identifying the spider.
Common Spiders Found in Maryland
1. Jumping Spiders
Scientific name: Phidippus Clarus
In the arachnid class, the jumping spiders can be considered as the true casanovas. They move in short, rapid runs or jumps.
They are brightly colored and present some elaborate songs and dances to attract their mate. These spiders tend to have a large pair of eyes mounted on the front of a relatively flat face. In comparison, the other three pairs of eyes are relatively small.
These spiders are adept hunters. They are frequently found around the window in search of prey such as flies and small insects. Jumping spiders are usually black and hairy.
They may possess white or red dots. These spiders can be as large as 1/3 inch long. Jumping spiders do not appear in large numbers generally and can be removed individually.
2. Black Widow Spiders
Scientific name: Latrodectus mactans
The black widow is one of the most common spiders and is not usually found indoors. The spiders are commonly found in basement windows, wells, tool sheds, beneath lawn benches or porches, and water meters. They can be inside objects such as baskets, boxes, flower pots, or other items stored outside for a period of time.
The Black widow female spider in Maryland is about 1/2 inch long, jet black with a bright red hourglass shape on the belly. There may be a red mark on the top of the abdomen and at the tip, which becomes easily visible when she hangs upside down on the web.
The male Black widow spiders have a more vibrant pattern on their abdomen consisting of many red and white spots.
The bite of a black widow is very dangerous. Black widow bites feel like a minor pinprick, but dull pains will soon develop in the bite area. The affected area usually begins to cramp, and other symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and vomiting may occur.
There are no other spiders that look like the Black widow, nor are any as poisonous. These spiders are not aggressive, but when touched or pressed, it bites instinctively. It is more dangerous to children than adults.
It is often advised to wear gloves and pay attention while working around areas where black widows may be present. Black widow bites are sharp and painful, and the victim should immediately run to the doctor for treatment.
Safe Handling Tips for Encountering Black Widow Spiders at Home
Nick Valentino, VP of Market Operations of Bellhop Atlanta Movers, suggests precautions individuals should take when encountering potentially dangerous spiders:
“If you encounter a dangerous spider, such as a black widow, in your home, it’s important to handle it safely. Seeing one black widow [often] means [that] more aren’t far behind, so I suggest calling a pest control specialist immediately.
Never attempt to touch or pick up a black widow spider [under any circumstances]. If you have insecticide [on hand], you can attempt to spray and kill the black widow.
However, they are very fast-moving spiders, especially when threatened, so don’t try this unless you can stay a safe distance away [from it!]”
3. Wolf Spiders
Scientific name : Rabidosa rabida
Wolf spiders are one of the most intimidating spiders in Maryland. These spiders do not construct webs. They can move fast and are active hunters. Their good vision helps them in hunting down the prey day and night. Wolf spiders are hairy, lone wolves that can demonstrate quite aggressive behavior.
They help eliminate other pests. They do not attack humans even if they run across one’s hand or foot. But if someone tries to handle or find them, they can give a sharp bite.
These spiders can range from black and white color to earthly tones. Some wolf spiders can have a quite large and frightening appearance. Their size can vary from 1/4 inch to 11/2 inches in body length and 3 inches with a leg span. Wolf spiders mostly come indoors during the fall and are usually found in the basement. The best way to keep them outdoors is exclusion.
4. Crab Spiders
Crab spiders have their legs projecting from their sides, giving them the appearance of a crab. They can be bright white, yellow, or reddish in color. They are not active hunters and use the art of camouflage to snag their prey.
They sit waiting on flowers and leaves, ready to attack their prey that comes along. The goldenrod crab spider is a bright yellow color, which helps it to blend in with the yellow petals of goldenrods.
Crab spiders are beneficial for the environment as they eat many insect pests found in gardens and flower beds. Crab spiders are not known to bite humans, but some scientists believe that the venom of many crab spiders is more potent than most spiders. It helps them to subdue prey such as bees.
5. Cobweb Spiders
Cobweb Spiders are common spiders that enter the household when they are small. They build irregular webs in areas like the corners of rooms or windows where insects usually fly or rest. The active webs of the cobweb spiders remain relatively inconspicuous. But when they leave their web or die, the web becomes covered in dust and becomes visible.
6. Orb Weavers – Garden Spiders
They are more than 2,500 species of orb weavers in the United States. Garden spiders like the black and yellow Argiope aurantia are some orb-weaving spiders. Argiope aurantia is one of the most recognizable ones. They are most often seen in late summer and autumn. The spiders are large and mark with black and yellow or orange.
Orb weavers have poor vision. They produce a flat, neat, and classic spider web with a circular grid to capture prey.
The web is stretched across a path between shrubs or tall weeds and maybe up to 2 feet in diameter. These spiders are great at catching all types of insects, including stink bugs and butterflies that may stumble into their webs.
7. Yellow House Spiders
Scientific name : Cheiracanthium inclusum
Yellow House spiders are small and move rapidly. They are about 1/4 inch long. They can be found in almost all rooms of a house.
These spiders enter homes in early fall and are active for several months weaving their small white webs in confined spaces where they can spend their winter. During the spring, they emerge from their wide web cells and move their way outside.
8. Brown Recluse Spiders
Scientific name : Loxosceles reclusa
The body of a brown recluse spider is about 1/4 inch long, and the legs cover the area of a coin, the size of a quarter. They can be identified as having six eyes arranged in pairs, a dark violin shape on the head, uniformly light-colored legs without stripes or bands, and no spines on the legs.
The bite of this venomous brown recluse spider can cause a wound that may take about 6 weeks or more to heal. 10% of Brown Recluse bites develop into tissue necrosis (cell death) around the bite area. They are typically found in closets, storage areas, and infrequently in used clothes and beds.
To protect your house or workplace from spiders in Maryland, you need to learn about the behavioral patterns of this pest, take steps for prevention, and find effective treatment options.
1. Caulk the cracks and tighten up around doors and windows, especially at the ground level, because spiders come wandering indoors through the doors, windows, and cracks.
2. You can hire a pest control service and contactless exterminator to get rid of the spiders and keep invaders out of your home or business.
3. Remove the common breeding places of spiders outside the home. It can greatly contribute to spider management.
4. Try to catch a possible spider infestation early. Once you find their ideal location, it will be easier to get rid of them. Spiders leave behind the unused webs, which fill up fast with dust. These places can be marked as the common places for the spiders to thrive in.
5. The spiders try multiple locations for their web until they find their ideal place. They search for areas that are exposed to air current to direct their prey to the web. Try to get rid of such places.
Identifying and Safely Navigating Spider-Friendly Environments
Ryan Farley, the CEO of LawnStarter, explains the possible hideouts of venomous spiders and how to handle them:
“In general, when you’re considering [the places] where you’re most likely to find dangerous spiders like black widows or recluses, you’ll be looking at dark, humid, cluttered areas that don’t see much traffic.
I’ve seen [lots of these types of] hiding spots in sheds, under homes, and around properties. Unfortunately, they can also exist inside your home—in your attic, basement, crawl space, etc.
So, it’s important [to exercise] caution when you’re accessing areas like this by wearing gloves and other protective equipment and always having sufficient light available.”
The Bottom Line
Spiders in the right place are really beneficial. Other than poisonous spiders like the black widow, most others are shy and harmless to humans.
If the non-poisonous spider is outdoors in an area where it is not bothering anyone, leave it alone. The spiders keep the number of pests and insects in control. However, always get medical attention in case a poisonous spider bites you or someone else.
Guest Author: Saket Kumar