Sunday, September 15, 2019
Home Master Gardener's Master Gardeners Corner: Spiders

Master Gardeners Corner: Spiders

Spiders are mostly beneficial because they feed on pest insects. However, many people think that all spiders are dangerous and aggressive. In California, the main spider capable of causing serious injury is the black widow, which generally remains outdoors and out of sight. Spiders seen out in the open during the day are unlikely to bite people. Focus pest management efforts on removing webs and hiding places. Pesticides are not generally recommended.

What to know about spiders:

In California, the main spider capable of causing serious injury is the black widow. The poisonous black widow spider is commonly found outdoors, in sheltered, dry, undisturbed areas such as wood piles. Female black widows have shiny black bodies with a red hourglass marking on the underside. Only large female black widows can injure people.

Call California’s poison control center 1-800-8-poison if you have been bitten or seek medical advice.

The brown recluse spider does not live in California.

The jaws of most spiders are too small to bite humans.

Manage spiders using these tips:

Regular housecleaning provides adequate spider control.

Vacuum up the spider and its web.

Prevent clutter buildup that can provide hiding places.

Remove spider webs from the exterior of the house with a broom or hose.

When removing spiders, don’t overlook that fact that spiders eat a large number and variety of insects. 

For more information about spiders or any insects visit: ipm.ucanr.edu, and for gardening information visit: cecolusa.ucanr.edu ■

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