TYPES OF SPIDERS YOU CAN FIND IN NORTH CAROLINA
Do you know that there are around 40,000 identified types of spiders all over the world? If you are one of those people who abhor spiders, then this is certainly bad news. But what if you find out that we are all within 3 feet of a spider inside our homes and offices? It may not be always the case, but it is closer to the truth than you think. Yet spiders are so peaceful that we do not notice them. They just keep to themselves, probably just watching us with their 8 eyes.
They are not so gentle with other insects though. They are predatory arachnids who help us get rid of pests in the house. They feed on household pests like mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches. This diet of theirs makes them beneficial creatures. Their presence actually tells us that there are insects to be eaten inside our homes, but they are there to control them.
Here in Raleigh, North Carolina, spiders have thrived because the climate is ideal. Like we said earlier, they are generally peaceful and would bite only in self-defense. Most types of spiders here are not poisonous, but a couple of them are.
A spider’s anatomy
Spiders are part of the Arachnid family. The Arachnid family includes ticks and scorpions. They have 8 legs and are capable of spinning silk coming from the back ends of their bodies.
These spiders range in size. Some are just .011 inches, as the Samoan spider. Some spiders are large, like the Goliath birdeater, a kind of tarantula whose leg span can be up to afoot. Most spiders have 8 eyes, but there are some species of spiders that only have 6. Their eyes can only see light and shadow. Their bodies have 2 segments: the abdomen and the cephalothorax. The front part is the cephalothorax, where the head meets the thorax. It has the mouth, eyes, and legs.
The mouth consists of several parts. The jaws have fangs. These fangs are used to hold their prey while they inject venom. Behind the jaws are the labium and the labrum. These parts help in directing the food towards the spider’s mouth.
Inside the spider’s abdomen are its most important internal organs. Inside, it has the reproductive organs, lungs, and digestive tract. It also has the spinneret, the organ used to make silk, All spiders can produce silk, but not all can spin webs. They use silk to climb, to break a fall, to build their nests, to catch prey, to build egg sacs, among other things.
Most spiders are carnivores. They prey on insects, which makes them beneficial creatures as they help control pests in households.
Types of non-poisonous spiders in North Carolina
North Carolina has a mild climate that is ideal for spiders to thrive. Here are some of the spiders that might find in North Carolina:
- Black-Lace Weaver – This spider comes in brownish-red or dark in color. Its abdomen has pale markings. This marking is described as a ghoulish mask or skull. The adult males can be found indoors during spring as they wander looking for mates. The female adults can be found the whole year-round. When the eggs hatch, the mother sacrifices herself to her offspring, making herself as food. After eating their mother, they stick together for a month, before going on their own way.
- Fishing spiders – Fishing spiders are usually found near bodies of water but will venture out in the woods to hunt for food. Their legs can stretch to about 3 inches, so they look really menacing. They are a bit bigger than the palm of an adult human. They also bite, but their venom is not potent enough to be dangerous to humans. They are called fishing spiders because they can go underwater to hunt for prey. They are known to stay under the water for about 30 minutes. They breathe through the tiny air bubbles that they trap through their bristly hairs. They remain under the water until prey swims by. They also hunt for food on land.
- Thin legged wolf spiders – The thin-legged wolf spiders are dark in color, with specks, or bands, or speckles on the carapace and abdomen. Their legs are long and spindly and have hairy spines on them. This type of spider is territorial and are very active hunters. They do not build their nests. They just go around looking for prey.
- Goldenrod crab spider – Similar to the thin-legged wolf spiders, the goldenrod crab spiders do not build their nests. In capturing their prey, they use silk. They also use silk to hold their eggs. They have good vision and they are mostly seen during sunny days. The female adult is 8 mm to 10 mm in length. The male goldenrod crab spiders are smaller, only about 4 to 5 mm in length. Their colors depend on their diet and their environment as well, so their colors actually vary. It can range from white to yellow, to pale green. Their 2 pairs of front legs are longer than their other legs. Their other legs are spread out resembling that of a crab, thus their name.
- Green lynx spiders – As their name suggests, they come in green colors. The females are larger than the males, as usual, being about 12 to 22 mm in length. The males are only about 12 mm. They have 8 legs and have black spines. They rarely bite and tend to keep to themselves.
Types of poisonous spiders in North Carolina
While most spiders in North Carolina are not poisonous, there are a couple of them that are. The famous black widow and the brown recluse spiders are the 2 types of spiders that we should look out for.
- Black widow spiders – These are the most common type of venomous spiders in North Carolina. The female black widow has a shiny black body with a red hourglass marking on the abdomen. The marking serves as a warning to other predators that they are poisonous. They are about 1.5 inches long. The female black widows can live up to three years. The male black widow is smaller, about .75 inch in length, lighter in color, and has either red or pink spots on their backs and can live up to a year. The black widow spiders have by far the most potent venom. It has been said that their venom is 15 times more potent than that of a rattlesnake’s. Only the females bite. For adult humans, their bites are very painful but are rarely fatal. But for children and adults, it can be deadly so immediate medical attention would be needed. If you are bitten, wash the site of the bite with soap and water. Then, if possible, try to capture the spider that bit you, whether dead or alive. Present the spider to your healthcare provider. This would enable the doctor to make an informed decision as to what kind of treatment you should get. But keep in mind that black widow spiders do not attack humans on their own. They are peaceful and bite only when defending themselves.
- Brown recluse spiders – In terms of behavior, the brown recluse spiders are almost similar to the black widow. They are peaceful and tend to keep to themselves. They have a violin-shaped marking on their bodies, which is characteristic of them. They only have 6 eyes arranged in three pairs. The brown recluse is a very shy creature. Similar to the black widow, they hide in dark places. They forage for food at night because they are nocturnal. They also only need to mate just once a year to be able to produce 150 eggs yearly.
Now that we know how to identify the spiders that are poisonous to humans, we can talk about the best ways to get rid of these spiders. Here are a few tips:
- Seal off cracks, crevices, and holes around the house. Spiders look to these as their gateway to your house.
- Getting rid of other insects in your house can keep them away. One of the reasons spiders are in your house is because you have a steady supply of insects that they can eat.
- Keep shrubs, decorative grasses, and plants, especially ivy, short. Brown recluse spiders are fond of hiding in these places.
- Remove clutter both inside and outside the house so they would not have any hiding places.
- Keep your things neat. Storage boxes, woodpiles, the back of the closet, under the furniture, and shoes that have not been worn for a long time are some of the places they can hide. Clean them every once in a while.
If you have poisonous spiders and cannot get rid of them yourself, call the professionals. For the top pest control in Raleigh NC, you may reach Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control has been in the business of pest control for 60 years.