Do you have an intense fear of spiders? You’re not alone—studies suggest around five percent of the global population suffers from arachnophobia. But what is it about spiders that’s so spooky, and why do so many people fear these pests? Some studies suggest that the fear of spiders we have today developed because of the presence of venomous spiders around our ancestors, meaning we may be hard-wired to fear all spiders as a survival instinct. Other reports suggest a fear of spiders is more of a cultural development, because in some communities like Cambodia, spiders are eaten.
Luckily, on Long Island, spiders aren’t usually on the dinner menu, but there are several common, creepy spiders you’ll probably encounter in your home at some point or another.
Common House Spiders in Long Island Homes
While not all types of spiders that crawl around Long Island homes are poisonous, or even threatening, there’s just something about them that creeps a lot of residents out. Often, spider-phobes report the pests’ legginess and unpredictable movements as their top two creepy traits. Regardless, on Long Island, there are a number of spiders homeowners will encounter. Here are the top three you’re most likely to find lurking in your home.
Daddy Long Legs Spiders
Harvestmen, or as you’ve probably heard them referred, daddy long legs, are actually not true spiders, but rather, spider relatives. True spiders have two body segments, but daddy long legs only have one. Daddy long legs are usually gray or red in color, around 0.08-0.4 inches long, with a distinctive, non-segmented small body and eight very long, skinny legs that can grow up to about two inches long, six to eight times the length of their actual bodies.
These pests are known for building (and abandoning) webs throughout the corners of houses, though they tend to seek out shady, humid places like basements and crawl spaces. Even though they’re creepy (especially those legs), daddy long legs are harmless, and generally beneficial, because they eat other spiders and insects. They have fangs that are much too short to penetrate human skin, and aside from lurking around and leaving webs, daddy long legs also don’t cause damage to houses.
Sac spiders are another one of the more common spider species you’ll see on Long Island. These true spiders are usually yellow, with darker coloring on the tips of their legs, and they range from about 0.1-0.5 inches long. Sac spiders have noticeable spinerets, or silk-spinning organs on their bodies, and dark, visible fangs. One of the creepiest traits of sac spiders, though? In addition to their eight legs…they also have eight eyes.
Inside homes, sac spiders gravitate toward baseboards, ceilings, windows, door frames, and on furniture. Outside, they’re often found beneath tree bark, and under stones and logs. Wherever they’re found, sac spiders weave small silk sacs which they use for sleeping and reproducing.
If you see a sac spider in the house, do be aware that they do bite if they feel threatened, and their painful bites may include immediate stinging sensations, similar to that of a hornet’s sting, followed by redness and mild swelling in the affected areas. While sac spiders don’t have lethal poison in their venom, reactions to a sac spider’s bite may include a slow-healing sore, itchiness, and swelling.
Often intimidating, wolf spiders are another common spider on Long Island. These primarily black and gray spiders got their name due to their tendency to be slightly furry like wolves, and they have tan or yellow stripes or markings on their bodies. At 0.25-2 inches long, wolf spiders’ size alone is often its most terrifying trait. Wolf spiders have stout bodies, sturdy legs, and excellent vision from two of their whopping eight eyes.
Unlike many other spider species, wolf spiders don’t build webs. Instead, they run quickly and chase down their prey, which tends to be crickets, other spiders, ants, grasshoppers, and in some cases by big wolf spiders, they’ll even chow down on small lizards and frogs.
Indoors, wolf spiders are usually found in basements, sheds, or garages near other insects. Outside, they tend to hide in or around debris, under boards or cinder blocks, or in naturally-occurring gaps in houses. If you go outside at night, look at the ground in front of you with a flashlight held at the same level as your eyes. The silvery blue-green spots reflecting back at you are the eyes of wolf spiders in the grass.
While wolf spiders don’t damage homes, they will bite if they feel threatened. Wolf spider bites tend to cause itchy, swollen red bumps that go away within a few days, however allergic reactions are possible, and may require immediate medical attention.
Spider Prevention on Long Island
Suburban Exterminating offers effective spider control for residential homes on Long Island in order to protect your family from spider bites (and spider creepiness). Our year-round home protection plans target spiders, in addition to other common household insects and rodents. All plans include customized treatment based on your home and family’s specific needs, as well as regular service visits, unlimited service calls, and complete peace of mind from spiders.
To schedule a free spider inspection, call or text (631/516) 864-6900 today.