LOCAL NEWS

Don’t be spooked if spiders creep indoors this fall, experts say

Oct 20, 2022, 5:17 PM
A spider's web hangs from blades of grass at dawn in Richmond Park in London, England. (Jack Taylor...
A spider's web hangs from blades of grass at dawn in Richmond Park in London, England. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
(Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — With the weekend forecast bringing colder weather, spiders are bound to make their way into homes any day now. A Utah State University extension in pest management wants to help prepare people for the creepy encounters.

As spiders near the end of their life cycles, they search for mates and a sheltered place to lay their egg sacks. Nick Volesky said it doesn’t need to be scary because most species of spiders in Utah are not a danger to humans, and are typically considered unaggressive or even docile.

In fact, spiders are highly beneficial to the environment and people. They prey on other pests and insects, and serve as an excellent source of food for the more preferable insects, birds, and wildlife in Utah.

Here are some common spiders you might encounter:

Cellar spiders:

  • found in cool, dark, moist places like basements and crawlspaces, or under furniture, etc.
  • brown, six eyes, long skinny legs
  • often build cobwebs in corners, on walls, and ceilings, to capture prey
  • female spider carries her eggs in her fangs
  • not a medical concern to humans, beneficial

 

Cellar spiders are named because of their habit of gathering in dark, cool, and moist places. (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

Wolf spiders:

  • found in plants or dirt, under objects, in piles of objects, etc.
  • brown or black, up to 2″ diameter, eight eyes in unique pattern
  • not likely to build webs, actively hunt other insects and spiders
  • Female spider carries egg sack under belly, and carries baby spiders (spiderlings) on her back
  • not of medical concern to humans, beneficial

Wolf spiders are aptly named because of their hunting methods, and capturing prey. (Utah State University)

Hobo spiders:

  • found in cracks and crevasses, gardens, dirt, plants, under rocks, ground level, pipes, tubs and sinks, etc.
  • body up to 3/8 inches long, hairy legs add diameter, fast moving, variety of colors but no stripe pattern on legs
    • many funnel web spiders often look similar, particularly hobo and grass spiders
  • builds funnel webs to catch prey
  • Female deposits eggs in fall, male dies after mating
  • do not cause necrotic lesions in humans, beneficial

Hobo spiders are one of the most common indoor spiders found in northern Utah. (Utah State University)

Here are ways to keep spiders and other pests out of your home:

  • Caulk, seal and screen all entry points into the building to exclude spiders.
  • Change exterior lighting from standard lights to sodium vapor bulbs to reduce insects attracted to the building.
  • Vacuum regularly to suck up spiders, webbing, and other insects which can serve as food for spiders.
  • Minimize clutter to reduce areas for spiders to hide, reproduce, and lay eggs.
  • Use sticky traps along baseboards to monitor and help control ground dwelling spiders.
  • Interior/exterior insect sprays are generally ineffective at reducing spider populations long-term, but may provide some short-term knockdown and repellency.
  • Insecticidal dusts can be used in low traffic areas such as boiler rooms, crawl spaces, and voids for longer residual control of spiders

If you have been bitten by a spider, Volesky said the only way to confirm what kind of spider bit you is to collect it and have it identified, which you can do through Utah State University Otherwise, a bite is rarely identifiable by symptoms.

The spider of medical concern in Utah is the black widow, but if you experience a reaction to a bite or symptoms mimic a severe bite, you may want to seek medical attention.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

SLC airport reports few delays for post-Thanksgiving travel

Major U.S. cities were hit with severe weather Sunday, leading to hundreds of flight delays and cancellations on one of the year's busiest travel days.
8 hours ago
(Mountain Green Fire Protection District)...
Josh Ellis

Pilot walks away from Morgan County plane crash

Authorities say a pilot "miraculously" walked away from a plane crash in Morgan County.
8 hours ago
Salt Lake city Fire at the vacant home. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Firefighters extinguish fire at vacant Salt Lake City house

First responders took down a fire at a vacant and boarded-up house Sunday evening. 
1 day ago
Trent Anderson and his 27-year-old horse, Duncan during the parade before the car hit them....
Shelby Lofton

EXCLUSIVE: Car crashes through barricades, hits horse and rider during Christmas parade

A man and his horse are recovering after being hit by an alleged DUI driver during a Spanish Fork Christmas Parade Saturday night.
1 day ago
A trailer rollover blocks two left lanes of I-15. (Utah Department of Transportation)...
Michael Houck

Trailer rollover blocks portion of I-15, suspect in police custody

A person is in custody after attempting to flee the scene of a car crash involving a trailer Saturday afternoon, police say.
1 day ago
Massive blue ice sculptures with a starry sky....
Brooke Williams

Ice castles are constructed by hand one icicle at a time

Cold temperatures means construction on the Ice Castles at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center has officially begun, and it's coming together one icicle at a time.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Don’t be spooked if spiders creep indoors this fall, experts say