Spider Control Services
Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated pest control company that provides residential and commercial pest control services for spiders, including woodlouse spiders, in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Our expert spider exterminators get rid of woodlouse spider infestations fast, and use preventative methods to keep woodlouse spiders from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - click the button below to get started, or give us a call today!
Woodlouse Spiders: The Ultimate Guide
Are you wondering if woodlouse spiders are dangerous? Our expert guide tells you everything you need to know about these eight-legged pests.
Woodlouse spiders, also known as woodlouse hunters, sowbug hunters, sowbug killers, pillbug hunters and slater spiders, are a type of spider that belongs to the family Dysderidae. They are small, predatory spiders that are native to Europe and have since been introduced to other parts of the world. In this guide, we will delve into the world of woodlouse spiders, including their physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, and more.
Woodlouse spiders are small, with a body length of about 10 to 30 mm. They have a reddish-brown to black color and are covered in small, hairy spines. They have six eyes arranged in three pairs, which is unusual for spiders, which usually have eight eyes.
Woodlouse spiders are nocturnal creatures and are most active at night. During the day, they can often be found hiding in dark, moist places, such as under logs or rocks.
At night, woodlouse spiders come out to hunt for insects and other small prey. They use their venomous bite to subdue and kill their prey. Woodlouse spiders do not spin webs to catch their prey and instead hunt by running after their prey or lying in wait to ambush it.
Woodlouse spiders are solitary creatures and do not form social groups. They do not have a mating season and can breed year-round. After mating, the female spider will lay her eggs in a silk sac and then leave the sac to hatch on its own.
Woodlouse spiders are native to Europe and have since been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Australia. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and urban areas. They prefer to live in moist, cool environments and are often found in damp, shaded areas, such as under logs or rocks.
In the wild, woodlouse spiders can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens. They are also known to hide in homes and other buildings, where they can be found in basements, attics, and crawl spaces.
Woodlouse spiders are small, predatory spiders that are native to Europe. They are known for their reddish-brown to black color and their habit of hiding in dark, moist places. Although they can be intimidating to some people, woodlouse spiders are generally not aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened. If you spot a woodlouse spider in your home or elsewhere, it is important to use caution and avoid disturbing it. If you are bitten by a woodlouse spider, seek medical attention immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions About Woodlouse Spiders
What are woodlouse spiders?
Woodlouse spiders are a family of spiders known as Dysderidae. They are also commonly referred to as "cellar spiders" or "woodlouse hunters". These spiders are found throughout the world, but are most common in temperate regions. They are typically small to medium-sized spiders, with most species ranging from 5 to 10 millimeters in length.
Woodlouse spiders are known for their unique hunting strategy. They prey primarily on woodlice, hence their common name, but they also feed on other small invertebrates such as other spiders, mites, and springtails. They use their long, spindly legs to probe crevices and cracks in search of their prey. Once they locate a potential meal, they immobilize it with a venomous bite before consuming it.
These spiders are typically found in dark, damp environments, such as basements, cellars, and crawl spaces. They are often found in association with woodlice, which they rely on for food. However, they can also be found in other locations, such as under logs or rocks.
The body of a woodlouse spider is elongated and flattened, with a distinctive color pattern of light and dark markings. They have six eyes, arranged in a pattern of two rows of three, and their legs are long and thin. They are usually a pale yellow or light brown color, with darker markings on their body and legs.
Woodlouse spiders are not harmful to humans and are not considered dangerous. They are not known to bite humans, and even if they do, their venom is not considered medically significant. In fact, these spiders are often considered beneficial, as they help control populations of woodlice and other small invertebrates that can be pests in homes and gardens.
Are woodlouse spiders dangerous?
Woodlouse spiders are not considered dangerous to humans in any significant way. While they are venomous and can bite if provoked, their venom is not known to be harmful to humans. In fact, woodlouse spiders are often considered beneficial, as they help control populations of woodlice and other small invertebrates that can be pests in homes and gardens. If you encounter a woodlouse spider, it is best to leave it alone and let it continue its role in controlling populations of small invertebrates in its environment.
Woodlouse spiders are not aggressive and are not known to bite humans unless provoked or threatened. If a woodlouse spider does bite, the effects are typically mild, with localized pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the bite. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to the venom may occur, but this is extremely uncommon.
It is important to note that woodlouse spiders are not the same as the brown recluse spider, which is often mistaken for a woodlouse spider. The brown recluse spider is a venomous spider that can cause serious health problems if it bites a human. However, brown recluse spiders are not found in the same areas as woodlouse spiders and are not commonly found in homes or gardens.
Why do I have a woodlouse spider problem?
Woodlouse spiders, also known as Dysdera crocata, are a common type of spider found throughout the world, including in North America. These spiders are known for their tendency to live in damp environments and their preference for feeding on woodlice or pillbugs, which are common pests found in many homes.
If you are experiencing a woodlouse spider infestation, it is likely that your home or property provides the ideal habitat for these spiders. Some of the most common reasons why woodlouse spiders may be attracted to your property include:
- Moisture: Woodlouse spiders thrive in damp environments, so if your home or property has areas that are consistently damp, such as a basement or crawl space, this could be an ideal habitat for these spiders.
- Pests: As mentioned earlier, woodlouse spiders primarily feed on woodlice or pillbugs, so if your property has a high population of these pests, it is likely that you will also have woodlouse spiders.
- Clutter: Woodlouse spiders tend to prefer areas that are cluttered or have lots of debris, as these environments provide ample hiding places and protection from predators.
- Landscaping: If your property has lots of leaf litter or other debris on the ground, this could also be a factor in attracting woodlouse spiders, as these spiders often prefer to hide in such environments.
- Structural issues: If your property has cracks or other structural issues that provide easy access for pests, this could also be a contributing factor to a woodlouse spider infestation.
Where will I find woodlouse spiders?
Here are five of the most common places you are likely to find woodlouse spiders:
- Damp environments: Woodlouse spiders prefer damp environments and are often found in areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and other areas with high humidity levels. They may also be found in areas with standing water, such as near leaky pipes or drains.
- Outdoor environments: Woodlouse spiders can also be found in outdoor environments such as gardens, lawns, and other areas with high populations of woodlice or pillbugs. They may also be found under rocks, logs, and other debris.
- Homes and buildings: Woodlouse spiders can often be found inside homes and buildings, particularly in areas with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. They may also be found in basements, crawl spaces, and other areas with high humidity levels.
- Cracks and crevices: Woodlouse spiders are known for their ability to squeeze into tight spaces, and can often be found in cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and other surfaces. They may also be found in gaps around windows and doors.
- Cluttered areas: Woodlouse spiders prefer cluttered environments with lots of hiding places, such as piles of clothes or boxes, so they may be found in these areas as well.
How do I get rid of woodlouse spiders?
While woodlouse spiders are not harmful to humans and are often considered beneficial, some people may wish to get rid of them from their homes or gardens. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of woodlouse spiders:
- Reduce moisture levels: Woodlouse spiders prefer dark, damp environments, so reducing moisture levels in your home or garden can make these areas less appealing to them. You can use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in basements and crawl spaces, and fix any leaks or standing water sources that may be contributing to high moisture levels. You can also improve ventilation in these areas by opening windows or installing a fan.
- Eliminate woodlice: Woodlouse spiders feed on woodlice, so reducing woodlouse populations can help reduce the number of spiders. You can remove any sources of decaying organic matter, such as piles of leaves or wood, that may be attracting woodlice to your home or garden. You can also seal any cracks or crevices in your home or garden where woodlice may be hiding.
- Clean regularly: Regular cleaning can help keep woodlouse spiders at bay. Be sure to vacuum or sweep up any webs, debris, or food particles that may attract the spiders. Also, try to keep clutter to a minimum, as this can provide hiding places for spiders.
- Vacuuming: Vacuuming can be an effective way to get rid of woodlouse spiders, especially when combined with other methods. Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool or brush attachment to reach into tight spaces where the spiders may be hiding. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or canister outside of your home to prevent the spiders from returning.
- Physical removal: You can also physically remove woodlouse spiders by using a jar or cup and a piece of paper. Simply place the jar or cup over the spider and slide the paper underneath, trapping the spider inside. You can then release the spider outside, away from your home. This method is safe and humane, but it may not be practical for large infestations.
- Use sticky traps: Sticky traps are an effective way to catch and remove woodlouse spiders from your home or garden. These traps consist of a sticky surface that traps the spiders when they walk over it. You can place these traps in areas where the spiders are commonly found, such as basements or crawl spaces. Once the traps are full, you can dispose of them in the trash.
- Use natural repellents: Some natural repellents may be effective at repelling woodlouse spiders. For example, you can spray peppermint oil or vinegar in areas where the spiders are commonly found. These substances have a strong odor that spiders may find unpleasant. You can also try planting certain herbs, such as lavender or rosemary, which may repel spiders.
- Use insecticides: Insecticides should be used as a last resort, as they can be harmful to humans and other animals if not used properly. If you decide to use an insecticide, it is important to choose one that is labeled for use against spiders, and to follow the instructions carefully. You should also avoid using insecticides in areas where children or pets may come into contact with them.
- Seek professional help: If you are unable to get rid of woodlouse spiders on your own, or if you have a severe infestation, it may be necessary to seek the help of a professional pest control company. A professional can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action, which may include using more advanced techniques, such as fumigation or exclusion methods.
- Use ultrasonic repellents: Ultrasonic repellents emit high-frequency sound waves that are designed to repel spiders and other pests. These devices are typically plugged into an electrical outlet and can be placed in areas where the spiders are commonly found. However, their effectiveness is still debatable and they may not work for everyone. Also, it is important to note that some people may find the noise irritating.
It is important to choose a method that is safe and effective, and to take steps to prevent future infestations.
How can I prevent woodlouse spiders in the future?
If you want to prevent woodlouse spiders in the future, there are several steps you can take:
- Keep your landscaping well-maintained: Woodlouse spiders are often found in outdoor environments, so keeping your landscaping well-maintained can help to prevent these spiders. Remove any piles of debris, keep your lawn mowed, and trim back bushes and shrubs.
- Reduce moisture: Woodlouse spiders thrive in damp environments, so reducing moisture in and around your home is an important step in preventing these spiders. Fix any leaky pipes, keep gutters and downspouts clear, and use a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity levels.
- Seal cracks and gaps: Woodlouse spiders can enter your home through cracks and gaps in walls, floors, and other surfaces. Seal these gaps with caulk or other sealant to prevent spiders from entering.
- Remove clutter: Woodlouse spiders prefer cluttered environments with lots of hiding places, so removing clutter in and around your home can help to prevent these spiders. Keep your home clean and organized, and remove any piles of debris or clutter from your yard.
- Use spider repellents: There are several natural spider repellents that you can use to deter woodlouse spiders from your home. These include peppermint oil, vinegar, and citrus peels. You can also purchase commercial spider repellents to use in and around your home.
- Pest control: Since woodlouse spiders feed on woodlice and pillbugs, controlling these pests can help to prevent a woodlouse spider infestation. Use insecticides or other pest control methods to reduce the population of these pests in and around your home.
By taking these steps, you can help to prevent woodlouse spiders from taking up residence in your home or property. However, if you do have a woodlouse spider infestation, it's a good idea to contact a pest control professional for assistance. They can help to identify the source of the infestation and recommend appropriate treatments to eliminate the problem.
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