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Do spiders give you the heebie-jeebies? You are not alone. In fact, one-third of women and one-fourth of men in the US experience arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. That’s approximately ninety-five million people! Ironically, out of the estimated 3,000 spiders in the United States (there are some 35,000 types of spiders in the world), only one of the five hundred that reside in the Pacific Northwest (the black widow) is considered to be potentially fatal to humans, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

And yet, despite that fact, and despite the fact that spider bites are relatively uncommon, spiders are very much pests and we are perfectly justified in not wanting them in our homes. But come in our homes, they do. And that’s where we come in. At Aspen Pest Control, we provide a wide array of pest control services, including the extermination of spiders.

What You Should Know About Spiders In Portland Oregon

Spiders, contrary to common misconceptions, are not insects. Spiders are arachnids. Arachnids most commonly have eight legs, no wings or antennae, and bodies that are divided into two distinct sections. Spiders are an important part of our ecosystem. Due to their insect-rich diet — spiders consume up to 2,000 insects a year! — spiders can help control annoying and disease-carrying mosquitoes and even help to protect agriculture by eating crop-threatening bugs.

Here’s another thing you might not know about spiders: They’re all venomous. The crucial distinction is that only a very, very few are so venomous to people that they pose a threat to our well-being. According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, only one spider — the black widow — is a harmful to humans spider that can be found in our area.  Black widows are typically not found in the Portland, Oregon area, and can be most commonly located in eastern and southern Oregon, due to their preference for a more arid climate than that of the western and northern parts of the state.

We’re of the opinion that spiders play a crucial role in our environment, but that their duty is best served outside of your home and in areas outside that aren’t main thoroughfares or places where you’re entertaining. Spiders, in opposition to most insects, require a different approach to effective extermination, and for very good reason. Many insects — think  mosquitoes, wasps, ants, and the like — are easy to control population-wise because bait can be taken back to the heart of their colonies, is consumed by the masses, which then causes the colony to die off. The key difference here between insects and arachnids lies on the word consumed.  These aforementioned pests clean themselves by putting their legs in their mouths, a method that spiders to not use. This makes transferring pesticides throughout arachnid populations extremely difficult.

Treating For Spiders In Portland Oregon

So, what’s the best way to treat for spiders? It takes a more thoughtful approach, and that’s precisely what we take pride in doing at Aspen Pest Control. Consider the paragraph just before this one. If spiders are responsible for controlling populations of insects because that’s their main source of food, and if we also know that you’re currently experiencing a spider infestation, then we can correctly assume that one long-term approach for keeping your home and property spider-free is by treating your home and property for the insect infestation you’re also experiencing. Essentially, let’s take away what’s appealing to them about your home so they seek out opportunities in other places for web building.

Speaking of webs, controlling the prevalence of those has a huge impact on your spider population. Regularly vacuuming areas inside and outside the home (think patios, under decking, on siding, in foundational cracks, and in high and low corners, etc.) can help keep spiders away because their webs are such a central part of their existence. Because of this, we’re committed to delivering a better experience for our clients and remove webs from these areas as well as those on most all accessible first and second story eaves.

It’s all about breaking the cycle. In order to do that, regular maintenance is essential. We’ve found that most of our clients prefer a year-round, quarterly plan when it comes to their pest control needs. This means we’re there for you as the seasons change, and, along with them, your indoor and outdoor extermination needs are shifting. So, depending on your spider situation, the scale of treatment needing to be addressed, and your budget expectations, we can provide you and your neighbors the best possible options for your needs.

While you’re weighing your pest control options, it’s important to know that there are a variety of things you can do to suppress the spider population in and around your home, and keep you and your family safe and comfortable from the nuisance of spiders.

Keeping Spiders Out Of Your Home, Off Of Your Body

  • Brush, don’t squish. Though spider bites are relatively uncommon, they can occur. (We’ll get to their potential complications later.) These bites most commonly occur not because a spider is aggressively attacking, but because it has been squished against a person’s skin and is reacting to threat. If there is a spider on your or a loved one’s body, stay calm, don’t panic, and carefully brush the spider off. Having spiders on your clothes can happen for a variety of reasons. Have fireplace or woodstove? Spiders love wood. Is it time to bring the Christmas tree or other house plants inside? Perfect vehicles for spiders. Take a good look at these items before bringing them inside. A spider’s egg sac can contain hundreds of eggs, and, trust us, you do not want that hatching inside your home.
  • Shake ‘Em Off. Not all clothes are appropriate for being stored in the house. Work clothes, coveralls, and the like are more appropriately stored in garages, sheds, and workshops, but unfortunately for us, these then make great places for spiders to set up shop and lay eggs. If you have clothing that you store in an outbuilding, it is important to shake them out before putting them on. And speaking of clothing, if your plan is to do some DIY spider eradication or pest control of any kind, we recommend wearing long sleeves, pants, and other protective clothing that keeps one’s body safe from harm.
  • Clutter free, spider free. We know it’s tough to stay on top of absolutely everything, but keeping parts of the home like attics, garages, and sheds uncluttered will go a long way in your spider prevention efforts. Periodically grab the shop vac and hit all the corners while also taking the time to move things around. Spiders tend to lay eggs in undisturbed areas, so the tidier, the better. Also try to avoid planting shrubbery to close to your home, as this also creates a much-preferred web-building and egg-laying venue for many kinds of spiders.
  • Keep It Secure. As is common with many of the pests we deal with, spiders are very adept at making their way inside people’s homes through small breeches in people’s homes — think poorly sealed windows and doors, crack in the home’s foundation, or small spaces where utility lines run into the house. Periodically checking these areas and dealing accordingly, can help ensure no spiders will be making their way inside the home any time soon.  

If You’ve Been Bitten By A Spider In Portland, Oregon

Though spider bites are pretty rare, they can happen and they can have negative consequences. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a spider and you’re experiencing concerning allergic or health-related symptoms, we advise you don’t panic and strongly recommend that you seek out medical attention immediately.

Don’t try to remove the venom yourself. Be watchful of the most common symptoms: swelling, irritability, sweating, fever, nausea, and shortness of breath, and, if at all possible and if you have time, catch and bring the offending arachnid to the hospital with you. This helps medical officials identify what bit you so they can apply the most effective treatment method for your situation. And while we have answered a different type of calling, applying the most effective treatment method — for pests, mind you — is precisely what we do.

We think spiders are important, fascinating creatures. We also think that people often have a very hard time with spiders, and deserve the peace of mind of a pest-free household. If you’re experiencing the burden of spiders, or any other pest infestation, don’t hesitate to call Aspen Pest Control. We’re here to serve all your pest control needs, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have! Call us today.