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Everything Arizona Homeowners Should Know About The Most Common Home-Invading Spiders In The State, And The Potential Dangers They Pose To Residents

Tens of thousands of spider species across the world have been discovered and described in entomological literature, and although arachnophobia is considered one of the most common phobias, the vast majority of spider species are not even capable of biting, let alone envenomizing humans. Unfortunately for arachnophobes living in Arizona, the largest and most fear-inspiring spider species inhabit the state, but tarantulas and other large spiders have nothing to gain by associating with humans, and therefore, they are rarely found indoors. In fact, by definition, spiders can scarcely be called “pests,” and most species have not adapted to indoor conditions. Even the spider species that are most commonly controlled within and around homes by pest control professionals are generally unobtrusive, and their indoor presence is very rarely noticed.

The small size of cellar spiders make their presence within homes relatively tolerable from an aesthetic perspective, and while they, and almost all spider species are venomous, the fangs of cellar spiders often fail to penetrate skin. When cellar spiders are professionally eliminated from homes it’s usually because their webs have become numerous and annoying within living spaces. American and domestic house spiders also spin tattered webs, and while they are capable of biting, they rarely do so; instead, they will run and hide, or even play dead when approached by humans. The only spiders that demand immediate and professional pest control intervention are those species that are known to inflict medically harmful bites.

Harmful spiders that have adapted to human dwellings in Arizona include western black widow spiders and yellow-sac spiders, both of which are among the ten most commonly controlled indoor spider pests. Yellow-sac spiders are not nearly as dangerous as western black widows, but even in the latter’s case, bites rarely warrant medical intervention. Despite what many Arizona residents enjoy repeating, the brown recluse cannot be found in the state. That being said, five recluse spider species inhabit the Sonoran desert, and their venom is just as dangerous as that of their brown recluse relative. Unlike the brown recluse, the five recluse spider species in Arizona are very rarely found in homes; insead, they inhabit desert landscapes that have not been disturbed by human activity or urban developments. The most commonly encountered recluse spider species in Arizona is commonly referred to as the “brown spider,” and they are nearly identical to brown recluse spiders in appearance.

Have you ever encountered a recluse spider species in your home?

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