Spiders in Wichita, Kansas and Surrounding Areas
There are many different spiders you may encounter in Wichita, Kansas. Not all spiders are harmful so it is important to identify the species of spider you are dealing with. While they may startle you or make you squirm, some spiders are actually beneficial as they help reduce the population of other harmful insects. Spiders feed on insects that commonly invade your home like pill bugs, millipedes and centipedes, beetles, and other occasional invaders. However, if they have a steady supply of food available, they may become well established in your home. For your health and sanity, you don’t want to have a spider infestation in your house. Spiders can be very difficult to control and that’s why it is so important to hire a pest control company like Patton Termite & Pest Control that can keep these intruders at bay.
There are a few different types of spiders in Kansas that may bite humans. Bites from the two spiders below are dangerous and potentially deadly.
If you are bitten by either the Brown Recluse or Black Widow Spider it is important for you to seek treatment immediately!
The Black Widow Spider
The Female is easily identified by her black color and red hourglass design on her abdomen (underside). The male Black Widow Spider is smaller and is often light brown. However, males aren’t too much cause for concern as they do not produce toxic venom.
Black Widow Habitat and Behavior
Female Black Widows produce webs that are thick and disorganized. You will find them in secluded areas in garages, cellars, crawl spaces, sheds, outbuildings, and other undisturbed areas in and around the home. They can also be found in and around wood piles, organic debris, and within enclosed, protected areas (like an electrical box or unused planter). She is usually found with her egg sac and does not go far.
If you accidentally disturb her web or egg sac, she may become aggressive. It’s important to use caution if you are moving items or cleaning in areas where they are commonly found. It’s also important to use gloves when handling firewood and outdoor debris.
The Brown Recluse Spider
Male and Female Brown Recluse Spiders can be a variety of shades of brown and have a dark brown, fiddle-shaped marking on their backs. They are a medium sized spider ranging from the size of a quarter to a 50 cent piece.
Brown Recluse Habitat and Behavior
The name “Recluse” refers to their reclusive behavior and habitat. They are often found in hidden and undisturbed areas in the home. These spiders will hide in closets, boxes, clothing piles, shoes, under beds, and many other places on the ground. Brown Recluse Spiders are typically found indoors but they can also be found outdoors in well hidden and protected areas.
Populations can become very large in homes. This is because their food supply can be very abundant. They are able to feed on both dead and live insects. Also, they are able to live for 3+ years while females construct multiple egg sacs with anywhere from 20-50 eggs at a time in each. The Brown Recluse’s large reproductive numbers and long life are conducive for an infestation if no control measures are taken.
Brown Recluse Spiders aren’t intentionally aggressive. Bites usually occur when they become suddenly trapped or disturbed (for example: putting on a shoe with one inside and trapping it against your skin). If you do get bit, however, you should seek medical attention.
Other Common Spiders in Wichita, Kansas
Cobweb spiders are often round and vary in dark colors with short spiny legs. Like most other web making spiders, cobweb spider rest upside down in the middle of their small irregular webs. Cobweb spiders will inhabit areas such as porch eaves, garages, windows, and all indoor areas. These spiders may have continuous development in warmer climates like Kansas. Most cobweb spider bite are harmless and not very painful. However, some species are closely related to hourglass spiders such as black widows, that may have a more powerful bite.
Cellar spiders are often confused with Opiliones or daddy long legs which are not spiders. These spiders can be identified by their long legs that are banded at the joints. Unlike daddy long legs, these spiders are often long bodied instead of round. Cellar spiders create large webs in structure areas such as basements, crawl spaces, garages, and dark corners. These spiders are often found upside down on the large web, causing disdain by residents. While spiders have been reported throughout the U.S. culture as very harmful or toxic. Cellar spiders bite is not painful nor is the venom dangerous.
Golden Garden Spiders
These colorful, showy spiders have been seen by most individuals in Kansas. Golden Garden Spiders are large in size and have a distinct yellow, black, silver abdomen. These spiders are commonly found in large webs, positioned directly in the center with head facing toward the ground. Their dense silk webs may be found in tree branches, woody stemmed weeds, even on the sides of walls of man-made structures. Additionally, they are often found throughout the summer and late fall. Female garden spiders will lay eggs in her web in early autumn which will overwinter until next spring.
These plump spiders often look round to heart shaped, also many are gray or brown but certain species are brightly colored with banded legs. While there are about 180 species of orb weavers in the U.S., most of these are found outdoors in landscaping or on exterior walls of buildings. Most species are nocturnal feeders, resting in nearby shade or sheltered areas during the day. The nests constructed during the night may be found in porch eaves, between posts, doorways, winders, and tree branches. Most orb weavers lay eggs in large papery sacs, which hatch in the spring. When the hatchlings emerge, the spiderlings produce silk strands for a dispersal movement process called ‘ballooning”. Strong upwind will move the spiderlings through the air long distances and to high spaces like large building and trees.
With about 200 species in the U.S., Kansas has many species inhabiting the state. Wolf Spiders are known as a larger spider with long legs, typically a body size about 1 inch in length. They possess a similar brown pattern to the grass and ground spider but are much larger in size. The mother wolf spider will carry hatchlings on her back until old enough to fend for themselves, often causing panic to residents. While these spiders are active hunters of the outdoors, they may invade homes during the late fall, where the temperature will be elevated through winter. The venom of wolf spiders is not commonly dangerous to humans, bites may cause secondary bacterial infections.
While both ground and grass spiders have similar bodily characteristics and habitat, the two are different families. Ground Spiders have two dark brown stripes down the cephalothorax and abdomen, while the grass spiders two dark stripes cover the cephalothorax. The grass spider is known for funnel or tunnel webs (sheet like) on grass, weeds, and ground covers. Grass spiders bite may cause minor pain with swelling and itching. Certain ground spiders are nocturnal hunters, while other spin small irregular webs beneath stone, bark, and leaf litter (BASF spider identification guide). Some ground spider will bite. However, the venom is not dangerous to humans.
Jumping species are found near structures the most often with about 300 species inhabiting the U.S. Jumping spider vary in colors, black, brown, gray, or beige (rarely green), and are often hairy on the abdomen. These spiders are active hunters, typically during the day for full visibility. The name “jumping” spiders comes from their quick ability to hop and move around. These spiders are also known for their unique mating behavior, commonly the males dance for the females attention and approval. The spiders may often be found on exterior walls or window screens of structures. Venom is not usually harmful to humans.
If you do have a problem with these spiders entering your home in or around Wichita, general pest control treatments from a licensed professional will help as well as some methods of exclusion. Additionally, you can learn about our Residential Maintenance Program that helps with these occasional invaders and more!
How can I tell if I have a spider problem?
In Wichita, Kansas it is common to have spiders in your home. The most obvious sign is a spider’s web, which consists of sticky and non-sticky silken thread, and serves as its living and eating quarters. While some spiders actively hunt their prey, such as the wolf spider and jumping spiders, most spin magnificent webs in order to catch their prey in mid-air. For exterior spiders, you will see the webs, and you may see the spiders, especially when you turn on lights after dark.
For interior spiders in Wichita, you will probably see them crawling across the floor, on the walls, or on the ceiling. You will also see their webs tucked away in corners and around window frames. If you have brown recluse spiders, they generally lurk in dark and undisturbed areas like the back of closets, behind furniture, in storage rooms, and attics.
Monitoring Spiders with Glue Boards
A good way to monitor your spider activity is to use Insect Monitor Traps. These small, sticky boards are fairly inexpensive and give you a great deal of insight about the pests in your home. They are best placed along baseboards and in corners and will catch any spiders, as well as other insects, that try to walk across them. These monitors let you know which areas of your home have pest activity and can help give our technicians more insight about what goes on between services. We place these Insect Monitor Traps as part of our standard residential pest control service.
Whether your problem with spiders is small or complex, here are some tips from the experts at Patton Termite and Pest Control for dealing with these insects:
- Move and shake boxes inside your home and in the garage to disturb spiders.
- Clean your closets twice a year as this can also help keep spiders at bay.
- Wear protective gloves when moving boxes, furniture and cleaning your home as poisonous spiders like the Brown Recluse spiders can penetrate your skin and threaten your life.
- Set up sticky traps around the home in corners and along baseboards. This can help catch spiders, but more importantly it can notify you of spider activity.
- Vacuum regularly along baseboards, in corners of rooms, and in the backs of closets to kill spiders and destroy webs.
- Turn off the porch lights when they aren’t necessary because they attract bugs which in turn attracts spiders.
- Lastly, openings around doors and windows that would allow pests to enter into your home.
Work with a Local Pest Control Professional
Even if you take all of the necessary precautions, you may still end up with spiders in your Wichita home. Keep in mind that it is better to err on the side of caution and hire a professional pest control company like Patton Termite & Pest Control of Wichita to take care of your spiders. We use materials in a strategic way and according to labels and EPA requirements to minimize the pesticide risk to your family. Therefore, if you treat on your own, you may not be using the most effective and strategic methods for controlling spiders.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spider Treatment:
How long does a spider treatment typically take?
Spider treatment for most homes, performed by our specialists at Patton Termite & Pest Control, takes between 30 – 60 minutes. Some specialized services like Brown Recluse clean outs can be a bit more extensive and take longer. However, all treatments will depend on the severity and extent of the problem so we will work with you to give you a true estimate according to your specific needs.
Will spider treatment eliminate my spiders completely?
Unfortunately, we can’t promise that you’ll never see a spider in your house ever again. Spiders are a common pest in Wichita, Kansas and not all of them are truly bad. It is bad, though, when they infest your home and threaten your sanity and health. We can significantly reduce your spider populations and take care of spider infestations so you can rest a little easier.
Does spider extermination work on other bugs as well?
With Patton Termite & Pest Control’s Residential Pest Control Program, you’ll be protected from a variety of pests. This includes spiders, beetles, ants, pillbugs, millipedes, centipedes, and many other occasional invaders that are common in Wichita and surrounding areas. Not all pest treatments are the same. However, our trained professionals will examine the pest pressures in your home and make sure to use materials and methods that make sense for proper management of your pests.
Is spider treatment safe for my pets or kids?
All of our technicians are trained to treat safety as a priority. Patton Termite & Pest Control is also a family owned and operated company so we recognize the importance of keeping families and pets out of harms way, especially in their own homes. All materials are used according to labels and guidelines with your pets and family in mind. We also offer Green Services for people wanting to limit exposure to insecticides in their homes.
For specific spider treatment information and pricing, give us a call or message us here! We can discuss what kind of treatment would work best for you. 316-773-3825.
The below resources were referenced above in regards to Kansas Spiders. Check out the links for more information about Spiders in Wichita and surrounding areas in Kansas.
- Jacobs, Steve. Insect Advice From Extension. 2002. PennState. Department of Entomology. Commonly Encounter Pennsylvania Spiders. https://extension.psu.edu/commonly-encountered-pennsylvania-spiders?
- Salsbury, G and White, Stephan. Insects in Kansas. 2000. Kansas Department of Agriculture.
- Wegner, Gerald. BASF: Spider Identification Guide. 2018. PSS18-2600. Www.pestcontrol.basf.us