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What is it?

Several varieties of spiders may be in the household. With a few exceptions, they are relatively harmless, staying in corners and forming webs in undisturbed areas of the home. Some are even beneficial, feeding on other household pests such as flies and moths. Occasionally they do bite humans, but in most cases this is not a hazard.

What does it look like?

Spiders usually have a round or oblong body and eight legs. They vary in color, size and hairiness. Most spin silken webs that will be in undisturbed corners and underneath furniture in the home and can vary in size and shape.

How does it manifest?

Spiders wander in from outdoors and seek warm, moist environments or undisturbed areas of the home to spin their webs. When spiders bite humans, it is typically because they have been lain on, stepped on or otherwise provoked. Few spiders such as the brown recluse and black widow are dangerous to humans when they bite, but rarely are their bites fatal.

What can you do about it?

For unsightly webs, knock them out of corners and from beneath furniture with a broom, or vacuum them up. Chemical sprays containing boric acid, pyrethrins and chlorpyrifos will kill the spiders, and often the insects they have been feeding on. Reducing cracks in your home, sealing window screens and cleaning up debris near the house that may harbor spiders are the key to preventing them from coming into your home. Chemical sprays can be used around the outside of the house as well. If you are bitten by a spider and are unsure what type it was, save the spider if possible and seek the assistance of a physician as bites from black widows, brown recluse and similar spiders can cause poisoning and rarely death.