It’s no accident that spiders are included in the creepiest crawliest holiday celebrated throughout the United States. Spiders can be very active around Halloween time, laying eggs and preparing for winter. While it is important to spray for spiders all year round, fall, is a particularly good time to address spider concerns to help reduce their prevalence in the spring.
Insect Identification, a national pest identification website, lists 35 species of arachnids commonly found in New Mexico, although we know there are a few more. Both venomous and nonvenomous spiders live in our climate.
Of the venomous spiders, the brown recluse spider is the most dangerous. Great care should be taken to avoid this spider, since serious health concerns can occur from a bite. Brown recluse spiders, however, are not as common as black widows and wolf spiders, two other venomous spiders found here.
Black widows spiders are black with a red “hourglass” shape on their backs. They are ¾ to 3/8 inches in length. Black widows spin webs near ground level, in protected areas such as in boxes or woodpiles, under eaves or other areas where they will not be disturbed. A bite from a black widow causes severe pain, and children and the elderly are at the greatest risk of a serious reaction to a bite.
Wolf Spiders are brown, hairy spiders that range in size from ½ inch to several inches in length. They are often found in New Mexico along the base of stucco houses where the landscaping meets the house. A wolf spider bite can cause pain, redness, swelling of the bite location as well as the lymph glands. The bite sometimes causes a tear in the skin, and sometimes the skin around the bit will turn black. While the bite is painful and can last up to ten days, it is not lethal to humans.
Tarantulas are also common to New Mexico, especially along roadways. These large, hairy spiders do bite, but their venom is not powerful enough to kill a human being. Some people may have allergic reactions to a bite so it is advisable to leave these spiders alone.
The most common non-venomous spiders found in New Mexico are the pillbug spider, the cellar spider and the funnel-weaver. The pillbug spider looks scary, but it is harmless and most interested in eating small pillbugs. The cellar spider, or more commonly known as “daddy longlegs”, is a long legged spider that weaves its webs in basements and around houses. The funnel-weaver spider also weaves large webs in yards, and garages, but includes a funnel-shaped house on one end from which it attacks it prey.Black Widow spiders, Brown Recluse Spiders, Cellar Spider, Daddy Longlegs, Funnel-Weaver Spider, Pest Control, Pillbug Spider, Spider Control, Spiders, Tarantulas, Wolf Spiders