1. Spiders

What is a Spider?

Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia are home to a variety of different species of spiders.  The most notable spiders to be found in Baltimore, Washington DC, Alexandria, and throughout our region include:


• Yellow Sac Spider:  Yellow sac spiders (cheiracanthium punctorium) are small, approximately ½ inch long, fast moving, pale yellowish spiders that can be found in nearly any room throughout the home.  In the fall, yellow sac spiders move indoors in large numbers and remain active for several months.  

They are known for resting in silken sacs during the day and actively hunting at night for other small insects, including other spiders.  

As they hunt, they often encounter humans (typically by accident) and may bite when brushed against or pinched.  It is suspected that the yellow sac spider accounts for more bites on people than any other spider in the US, but thankfully their venom produces only minor, localized pain and swelling similar to a mosquito bite.  


• Wolf Spider:  Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders that can grow to nearly an inch in length. These spiders live solitary lives, but do not sit quietly in webs waiting for their prey; they have been known to stalk then chase their prey for short distances. Wolf spiders are often feared by humans (due to their great size) but they seldom bite and are not considered dangerous.


• Black Widow Spider: The black widow spider makes its home in Maryland, several southern states, and has been seen as far north as Massachusetts. They are roughly ½ inch in length, appearing oily black in color, and include any number of defining reddish marks (not always in the shape of an hourglass) on the underside of the abdomen.

Black widows are generally found outdoors, preferring dark, undisturbed corners in basement window wells, barns, garages, and other structures. Although rarely resulting in death, the black widow bite is venomous. If you should uncover these spiders in and around your home, contact American Pest.


• Brown Recluse Spider:  This spider is rarely seen in homes in Maryland, but may be introduced into buildings on household goods from mid and southwest states.  The brown recluse body is about 1/3rd of an inch in length with long, shiny, smooth legs.  The top, front of this spider is marked with a dark brown, violin-shaped design.  

The back of the abdomen is tan or brown in color and bears no markings.  Like the black widow spider, the bite from this spider is venomous, which in extreme cases has caused death in humans.  

Brown recluse spiders prefer to live in quiet, undisturbed places and bites usually occur when humans accidentally come in contact with them while cleaning out under beds, in garages or while rummaging through boxes of old clothing.

Common Spider Questions

Why do I have them?

House spiders are predatory insects that will move indoors, especially during the cooler months of the year, to find secure areas to build their webs. They primarily live outside in protected areas around windows and doors, or under eaves where light will attract prey. House spiders prefer to feed on small flies, mosquitoes and other invertebrate insects. Inside, you will find their webbing strung in garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, in corners and closets, under furniture, or along joints where the wall meets the ceiling.

Are they dangerous?

House spiders are not known to be an aggressive spider and although they can bite their venom is not dangerous to humans. They are more cause for frustration as a nuisance pest indoors because of their habit to abandon and rebuild webs.

How do I get rid of Spiders?

House spiders are opportunistic pests that generally will only enter into your property if there is an easy means of doing so. You can help to control interior spider populations from the exterior by keeping shrubs and bushes trimmed away from the exterior of the property, as well as sealing any holes or cracks around doors, windows, and basements. Calling American Pest is the best way to ensure your property is kept free of nuisance pests.

Can I do it myself?

While there are some Do-It-Yourself spider control products on the market, they are generally ineffective unless proper, continued maintenance is carried out.

How soon can you get here?

At American Pest, we strive to give our customers a rapid, efficient service and make every effort to be with you the same or very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

All products used by American Pest are EPA registered for pest control use. Only then can they be considered for use by our highly trained pest control professionals. You can be assured that pest control services provided by American Pest will not cause any harm to humans or pets.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Preventing house spiders can be a very difficult task due to their naturally shy and elusive tendencies. Should your property become infested by spiders, your first call should be to American Pest. We are committed to improving the quality of life for all of our customers by providing the safest and most effective treatment for the management of pests which pose a threat to their health, property, and food supply.





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