Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Spiders
QUESTION: Hi. I have found several of the same kind of spider in my home. Many of them already dead. I think it's a brown wolf spider...one was pretty large and the dead ones are smaller. I am completely freaked out. I am wondering if I have a infestation or nest in home. In the last month I have found approx 10-15. Also a few months ago I found a few dead ones. I don't treat my home often. I don't think my elderly cat is getting them...because one was alive and he ignored it when I was yelling at him please attack. Wondering if I have a monster spider that is killing these. I found two in the last two days dead. I guess better dead than alive...but what is killing them. I am fearful of a huge one popping out.
I have a extreme irrational fear of them. I attempt to control it. However I fail.
Is there a nest in home?
Could they be inside a couch? Or just getting it from cracks in baseboards and doors cracks?
They are all the same color and kind.
Thank you so much. I have searched online and no help..only more creepy calling panic attacks reading websites.
I live in South Florida. Attached a photo with a microscope app.
Thank you so much again!! :)
ANSWER: Hello Sam,
Thanks for the photo. Unfortunately, it is very blurry and I won't be able to identify the spider.
There are a few reasons why people find a lot of dead spiders in their homes. The first is due to some kind of bug spray/poison. You said in your message that you don't treat your home often-- what did you mean by this? What type of treatment and how often? It could be that the last treatment worked, or that a treatment targeting another pest also kills spiders.
Another reason, as you have mentioned, is that a cat could be killing them. Is it possible that your cat catches them when he is bored/alone and not when you are around?
I suppose it is possible that another spider is killing them. Are the dead spiders all showing up in the same part of the house? You could check the undersides of tables and chairs, under the beds, inside cabinets, etc. to try to find another spider, but if you have already done this and haven't found anything, this probably isn't the explanation.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Jessica,
Thank you so much for you reply. I'm sorry for not being clearer. I was very scared. I suffer from terrible irrational fear of spiders. I understand it not rational and constantly work on overcoming it. However the fear gets the best of me. Coupled with the fact I have found perhaps several of them. Found one today. I was on the phone and almost stepped on it. I went to throw a magazine on top of it without freaking out due to the phone conversation (lol) It pulled back it's legs and did the karate kid impression. It looked flatter and grayer than the other brown ones. This one found near dog water bowl in kitchen. First one seen in the kitchen.
Most I found alive or dead on the exterior wall of apartment...front door and other wall near sliding glass door are. The one in picture was found at the entrance of the bedroom. Before I went to bed it was not there. In the morning I found it. It's a small apt perhaps 900 sq.ft. The people upstairs recently did some work..I heard the floors being scrapped with construction noises. I then started find black ants in bathroom and bedroom closet. I asked the association to do the exterior spray. I did the whole inside clean. I've gone from ants, fleas, to now spiders it feels like in the past 3 months. Although the spiders seem to be the most in number. Perhaps their size and dread of finding. However I lived here over 5 yrs and NEVER have I had a problem like this with spiders. Occasional one or two. Some years never saw one.
It could have been cat however, I have seen him ignore them completely when I'm home. Since we adopted the dog he seemed to lose all interest in spiders, also moving to Florida found the lizards more fascinating. Just seems to be that way. I do hope he found his groove again.
I sprayed "Home Defense" from hardware store approx a month ago when I did a full spring clean. I have been using white vinegar, water and lemon spray for around the home for any possible fleas or ants. Both ants and fleas were taken care of quickly with clean up, flea prevention, and vacuuming and cleaning constantly. So to think these insects attracted them I would doubt because it was short lived. However I don't really know.
I have found the dead spiders along the living room walls. Both walls have a exterior door. The alive spiders in the middle of dinning room (BIG ONE) and one in kitchen (first time) I wish I snapped photos.
I enclosed another picture. I snapped a few. Yet the near site of them put me in a huge panic. I have scanned websites and believe they are wolf spiders. With the exception of the one picture...(taken with the microscope app) they all look solid brown in color. The photo shows the underside of this one is lighter color like grey or off white. Perhaps the micro app.
My concern is knowing why they are all of a sudden in my home after 5 yrs of not being here. To get rid of them completely from my home. Why are there so many? Infestation in building? I'm on the ground floor of three floors. Why am I finding them dead? I do not see any webs and always see them on the ground late night. I never seen them running on the floor. I always bump right into them and they are just sitting there like thinking "if I don't move she wont notice me."
Thank you so much. THIS website and YOU ROCK! I really appreciate you.
ANSWER: Hi Sam,
I am sorry about your spider problem. I think that the poisons you have been using are working, which is why you are seeing so many dead spiders. Spiders are usually very good at hiding, so you probably didn't realize you had so many until they started dying. You should find out if your neighbors also have spiders. If so, maybe it is an infestation. If this is the case, the complex/property management may be able to do something.
I would also try clearing any vegetation that may be around the building/near the windows.
To answer your question about why this is happening after 5 years... I can't say. Sometimes a change in vegetation and/or weather can make insects and spiders change location. You can also expect to see more spiders in the summer months than at other times of the year.
I don't see any more photos, as you mentioned. I am not sure where you live, but likely the only spiders you really have to worry about are black widows and maybe brown recluses. The first photo is definitely not of either of those. I do understand, however, that spiders are upsetting to have in your home even if they aren't dangerous.
Best of luck,
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QUESTION: Hi Jessica,
Thank you so much for your reply and all the great information. I can see the second image I sent under my name in thread. It's a link named "Image: spider-second-picture."
Unfortunately I have found more. I almost stepped on one in kitchen. It was grey unlike the usual brown ones I am finding. When I went to throw a magazine over it I missed and tried again, the spider then lifted it's two legs doing the 'karate kid' type of move. I guess showing me it's fangs feeling threatened from what I've read.
I found a few live ones among the dead ones. Seem to bump into them and they just freeze as if they sense me and don't want to move to go unnoticed.
Today my concern is a new one I just found. I am enclosing three photos because I really need to identify. I woke up this morning feeling very ill. Headache, vomiting, chills and sweats. Came out of nowhere, not due to anything I ate or flu bug. It went away after a few hours. I went to lay down and when I got back up I saw a dark thing on edge of bed. It was dark in the room and instinct made me flicked it to the floor. I searched the floor and saw nothing. A few hours later entered my bedroom and in plain sight under the bed (near edge of bed) Another dead spider. Same as the other brown ones...this one's legs seem longer and thinner. I took some photos and went to flip it on it's other side for a picture and it's legs moved!! Not sure if it was rigamortis or it was still half alive.
I'm in South Florida and the poisonous ones are a concern. I don't see a obvious bite on me with a simple check. But I woke up very sick and my concern is a bite. Of course the safety of my elderly cat and dog getting bitten too. This is the first one I have seen in the bedroom.
I have no idea where they are coming in. I have ceramic tile through out apartment (1st floor) The mortar is lifted up in some corners and places. I will seal them up and replace weatherstripping on the floor. Can they get in the opening of an interior wall with the mortar is missing around ceramic tile?
Also please let me know if you have any clue of what type of spider this is. I am enclosing three pictures.
THANK YOU AGAIN. I am so uneasy. I can't sleep in bedroom tonight. thank you for understanding. I am doing my best to have some bug humanity, and learning they don't want to attack me as my fear tells me lol. I have counted over 10 in the last 3 weeks. So this means there is a problem with a possible infestation is this correct? Not the occasional one that wandered inside.
Thanks a million,
I am sorry to hear you are still having anxiety about spiders, and that you might have been bitten.
If you can't find a bite on your skin, then it probably wasn't a spider bite that made you sick. However, if you are still feeling sick, or are still concerned, please see a doctor. Here is a website with venomous spiders in Florida, but in my opinion, from your descriptions and photos, I do NOT believe you have these spiders:
Recluses tend to NOT be found near other recluses. Because you are finding dozens of these spiders in your home, I would not worry about them being recluses. If you would like an ID, try getting a photo that shows the spider's body and head, and send that along.
I know it can be uncomfortable to have spiders in your home (and bed), but you very likely don't have to worry about your safety. However, if you see one of the spiders on the site linked above, please contact a pest control service right away, and if you believe you have been bitten, see a doctor.