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What are Huntsman spiders?

Imagine knowing that a momma spider just gave birth to 200 baby spiders in your house!  And now imagine that you are excited and think this is wonderful news.  Impossible, you say?  Not really – at least not for those who opt for natural pest control.

As the name implies, the Huntsman Spiders hunt.  They stalk, hunt and kill other pests such as cockroaches, flies and beetles.  These spiders can grow quite large and are sometimes known as the giant Crab Spider because of how it looks.

Although not native to the United States, this species is now established in the warmer, southern states of the US.  They are often called banana spiders as they sometimes immigrate into the US from the tropical banana-growing regions of the world.  However, it’s important to note that the Huntsman is not the deadly Brazilian Wandering Spider.

The Huntsman’s body can grow up to an inch long and their legs can measure in at 5 inches long.  Their body is flat, allowing it to shimmy into tight spaces and their legs are very hairy.  Unlike most other spiders, they don’t make a web to catch their prey.  Instead, they wait patiently for something tasty to walk by, at which point the Huntsman quickly attacks and subdues the prey.

Though large and intimidating, these spiders are actually very shy.  Naturally nocturnal, they can exist in a house without the occupants every really noticing.  They tend to shy away from humans, but the females will bite and become aggressive if she’s guarding her young or her eggs.  The bite can be painful, but the venom is so slight that most people don’t experience much more than swollen skin at the site of the bite.

Although there are people that like the Huntsman around the house, most people absolutely do not.  The thought of 200+ little babies running around making your nooks and crannies their home is unbearable for most homeowners.  Insecticides don’t usually work against this type of spider as they are great at hiding in deep cracks.  They are fast moving spiders, so it’s sometimes hard to trap them, but if you’re quick, you might be able to use a cup to trap the spider and move it far away from your home.

These spiders should never be squished as it could be a female carrying eggs under her belly.  Squishing the momma sets the babies loose.  As always, professionals can help you get rid of this type of spider if you simply don’t wish to deal with it on your own.

13 May

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