One common question I get from pest management professionals (PMPs) is “why are spiders so difficult to control?” The answer, though, is not an easy one to explain for three big reasons:
- We rely on pests’ grooming practices to help deliver the pesticide from the outside of their bodies by grooming it off with their mouthparts. But spiders do not groom themselves like many insects do.
- Most pest control products are targeted to insects. But spiders are not insects; their biochemistry is different.
- Spiders typically are not exposed to the pesticide residues for long enough, or with enough surface area of their bodies, to pick up enough product to reach a lethal dose.
Thus, when a customer has an ongoing spider problem, consider the following:
- Identification of the specific spider species will help you determine control methods.
- Sanitation: Remove as much clutter and debris as possible where the spiders are living.
- Use a “quick-knockdown” product for fast relief.
- Physically remove webs where possible.
- Use a residual, and pinpoint application into harborage areas.
Spiders can be a difficult pest, and often require a different mindset. Remember to start with a thorough inspection — and don’t be afraid to try something new.
With every pest situation, knowledge is power — and spiders are no different. Read more for Dr. Reed about identifying spiders.