Tips to prevent spiders in the fall


October 16, 2023

Black widow. Photo:


American Pest Control and National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are helping pest management professionals (PMPs) educate homeowners on spider species and the threats they pose.

“Just like us humans, spiders like warm environments where they can be sheltered from cold weather” Caleb Bales, field training coordinator at American Pest Control, said in the news release. “Unfortunately, homes provide the perfect harborage site for these creepy crawlers to hide out during the cool fall and winter months, which can lead to increased spider encounters and even a large infestation.”

While some spiders bite if disturbed, most species are not harmful to humans. However, there are two species with particularly potent bites that can lead to severe symptoms such as pain and swelling or an open sore at the bite site, redness, cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, tremors, sweating and more.

Photo: McCarthy Pest Control

Photo: McCarthy Pest Control

  • Black widow spiders are black and shiny with a telltale red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. This spider tends to seek out dry and dark locations. Female black widow spiders are known to be aggressive and bite in defense, especially when guarding eggs. In rare cases, black widow spider bites can be fatal.
  • Brown recluse spiders are light to dark brown, with a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back. The brown recluse spider also bites in defense when disturbed and prefers closets, attics, and crawlspaces as they provide warm, dry, and dark environments. Severe bite wounds from brown recluse spiders may take longer to heal and can result in scarring.

PMPs should advise homeowners keep spiders out of their homes by removing potential harborage sites. Be sure to keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free and seal up cracks or crevices around the home.

For more information on spiders, please visit


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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