What do spiders look like?
Belonging to the ‘arachnid’ family, spiders are eight-legged animals and cause much distress to many scientists. Why? Because different scientists have different views on how spiders should be classified. Although there are currently around 20 different classification systems, the one most widely accepted show nearly 46,000 different species and over 110 families. All adult spiders have eight legs, are wingless, lack antennae, have two body regions (cephalothorax and an abdomen), and six to eight eyes.
Spiders are helpful by providing a service; they offer a natural form of pest control, feeding on and reducing populations of dangerous and destructive insects. Spiders catch prey by actively running after them or capturing them in their webs. They use specialized mouthparts to inject their prey with digestive fluids and suck out the liquefied remains to consume prey.
If you have come across a spider in New Mexico that you need help identifying, head on over to Spider ID where there are user-contributed pictures of spiders found here in New Mexico. The pictures are also tagged with timestamps and location information. This is convenient for identifying spider types specific to the area you live in as some species may be unique to certain parts of New Mexico. You can learn more fun facts about spiders by visiting some of our other articles on the website.
Common Types of Spiders in New Mexico
With so many species of spider, it makes sense that many thousands can be found across the US but there are a few that cause the most problems in New Mexico specifically. For example, this includes the Arizona brown spider (recluse), black widow, hobo spider, tarantula, house spider, and the wolf spider. The recluse, house spider, wolf spider, and black widows can be found in residential communities all across New Mexico. Tarantula spiders are more common in desert landscapes.
Some of these spiders can be very dangerous for infants and the elderly, so if you notice one of these spiders on your property it may be necessary to have the interior and exterior of the home treated for spiders.
Stinging insects that regularly take over New Mexico yards and homes include the following:
- Black Widow Spider: Shiny black spider with a red hourglass-like marking on the bottom of the abdomen
- Brown Recluse Spider: Light brown spider with a darker brown marking on the top side of the head region
- Wolf Spider: Large, hairy dark brown spider with paler markings or stripes
- Tarantula: Large black or dark brown spider densely covered in hair.
- Jumping Spider: Stocky bodied spider that is black, gray, or brown with pale or white-colored markings on the body and legs
- Banded Garden Spider: Pale yellow-silver spider with many black bands, and legs that are pale yellow with darker spots or bands
What do spiders eat?
Typically, spiders wait for meals to come to them by creating a web; this means they commonly come across flies, ants, mosquitoes, and even bees. However, many species are actually rather fussy; some will go for small animals like centipedes, frogs, and birds, while others are cannibalistic in nature and will eat other spiders.
As mentioned previously, spiders play an important role in managing the insect population. Large webs are an obvious sign you have spiders in your home or yard, however, there are some species that hide well and you may not notice their webs. Black widows and tarantulas won’t build exotic webs overhead, most of the time these spiders build their homes out of the way where they can be difficult to notice.
Like with other pests around the property, you can avoid infestations by limiting the amount of junk and clutter around the yard and in the home. Spiders like to hide and live amongst the clutter, wood stacks, boxes, and junk around the yard become shelters that spiders will occupy.
Are spiders dangerous?
Most spiders living in our home are harmless; either their mouthparts are not strong enough to puncture people’s skin, or their venom is not potent enough to create health problems in people. However, they are an annoyance to have living in our homes, their webs are a nuisance to deal with, and no one wants to be startled regularly by these reclusive creatures.
According to experts, only around 30 (out of 46,000) species of spider can be considered dangerous to our health; unfortunately, New Mexico is home to venomous spiders including the black widow and the tarantula. With fewer than seven Americans dying of venomous spider bites each year, they’re more likely to cause problems for our pets.
It is important to note that in New Mexico, the warm weather allows some dangerous spiders to thrive. Tarantulas, black widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders are all dangerous species, and all live in the Albuquerque area. Spider bites are painful, and the venom they inject causes health issues in people that should be managed by a medical professional.
Why do I have a spider problem?
If you have lots of vegetation on your property, you probably have a lot of insect activity; if you have a lot of insect activity, you will probably also have a lot of spider activity. Spiders will live in any outdoor space that offers them ample shelter and plenty of insects to hunt.
Spiders typically only move into homes that provide them with food to eat and a place to hide. A lot of insect activity, clutter, and humidity allow spiders to thrive inside a home or other structure. Having large populations of spiders living in or around your home is an indicator of an overall pest problem.
Signs Of A Spider Problem
You may have an infestation if you’re seeing numerous spider webs around the home (both inside and outside). Elsewhere, you might see egg sacs and this should be dealt with immediately because the problem will get many times worse if these are left alone. Also, you should be checking the obvious sites around your home regularly; while many will take to crevices, others choose to burrow so keep a watchful eye and don’t ignore the signs.
Keeping areas of the yard where pets rest or children gather will be important for keeping them safe. Animals are also vulnerable to spider bites, so keeping their bedding cleaned regularly will prevent spiders from having the opportunity to spin webs and create homes where your animals sleep.
During the New Mexico summer months, doors and windows are often left open, this is a great opportunity for spiders to enter the home and nest. There are eco-friendly solutions for spiders that can be used to repel them if the infestation is too severe though, you may want to contact a pest control company in Albuquerque to manage any possible spider extermination for you.
Where will I find spiders?
Spiders are some of the most adaptable animals on the planet which means they can live in various habitats; they only really avoid mountains, polar regions, and near the ocean. For us in New Mexico, we’ll find them in trees, in outdoor spaces, and in dark, undisturbed locations; this could be in the basement, behind a bookshelf, or in a cupboard.
Spiders will often time enter the home through window and door openings and spin webs in an attempt to catch prey. This is when they are most noticeable when they begin to spin and build webs indoors where the living quarters are. This can also become a dangerous time for unsuspecting homeowners and their families.
Without knowledge of a spiders presence, an individual may stick their hands in a place where a spider is hiding. As a defense mechanism, it’s possible that this is when people become victim to a spider bite.
Reclusive by nature, spiders live in areas that protect them from predators and are suitable to build webs or burrows. Most yards and houses can become a home to spiders. Places you may discover spiders living include:
- Areas under furniture
- Closets and cabinets
- Corners of rooms and window sills
- Basement and attics
- Shrubs and bushes
- Under decks and porches
- In tall grass and dense vegetation
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How Can I Prevent
Spiders In The Future?
Use the following prevention tips to avoid problems with spiders:
- Carefully check over the outside of your home. Seal any spaces or gaps you notice.
- Outside, reduce the amount of vegetation planted near your house.
- Remove things like fallen trees, rocks, and woodpiles from your yard that could provide spiders with hiding spots.
- Check any boxes, potted plants, and other items that were once outside for spiders before bringing them into your home.
- Reduce the clutter in closets, basements, and other storage areas to limit hiding spots for spiders. The faster you spot these them, the quicker you can eliminate them from your home.
To finish, we should mention a couple of spider prevention strategies; the most important we believe are being aware as a homeowner and keeping their choice of homes to a minimum. Aside from this, there are various repellent products available that contain ingredients like lavender, peppermint, cedar, and citrus. There are many essential oils spiders dislike and many DIY products will help keep your home a spider-free zone! There are other eco-friendly spider repellents out there that you can try out.