Class: Arachnida, Order: Araneae
Spiders have characteristic appearance which is easily recognizable. They possess eight legs which immediately separate them from insects, which have only six legs. Their bodies have two regions: a cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and an abdomen.
Many spiders are associated with moister and, therefore, are found in basements, crawl spaces, and other damp parts of buildings. Others live in warm, dry places so are found in subfloor air-vents, in upper corners of rooms or in attics. Most species hide in cracks, darkened areas, or other retreats which they construct of silk.
Young spiders, or spiderlings, resemble the adults except for size and, sometimes, coloration.
All spiders have a pair of jaw-like structures, called chelicerae. At the end of each is a hollow, claw-like fang. Each fang has a small opening in the end through which venom is injected into the prey. Spinnerets, located at the tip end of the abdomen, are silk spinning glands used for web making. Many species of spiders are common household pests. Remember that every “cobweb” was made by a spider. Although all spiders use venom when they bite and kill their prey, the black widow and the brown recluse spiders are the only North American species consistently dangerous to humans. Under most conditions outdoors, spiders are considered beneficial because they feed on insects.
By reducing clutter will help eliminate hiding spots. Always wear heavy gloves when moving things that have been stored for awhile. There are only two spiders in the southern and western United States that are seriously harmful when accidentally disturbed, and that is the black widow and brown recluse.