Fear of spiders ranks as one of our greatest phobias along with fear of snakes, heights and public speaking. It’s estimated that wherever we go we are never more than a few feet away from a spider. There are more than 500 kinds in Illinois living in a variety of environments. However, only a few varieties are often found indoors.

To start with, effective control begins with identification. Identifying the species is necessary. Moreover, it is important to know whether the spider is a hunter or web-hanging kind.

Spiders that catch their prey in webs are usually found in or near their webs. Often, these arachnids are more easily controlled than those that roam in search of prey. Indeed, control sometimes is as simple as destroying the webs and squashing the spider with a fly swatter, newspaper or shoe. A vacuum cleaner works well too and leaves less mess. Vacuuming their webs is a good, non-toxic method that is also good on hunting spiders, if you are quick enough.

We suggest checking the foundation for cracks and holes. Also check vents, around window and door frames, and for gaps around utility and cable lines. Seal these potential entry points with caulk, expandable foam, concrete or similar materials.

Indoor pesticide use is best applied to cracks, crevices and voids that harbor spiders. Also, consider using dust formulations in wall voids, around fireplaces, crawlspaces and attics. However, this method is not good for easily accessible areas or false ceilings. Micro encapsulates or Wettable Powder formulations are effective in attics and basements as well as the exterior.

Sticky traps are another non-toxic means of control. Again, proper identification of the spiders and their habits will decide which control methods is effective in eradication.