How to Keep Tarantulas Out of Your Home and Yard
If you suffer from arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or are concerned for your children or pets, you may wish to rid your home or yard of tarantulas as well as other spiders. (Bear in mind, however, that you could see a corresponding increase in the insect population, which tarantulas and the other spiders help to control.)
Find the Tarantulas
Since tarantulas are typically creatures of the night, you may not see them frequently in your house or yard, unless it is mating season, when the males emerge from burrows during the daylight hours to seek a mate.
In your house, you may find their nests, surrounded by an irregular mat of silken webbing, in places such as:
- Dark corners of storage closets and cabinets
- Dark corners of an attic
- Spaces behind or under heavy and seldom-moved furniture
- Interiors of utility boxes
- Interiors of crawl spaces
- Storage spaces in a garage
Tarantula peeking out from its burrow. See one in action in this video.
Photo by Jay Sharp.
Your yard is a more likely place for tarantulas, especially if there is insect-attracting moisture. Outside, you could find their nests in places such as:
- Floor-level corners of outdoor porches and patios
- Bases of exterior walls (especially behind garden plants)
- Seldom-used boxes and tools in outdoor storage sheds
- Root bases of trees, shrubs and garden plants
- Ground-level spaces among large decorative stones
Control of Tarantulas
You should begin by consulting with a pest control firm for information about the best procedures for controlling the spiders in your local area.
Once you have located tarantulas' nests, you have a number of readily available options for killing the spiders and the egg sacs. For instance, you can use a dry powder, a wettable powder, glue-based spider traps, or a liquid spray. The powders and traps may prove more effective because spiders, unlike various insects, do not absorb liquid chemicals through their feet and legs.
After eliminating the spiders and egg sacs, you can remove the webs with specially designed dusters. You can also collect the dead (and living) spiders, egg sacs and webs with a small specially designed and inexpensive vacuum. You can discourage future infestations by applying a chemical spray that impedes nest building.
Whatever methods you choose, you should wear protective clothing and glasses, especially if you working in close spaces, to minimize the risk of spider bites and chemical inhalation.
Follow-up Control of Tarantulas
If tarantulas and other spiders become chronic visitors, you may need to reduce the nightlights that attract insect prey and reduce clutter that encourages nesting sites. You may have to repeat control efforts as needed.
Should you wish to rescue rather than exterminate a tarantula, Brent Hendrixson advises "gently chase the spider into a jar with a paintbrush or other long object with a soft end, and deposit it as far away as you feel comfortable... these animals are completely beneficial to humans, feeding on cockroaches, crickets, scorpions, and likely mice and other rodents." (Source: "So You Found A Tarantula," American Tarantula Society Internet site)
Common Questions About Tarantulas
More pictures of Tarantulas by Kenton Elliott at Calico. They were photographed on Main Street at Calico Ghost town in California.
Great American Southwest 3D puzzle Tarantula model.
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