header file for Storm-Related Pests website


Return to Storm Page

female black widow spider with egg sac Heavy rains may force some ground dwelling spiders to "high ground", which may bring them onto the foundation and siding as well as indoors. They may also hide behind window shutters, gutters, etc. Debris that remains on the ground for an extended time may attract insects and other small arthropods that are suitable prey for spiders.   You may also run into spider webs strung across gaps in vegetation. Although many spiders can bite, the majority of them are harmless and their venom has little, if any, effect on people other than those individuals who are hypersensitive. However, it's always a good idea to be cautious and wear work gloves when handling storm debris outdoors or moving items that have been stored undisturbed for long periods of time..

Black widow spiders are found in many areas of North Carolina, but actual encounters with people are relatively rare. Recluse spiders have been found in *some* areas of the state but they are still considered to be rare. Mechanical control (vacuuming corners and under/behind furniture, swatting the spider with a rolled-up magazine or newspaper, or stepping on them, etc.) should be more than adequate for the random spider that shows up indoors. Applying pesticides indoors for spiders probably isn't necessary and probably is not a good idea during cleanup (you may be removing the very chemical you've just applied) If you prefer to use a pesticide, any common household insecticide will work. Some suggested pesticides can be found in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual.  You can reduce the likelihood of an accidental spider bite by wearing gloves whenever handling debris or articles that have been undisturbed for some time either indoors and outdoors.  Click here for more information on spiders.

Updated - 8/11
Black widow spider picture by J.R. Baker, NCSU-Entomology

Insect Notes Home Page