Many forms of entertainment, mythology, and folklore traditionally portray spiders as scary, web-producing creatures. This is because arachnophobia is considered one of the most common phobias worldwide.

However, many spiders benefit local ecosystems and even helpful pest control companions. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t some spiders that can’t be dangerous or just downright annoying.

This guide will help you avoid spiders altogether by providing seven foolproof tips to keep spiders away from your home in Baltimore and surrounding Maryland areas.

Understanding Spiders and Their Behavior

Classified as arachnids along with mites, scorpions, and ticks, spiders have eight legs, no antennae or wings, and an exoskeleton that they sometimes shed. Experts distinguish spiders by their two body segments and silk-weaving capabilities.

The majority of spider species generate venom in varying degrees of potency that they inject using their “fang-like” chelicerae. As predatory creatures, spiders will use their “arm-like” pedipalps to grasp prey in anticipation of delivering a venomous injection. Although most species can produce silky webs for ensnaring passing prey, some spiders hunt using “ambush” style methods instead.

Most spiders pose minimal health risks to humans; however, the black widow spider and brown recluse spider are two of the most feared types in the U.S. You may encounter a black widow spider in Maryland, but you will rarely see the brown recluse species in the state.

Common Spider Species in Maryland

How many types of spiders are there throughout the world today? More than 40,000 various species of spiders exist worldwide, but there are a few common spiders in Maryland that you are probably familiar with.

  • Common House Spider: These spiders are often found indoors, building their webs in corners and crevices.
  • Wolf Spider: Wolf spiders are large and hairy, often seen scurrying across the ground in search of prey. They are commonly found in gardens and outdoor spaces.
  • Black Widow: Although less common, black widow spiders can still be found in Maryland. They tend to prefer dark, sheltered areas such as woodpiles or sheds.
  • Brown Recluse: Another less common but still present spider in Maryland, brown recluse spiders hide in dark, undisturbed areas like closets or basements.
  • Jumping Spider: These spiders are known for their distinctive jumping ability and are commonly found both indoors and outdoors.
  • Orb Weaver Spider: Orb weaver spiders create intricate, wheel-shaped webs and are often found in gardens and wooded areas.
  • Cellar Spider: Also known as daddy-long legs, cellar spiders are commonly found indoors in damp, dark areas like basements and crawl spaces.

Identifying each spider will help you determine whether or not they are venomous.

How Dangerous Are Spiders in Baltimore and Other Maryland Areas?

Besides black widows and brown recluses, most spiders in Baltimore and Maryland are completely harmless.

In fact, these predators tend to snack on nuisance pests, such as flies, beetles, earwigs, and roaches, making them a potent defense against pest invaders.

Of course, a large presence of spiders in your house could indicate that there is some attractant that needs to be dealt with.

How Spiders Find Their Way Into Your Home

Spiders commonly reside in outdoor areas near homes and gardens. Because of their small size, spiders can infiltrate homes through damaged window screens, gaps around exterior doors, and other small openings.

It is unlikely that a spider would remain very long in a location that lacks food sources; therefore, those who routinely notice the presence of spiders indoors might have some other pest-related problems.

What happens to spiders in the winter months? Spiders are generally susceptible to cold weather as cold-blooded creatures that cannot control their body temperature.

During the fall, spiders might venture indoors to seek shelter. Many species will enter a “hibernation-like” diapause state during the winter when they are less active.

7 Tips to Keep Spiders Away from Your House

Remember, all pests seek out these three essentials: food, water, and shelter. By depriving these pests of those essentials, you will keep spiders away from your house for good.

1. Eliminate Other Pests from Your Home.

The number one food source for spiders is small insects and bugs. By managing these populations, you can deprive spiders of a much-needed essential.

2. Landscape Your Home.

Like many insects, unkempt lawns provide the perfect dwelling; for spiders, this provides the perfect hunting grounds. Mowing your lawn, cleaning up brush and debris, and keeping gardens trimmed will help cut down on spider populations, as well as other insects.

3. Seal Off Entry Points.

Repair damaged window screens and fill any cracks around the foundation of the structure that may allow access. Seal gaps around the frames of windows with weatherstripping and install sweeps on exterior doors to keep spiders out of your house.

4. Keep a Clean Home.

Keeping a clean home and cleaning up clutter will eliminate hiding spots for spiders and other pests that attract spiders to your home.

5. Turn Off Bright Exterior Lighting.

Turn off lights near entryways at night that attract flying insects, such as moths, that spiders consume.

6. Remove Webs ASAP.

Promptly eliminate any spider webs you find lying around to encourage spiders to move away from your house. Use a vacuum with strong suction to remove webs entirely.

7. Implement a Pest Prevention Program.

Invest in a pest prevention program from one of your local pest control experts. Pest Czar’s residential pest control program is available for a low cost, starting at $39 per month, and defends against spiders and 40 different species of pests.

While most spiders are innocuous and can be handled on your own, it never hurts to contact a local expert who can help you identify and remove spiders lying around your home. Who knows? Spiders in your home may indicate a deeper problem with other pests on your property.

FAQs: How to Keep Spiders Away from Your House

How can I tell if a spider is venomous?

While most spiders are harmless, some species have venom that can be dangerous to humans. Characteristics of venomous spiders in Maryland may include:

  • Distinctive markings on the body, such as the hourglass shape on black widow spiders.
  • Bulbous or swollen pedipalps (front pair of leg-like appendages) in male spiders like the brown recluse.

Typically, venomous spiders have fangs that they use to inject venom into their prey.

Are there natural repellents for spiders?

Yes, several natural substances can act as spider repellents, including:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Vinegar
  • Citrus-based sprays
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Diatomaceous earth

How do I locate spider nests in my house?

Spider nests are commonly found in secluded areas such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces. However, you may find webs around exterior porch lighting, inside stored items, and behind furniture. Take a flashlight and look in areas with little to no traffic to see if there are any webs hiding around your house.