Characteristics: Broad head; metallic blue/black with yellow or white hairs; ¾” – 1” (18-25 mm) in length.
Location: Dry wood on the outside of homes, barns, fences; twigs or tree limbs.
Diet: Plant nectar.
Damage: Cuts ¼” – ½” tunnel at a 90° angle to the entry hole; usually in exterior trim pieces; can cause extensive damage if recurring.
Comments: Prefers to nest in unpainted/untreated soft wood, such as pine, cedar and redwood.
Characteristics: Straw-color with 3 dark bands on the head; ¾” body length (18 mm).
Location: In warm, dark places in homes, trash dumps in warm weather.
Diet: Plants and other organic matter, including cloth.
Damage: They can make an annoying noise; presence usually indicates moisture concerns.
Comments: Infestations can include a large number of insects, particularly in suburban areas.
BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER
Characteristics: Brown with violin shaped marking on back; 3/8” (10 mm). Leg span 1 to 1½” (25-35 mm). Has three eyes.
Location: Lives in cracks and crevices and other dark areas; spins fine cotton-like webs near its shelter.
Damage: Poisonous; can cause skin damage around bite and serious secondary infections.
Comments: If a brown recluse bite is suspected, or any reactions occur from a bite by an unknown insect, see a doctor immediately.
Characteristics: Variable but typically black or reddish/black; ¼” – ½” (6-12 mm) in length.
Location: Trees, stumps, logs, houses.
Diet: Insects, meat, sweets, fruit, eggs.
Damage: Can cause structural damage. Excavations in wood; tends to be localized but can be extensive if untreated.
Comments: Needs moisture, migratory; will drop onto houses from overhanging trees.
Characteristics: Brown, gray, black or yellow; ½” – 2½” (12-60 mm).
Location: Under rocks, trash, crawl spaces, attics.
Diet: Soft-bodied insects.
Damage: Will sting humans if provoked; can be very poisonous.
Comments: All stings should be treated by a doctor immediately. Generally found across the southern United States.
BLACK WIDOW SPIDER
Characteristics: Black with red hourglass on underside of abdomen or back; ½” body length (12 mm).
Location: Seldom found in homes; more common in wood piles, porches, outhouses.
Damage: May bite humans; can be very dangerous.
Comments: If bitten, see a doctor immediately.