Spiders are considered some of the most creepy creatures on the planet, but they are an essential part of the ecosystem regardless of how scary they can be. They keep insects like mosquitoes, flies, and others in check. Larger predators also benefit when spiders are part of their diet.
When spiders such as the woodlouse hunter encroach on your property and inside your home, they become unwanted guests that need to be dealt with appropriately. Being informed is half the battle when it comes to keeping your family and pets safe from a woodlouse hunter invasion.
What Are Woodlouse Hunters?
Woodlouse hunters are a species of spider that is scientifically classified as Dysdera crocata. They are named for their most frequently pursued prey, woodlice. They are also known as the woodlouse spider, sowbug hunter, pillbug hunter, sowbug killer, and slater spider. They are avid hunters and do not build webs to capture prey. Their primary food source is woodlice, but they also hunt down and eat earwigs, burying beetles, silverfish, millipedes, and crickets.
They are predominantly nocturnal but are opportunistic and will attack if prey presents itself. They typically take shelter under bricks, logs, rocks, leaf litter, and plant pots during the day. They create a silken covering over them that’s designed to enclose crevices and that resembles a sheet or blanket made of webbing.
When night falls, woodlouse hunters are on the prowl, and they are relentless in tracking down their next meal. They have enormous fangs and a relatively wide gape, making them rather formidable against hard-shell prey and other spiders. Their aggressive nature is evident in their pursuit of food and their unwillingness to back down from a fight. Woodlouse hunters are dominant over other spiders, regardless of size, and will even kill centipedes when necessary.
The courtship of these spiders is dangerous for both the males and females due to their overly large fangs, and they risk injury during the mating process. Female woodlouse hunters lay eggs in a silken sac and protect them from predation, then watch after their young once they hatch. This gives the woodlouse hunter’s young a better chance of growing to adulthood.
What Do Woodlouse Hunters Look Like?
The woodlouse hunter is distinct with glossy dark red and yellow-brown colors. Their cephalothorax is the dark red color, while their abdomen is typically yellow-brown. They have six eyes, and their chelicerae or fangs are disproportionate to their overall size. These spiders are unmistakable, and they are as aggressive as they look.
Where Do Woodlouse Hunters Live?
Woodlouse hunters are found throughout the United States. If you are in Charlotte, North Carolina, or Tacoma, Washington, and have issues with woodlouse hunter activity, contact Bulwark Exterminating in your area. Though woodlouse hunters are native to the Mediterranean area, they have spread throughout the world. They are typically found where their prey is abundant and will retreat underground, in debris, between rocky crevices, or even indoors. They follow their food sources and will only stay in an area that is rich with prey.
Common Problems With Woodlouse Hunters
The woodlouse hunter’s venom isn’t known to be fatal for humans but does cause mild discomfort and localized itching around the wound. Its bite has been described as less painful than a bee sting, but the elderly, children, and those with allergies may be more susceptible to the woodlouse hunter’s venom and could show worse symptoms. When there is the potential to be bitten by a spider such as a woodlouse hunter, precautions should be taken, and anyone bitten should seek immediate medical attention.
Though they are usually located close to their food sources, woodlouse hunters have been found inside homes and can pose a significant threat to your family and pets if left unchecked. If you suspect you have a woodlouse hunter infestation, it could be due to other pests such as silverfish invading your personal space. Keep in mind that due to the woodlouse hunter’s aggressive nature, they may bite if startled, handled, or otherwise threatened. They should be approached with caution and eliminated when they have taken up residence in your home.
How to Get Rid of Woodlouse Hunters
Some of the most successful ways to rid yourself of woodlouse hunters on your property are to keep leaf litter, deadfall and logs, rocks, and other ground-covering debris clear from your yard and especially away from the foundations of your home. If you discover woodlouse hunters inside your home, you should work to eliminate their food sources as a deterrent. You may also want to keep clutter to a minimum, clean your kitchen, and correct any moisture issues affecting your house.
Another way to prevent a woodlouse invasion is to seal any cracks, crevices, or holes where woodlouse hunters and other pests could gain access. These entryways could be around your home’s foundations, doors, windows, walls, or roof. One vital task that can deter woodlouse hunters from entering your home is to eliminate other pests that provide them with a food source. A professional pest control agency, such as Bulwark Exterminating, is a wealth of information. We have services geared towards keeping your home and property free from pests such as woodlouse hunters.
When you take the time to learn about the threats of pests like the woodlouse hunter, you will be better equipped to take necessary action for protecting your family and pets from threats. Your house and yard should be a safe environment for your family and pets to live and play. Keep the pests at bay by taking preventive measures and consulting with a trusted company like Bulwark.