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Black widows: The adult female is a glossy black with a red hourglass marking on her abdomen. It is usually visible as she hangs upside-down in her web. Her body can be up to 1 inch long. The male has the red hourglass but is much smaller and cream/tan colored. Both male and female babies are white with black spots or swirls on their abdomen.

Brown Recluse: Although it has received much attention the Brown Recluse does not natively live in Arizona. They are transported on luggage or belongings from someone in the regions where they do live. Our equivalent to the recluse is the Arizona Brown Spider. They are two toned tan/gray with a dark brown marking on the first body section that resembles an upside-down violin. Their total size with legs is about the size of a nickel.

Baby Tarantula
Tarantulas: The largest spider in the region, the Tarantula is usually dark brown or black and very hairy. They can be up to six inches in diameter.


These spiders are hunters each looking for food or hiding places. Generally they will be outside where their food sources are more readily available. The Tarantula is a hunter spider, in that it actively stalks it's prey and may travel a fair distance in it's search. Black widows and Arizona Brown spiders are nesting spiders, waiting for the prey to get trapped in their webs. You can find and identify the Black Widow easily by it's extremely strong, irregularly spun web. They are usually at ground level in corners of porches, garages or block fences. Arizona Brown spiders nest in the washes in dead cacti or fallen branches. Tarantulas live in burrows or under rocks or collected desert debris.

Safety tips:
Almost all spiders are timid and immediately try to hide when disturbed. Tarantulas are not aggressive and their bite is not considered dangerous. They really have received an unwarranted bad reputation. When encountered carefully hold a shovel blade down for them to crawl on to. Hold the shovel close to the ground when walking. The spider's exoskeleton can be broken if they fall from higher than 18". Remove them to farther out in the yard and release. They are a beneficial spider and shouldn't be harmed. The same is not true for the Black widows or Arizona Brown spiders. Remove their webs and crush egg sacs as soon as they appear. Use gloves when cleaning out congested areas like garages or basements. In the case of either of these spiders, consider them dangerous and if you are bitten contact your local POISON CONTROL center at 253-3334 (Phoenix area). Whenever possible capture the dead spider for identification.

Clearing Spider Webs

Minimize clutter around the exterior and garage of your home. This reduces harborage areas for nesting and feeding. Keep leaf litter raked up and bushes trimmed up from the ground. Seal entry points leading into the home and reduce other pest populations that spiders may be feeding on.

Check Out Our Sealing Service

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