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Tips to Help Prevent Bites from Spiders

by Barb Ogg, PhD, Extension Educator

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If you have been dealing with bites from hunting-type spiders like sac spiders, take the following precautions:

  • Shake out clothing and shoes before getting dressed
  • Inspect bedding before use
  • Remove bedskirts and move the bed away from the wall

To prevent spiders from coming indoors:

  • Install tight-fitting screens on windows and doors; also install weatherstripping and door sweeps
  • Seal or caulk cracks and crevices where spiders can gain entry to the house
  • Equip vents in soffits, foundations, and roof gables with tight-fitting screens
  • Reduce outdoor lighting
  • Install yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs outdoors less attractive to insects
  • Remove wood piles, rock piles, heavy vegetation, leaves and other debris near the foundation that provide hiding places for sac spiders
  • Eliminate household pests that serve as food for spiders
  • Trim branches of trees and shrubs so that they do not touch the house
Yellow Sac Spider

The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
in Lancaster County
Web site:
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A,
Lincoln, NE 68528
| 402-441-7180

Non-chemical controls for Sac Spiders:

Vacuum using a corner attachment to remove spiders and their silken sacs (dispose of the vacuum bag in a container outdoors).

Use a rolled up newspaper or fly swatter to kill individual spiders.

Place sticky traps or glue boards on floors along walls behind furniture and large appliances to entangle spiders. However, sac spiders often travel upward, so glue boards are less effective against sac spiders than other active hunting spiders.

Chemical controls:

There are many pesticides labeled for spider control. Some are available for homeowner use, while others are labeled and marketed only to licensed, certified pesticide applicators.

Exposed spiders can be killed with aerosol sprays, but egg sacs will be unaffected. Vacuuming is more effective at removing both exposed spiders and egg sacs.

A wettable powder or microencapsulated "slow-release" formulation of a residual insecticide can be applied to corners, behind and under furniture, behind stored items and other places. to control active hunting spiders. These products are generally only available to licensed, certified applicators.

Liquid sprays can be applied to the outside perimeter of the home, but control is often not as effective as people would like.