A Wolf spider, common in Western Massachusetts.

Have you seen spiders around your home this fall? If you’re like many here in Western Massachusetts, fall brings with it beautiful foliage, pumpkin spice lattes, flannel and yes, spiders! In fact, fall is when most spiders decide to make entry into a home. For the most part, spiders pose no real threat to humans and can generally be prevented from taking up residence in your home by following these simple steps:

  • Move trash, wood piles, rock piles, leaf litter and thin heavy vegetation from around the home. Spiders love undisturbed areas, especially where moisture and prey bugs may accumulate.
  • Do you have storage areas in the basement or attic? Consider replacing old cardboard boxes with plastic bins. Bins don’t absorb moisture like cardboard and often provide a better seal to prevent little intruders from making their home in them.
  • Examine the exterior of your home and be sure to seal or caulk any cracks or crevices around the home, including utility entry points and around window and door frames.
  • Equip soffits, foundations and roof gables with screens to prevent pest entry.

Spiders here in the Pioneer Valley come in two varieties: Web Builders and Hunters. Web Builders, as the name implies, make intricate webs, often in areas with a small amount of airflow, to catch prey. These types of spiders often include cellar spiders or the common house spider. Hunters, on the other hand, tend to roam about in order to hunt their prey. Often more “scary looking,” hunter spiders are often hairy as well as larger and more robust than their web building cousins. One of the most common hunter spiders found in communities like Westfield or East Longmeadow is the Wolf Spider.

Understanding the difference in spiders can help with identification. While most of the prevention tips above will apply to all spiders, consider these additional tips:

  • Web Builders often rely on the presence of insects around their webs. Consider using yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs outdoors since these tend to attract fewer insects.
  • Are you noticing Web Builders in your basement, attic or other areas? Frequent vacuuming of floors, wall and ceiling corners and occasionally the accessible crawl space can go along way in the prevention of Web Building spider webs and egg sacs.
  • Since Hunter Spiders roam areas where prey is plentiful, be sure to mitigate the presence of other insects in your home. While this sounds easy – often insects are found in hard to reach or see locations. Wolf Spiders, for example, can feed on common household pests like Carpenter Ants or beetles. Identifying and preventing these pests is key in the prevention of Hunter spiders.


If you are overwhelmed by the spiders in your home or just don’t want to go it on your own, we can help! Give our team a call today.