October is a perfect time to talk about spiders! People decorate for Halloween with scary images of spiders and webs. Many people fear spiders but what you may not know is that they are helpful in our homes and landscapes.

Spiders you might find wandering in your home or hanging out in your garden are beneficial predators, eating pest insects like flies, mosquitoes, and numerous other undesirable bugs in and around landscapes.

Whether you are curious as to what kind of spider you found or you are looking for ways to get rid of them, UC IPM has the information you need in the newly revised free publication, Pest Notes: Spiders. Author Richard S. Vetter, UC Riverside arachnologist and a world-renowned expert on spiders, has added more details on a diversity of spiders in California including the biology and identification of common spider families, many high-quality spider photos, an expanded section on prevention, specifically on how to keep spiders out of your home by sealing cracks and adding screens.

For information on specific spiders, visit the UC IPM Spiders page at http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/invertebrates/links.spiders.html.


By Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Author - Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM/ Area Urban IPM Advisor