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Banana Spider

Summary: The banana spider name is used for two entirely different species of spiders; the North American banana spider and the banana spider that is found in Central and South America . The southern rendition can be deadly, but is generally found, thankfully, only in rainforests. Still, there are over a thousand reports of bites every year in areas in southern Brazil.

A reader asks: I was wondering how I can get rid of the Banana spiders outside of my house. These giant spiders make it uncomfortable for us when we are around our pool.

Dear Reader: The Banana spider, also known as the Golden Silk spider, sets up its home in areas where there are lots of insects. So, in one way that spider is doing you a favor by being there because it's eating small insects that might otherwise enter your home. Free exterminating services offered by Mother Nature. However, that particular spider is pretty big and even though they are not interested in you, it's probably not a spider you want to suddenly find crawling in your hair.

Consistently knocking down the webs of any spider will cause the spider to relocate. The web is the spider's means of surviving. The other thing to consider is what is attracting the spider's food to the area around your house. Dense vegetation and lights will attract lots of insects upon which spiders thrive. Outdoor lighting should be turned off when possible. Also, consider changing the outdoor bulbs to sodium vapor bulbs. They are more expensive, but they last longer and attract fewer flying insects. You might also consider closing the shades of any windows facing the pool enclosure. Lights from indoors will also attract flying insects at night.

These spiders rarely bite people. For most, a spider bite may cause a small bump, but some people might have an allergic reaction causing more adverse effects. For the most part a spider's bite is not fun, but it won't kill you.

photo credit: <a href="©ICK9S[M'>">©ICK9S[M. H. Stephens]</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="artolog">artolog</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

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