The spider Holocnemus pluchei (Scopoli) (Araneae: Pholcidae) is a nonnative species commonly found in the southwestern United States. In urban areas around homes and other structures, it is often the dominant spider species on outside surfaces; requests for control of spiders and their cobwebs are common for the commercial pest management industry. We tested two physical (brushing and vacuuming) and two low-impact chemical (permethrin and botanical insecticide) spray control methods for H. pluchei on outbuildings on the University of California-Riverside campus. Forty sites containing at least two H. pluchei spiders along a 5-m section of eave or overhang were chosen for treatment. Treatment was applied within 2 d of a pretreatment census. The number of spiders per section was counted at 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 52 wk posttreatment. Untreated sections showed an increase in spiders through summer and a decrease in autumn. Sites treated with permethrin significantly reduced spiders >95% and had strong residual effect throughout the remainder of the sampling period. Compared with untreated controls, the three other treatments did not significantly reduce spiders; these three were similar throughout the season and were intermediate between untreated and permethrin-treated sites. In comparison with the before and 2-wk posttreatments, spiders at the untreated sites showed no difference in body sizes, whereas those in the nonpermethrin treatments showed a decrease, indicating that larger spiders were eliminated. We also tested H. pluchei spiders in the laboratory against the two insecticides used in the field studies to determine the minimum lethal concentrations for controlling H. pluchei.
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Vol. 104 • No. 2