My fiance and I will be moving to Albuquerque within the next two years or so. We are so excited. It looks like an amazing city. However, I am concerned about scorpions and recluse spiders. Are they a big problem in ABQ? Are there any tricks that will keep the critters out of the house and away from biting us, or our dog?

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I have a slight, okay more than slight fear of spiders. I have never seen a scorpion (I'm from Pennsylvania) but I am banking on a similar fear. Thanks for the advice! We will certainly be spraying like maniacs!
Spiders are common here but i would not panic. If you are cleaning out a shed or garage or moving wood or anything that has been left outside then check before you move it.
Black widows have sticky, messy looking web. If you see that stomp,smash,spray or whatever.
I worry more about mosquitos than spiders, because i am bitten by those fairly often. I grew up here and I have never been bitten by a spider.
Good luck.
Thank you so much. It is so comforting to hear that you have never been bitten.
You will likely go your entire existence here in ABQ without seeing a brown recluse. They're called "recluse" for a reason. Likewise with the scorpions, at least if you live in the city proper (Sandia Heights and Rio Rancho, South Valley, etc. not included) I have woodpiles, dogs, stacks of brick pavers, two crazy crawl spaces under my house which i am obsessively exploring for signs of plumbing leaks, termites, etc. I have never encountered either of those. Now on hikes East of Tramway and Montgomery (and a stone's throw from some very expensive homes) I have seen Tarantulas, but no sweat for the most part they will not be in or near your home. I think scorps like it REALLY hot, as in not any where approaching the shade of trees of the coolth of a lawn. Rio Rancho is pretty, well, sandy.

As far as Black Widows, there are P-L-E-N-T-Y. The good thing about them is that they have a very distinct "feel" to their webs, kind of sticky and voluminously so, and they always make them as extensions of corner features or holes (or for another example, in an overturned wheelbarrow). If you should be exploring an area and feel this type of web, you have plenty of recourse before you actually will encounter one. They will instantly retreat to the furthest depths of their web (and mind you they have sensibilities that go way beyond human touch) at the slightest whisper of a disturbance.

They do not aggressively lash out and attack.

They will likely not be in your house, if you dust and keep corners clean. And when I mean corners I mean sharp angled ones, the likes of which are not found in the typical dwelling with drywall, etc., but only someplace like an attic or crawl space MAYBE in the furthest corner of the under sink cabiniet where no one ever reaches.... Maybe. Someplace where there's NEVER a breeze or a waft of air, get it?

Also, they would do no more harm than a bee sting (albeit a severe one) to a full grown adult. It's the infants and toddlers that are the real risk. Unless your dog is VERY curious with his nose in all sorts of corners and crevices (or there's a piece of meat stuck in a crevice where a BW lives, lol) I really don't think you need to give it a moment's thought.

Now, when you do finally encounter a Black Widow, and it's a BIG one with a BIG rotund blacker than the depths of night black belly the size of your thumb with its requisite brightest red you have seen in nature hourglass, you will shudder like the little baby that you are, as we all have. And you will crush it underneath the nearest flip flop, upon which you will be greeted by greasy grimy spider milkguts of ecru sprinkled with puce. And you will demonstrate your supremacy to the nature gods, and you will hug your dog and your fiance and all will be good in the hood.

We've all been there.

Let me know when you have kidlets and i'll update the post with a special primer on protecting them.
Also, there's a little bit of chartreuse in the guts, I forgot to mention that as well.
Thank you so so much. It makes me feel so much better just to learn more about the creatures I will be encountering. I absolutely love your vivid descriptions as well. I'm an English teacher...all about the adjectives
Masshole, that was beautiful. Thank you.
Robin -
in some parts of older Albuquerque the cockroaches come out at night and take over the streets! The first time I saw this (near UNM) I thought the street was shimmering from the moonlight. When I got closer I realized the street was alive with bugs. Uggh.

On another note, I read somewhere not too long ago that some cockroaches have the capacity to tell familiar people apart from strangers. If they hiss at you, you are a stranger to them. Just in case it matters...
OMG!! That hissing thing freaks me out!! I live in Nob Hill and can attest to the roached taking over after dark. Even the sidewalks get a little crazy.
Yay spider hunt! Black widows do feast on squashbugs, though. Yay!
I've lived here for about 8 years and have seen a lot of black widows and a few other scary-looking spiders. But, I've never been bitten. I've only seen 1 scorpion and 2 tarantulas in the 8 years I've lived here.
Albuquerque is surrounded by desert and wilderness. If you live on the edge where city is pushing into undeveloped land, you're more likely to run into scorpions, snakes, and other wildlife whose habitat is next door. Which is not to say that people on the edges of town are overrun by critters. Except maybe lizards. Plenty of those. And they're harmless.

Common critters inside city limits: Ants, spiders, cockroaches (Particularly near UNM) and field mice. Snails will eat your vegetation. Lizards will eat your snails. Spiders only live where there is food, so if you keep other insects out of your home, spiders have no reason to be there. No worries.


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