Common Spiders in the Southeast:

Where Do They Live, What Do They Look Like, Are They Dangerous, and How To Prevent Them

 

BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER

A close-up of a brown recluse spider on the floor

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Woodpiles and sheds
  • Closets, garages, and cellars
  • Any places that are dry and undisturbed
  • Favor cardboard indoors because it mimics tree bark

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adults are 1/4″ to 3/4″ body length
  • Dark violin shaped image on body at leg attachment
  • Has 6 eyes arranged in pairs (most spiders have 8 eyes)

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Bite is severely toxic to humans
  • Can cause significant injury
  • Can cause tissue loss and necrosis

BLACK WIDOW SPIDER

A black widow spider with a white backgound

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Woodpiles and piles of rubble
  • Under rocks and in hollow tree stumps
  • In sheds, garages, basements, and crawl spaces

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adults are 1/2″ in body length
  • Female is shiny black with a red hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen
  • Hourglass marking may range in color from yellow orange to red
  • Marking shape may range from an hourglass to a dot

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Toxic to humans
  • Potentially fatal, especially to the young and the elderly
  • Venom affects the nervous system
  • Most common symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, pyrexia, and hypertension
  • Anti-venom is available

MOUSE SPIDER

A mouse spider on a white surface

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Ground dwellers with burrows more than 3 feet deep
  • Male wanders during the day, often in search of females

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adult is up to 1-1/2″ in body length
  • Male often has a bright red head and elongated fangs

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Known to cause severe illness, especially to young children
  • Usually not aggressive unless provoked

BLACK HOUSE SPIDER

A black house spider on a white surface

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Dry habitats in secluded locations
  • In window framing, under eaves and gutters, and in brickwork
  • In sheds and toilets
  • Among rocks and bark

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adult is about 1/2″ in body length
  • Dark brown to black velvet textured appearance

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Poisonous but not lethal
  • Can cause severe pain around the bite, heavy sweating, muscle pain, vomiting, and headache

WOLF SPIDER

A wolf spider on a speckled counter

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Ground dwellers with burrow retreats
  • Commonly found around the home in garden areas
  • Has a silk lined burrow that is sometimes covered by leaves or grass
  • Roams at night to hunt prey

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adult is 1/2″ to more than 1″ in body length
  • Mottled gray to brown in color
  • Distinct Union Jack marking on its back

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Poisonous but not lethal
  • Can cause a painful bite
  • Usually non-aggressive but will bite if provoked

TRAPDOOR SPIDER

A trapdoor spider on white tile floor

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Ground dweller with burrow retreat
  • Burrow is usually lined with silk and about 10″ deep x 1″ wide
  • Prefers nesting in drier exposed locations around the home

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adult is about 1-1/2″ in body length
  • Brown to dark brown in color
  • Heavily covered in fine hair
  • Male has boxing glove shaped “feelers” at front of its head

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Nontoxic to humans
  • Usually timid and rarely bites

ORB WEAVER SPIDER

An orb weaver spider in the middle of a web

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Often found in summer garden areas around the home
  • Spin large circular web that can be 6 feet or more
  • Web is often between buildings or shrubs

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adults are 2/3″ to more than 1″ in body length
  • Has a bulbous abdomen
  • Often colorful with a dark brown to light brown pattern
  • Most common has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Nontoxic to humans
  • Non-aggressive and rarely bite

ST. ANDREWS CROSS SPIDER

st andrews cross spider in the middle of a web

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Web weaver
  • Usually found in summer garden areas around the home

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adult is 1/4″ to 1/2″ in body length
  • Abdomen is striped yellow and brown
  • Usually sits upside down in the middle of its web forming a cross

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Nontoxic to humans
  • Usually non-aggressive

HUNTSMAN SPIDER

A huntsman spider on a white surface

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

  • Prefer to live under the flaking bark of trees
  • Also found under flat rocks and under eaves or within roof spaces of buildings
  • Often wanders into homes and is found perched on a wall

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Adult is around 1/2″ in body length
  • Has long legs
  • Hairy
  • Buff to beige in color with dark patterns on body

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

  • Nontoxic to humans
  • Usually non-aggressive except in summer when females are guarding egg sacs or young

How Can You Prevent Spiders?

Follow these six tips to prevent spiders from coming into and around your home:

  1. Remove nesting sources like clutter and debris in your yard and crawl spaces.
  2. Trim weeds around your building foundation.
  3. Eliminate or shield outdoor lights as these attract other insects which are a source of food for spiders.
  4. Seal cracks and crevices around your home and install screens and door sweeps. This eliminates points of entry for spiders.
  5. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove webs, spiders, and egg sacs from your home.
  6. Call a pest control professional for a thorough evaluation and treatment plan for your home.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This