Did you know that the US is home to about 3,400 species of spiders? That’s a lot of spiders! These eight-legged arthropods have fangs that enable them to inject venom into both prey and predators. Unfortunately, big and small spiders often find their way into our homes and offices. The good news is that spider bites are actually quite rare. One study showed that reported spider bites in the United States included fewer than 5,000 incidents per year. 

Luckily, the most common types of house spider bites are harmless to humans. However, there are a few that need to be avoided or handled with caution. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the most common types of household spiders and how to identify each of them. 

American House Spiders (Parasteatoda Tepidariorum)

Part of the Theridiidae family, American House Spiders are a comb-footed and nocturnal web-living spider. Also known as cobweb spiders and tangle-web spiders, these critters like to build their webs in quiet, dark places like basements and closets.

How to identify them? They are small to medium in size, brown or greyish in color, and have a rounded abdomen.

Dangerous? While American house spiders are not dangerous to humans, they can still deliver a painful bite. If bitten, some redness and mild swelling may occur, but these should subside quite quickly.

The Brown Recluse (Loxosceles Reclusa)

No surprises here, The Brown Recluse is part of the brown spider family. According to the folks at Penn State’s Department of Entomology, The Brown Recluse can be found in 15 states across the county, including Massachusetts. Brown Recluse spiders like to nest basements, attics, and crawl spaces. Plus, they’ve been known to hide out  in furniture and clothing. Better check your ski jackets before you put them on!

How to identify them? With an oval body, three pairs of eyes, and a dark violin-shaped marking on their body, these guys are pretty easy to identify. 

Dangerous? The Brown Recluse’s venom contains cytotoxin, which can affect the tissue around the area of the bite. The Brown Recluse is one of three spiders with medically significant venom in North America—so if you do get bitten, take yourself off to the hospital or doctor’s office.

Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae)

Moving in quick jumps, Jumping Spiders mostly hunt for their prey during the day. These guys like to hang out in sunny spots, and you can often find them on windows and screen doors. Did you know Jumping Spiders have some of the best vision among arthropods? They use their beady eyes when courting a mate and when hunting for food. 

How to identify them? Jumping Spiders are brown, black, grey, or beige and are about an inch long. Their front legs are longer than their back, and they also have dense hairs on their body.

Dangerous? Similar to a bee sting, this spider’s bite hurts but is pretty harmless. Like with any bite or sting, if a person is allergic they may suffer from a greater reaction. If this is the case, just be sure to keep a close eye on the bite.

Long-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Sometimes mistaken as a Daddy Long Legs, the long-bodied cellar spider is actually quite different. Daddy Long Legs have a single body section and two eyes, whereas these spiders have two body sections and eight eyes. These creepy crawlies like to set up shop in, you guessed it, cellars, basements, crawl spaces, garages, and other dark and undisturbed spaces. 

How to identify them? Look out for their long skinny legs and eight eyes. As mentioned above, they have two body sections and are light brown, tan, or grey in color.

Dangerous? Completely harmless to humans, Cellar Spiders are not venomous. 

How to Safely Remove Spiders

Even though most common house spiders don’t pose a threat to humans, that doesn’t mean you want them as a permanent tenant. The best way to catch a spider is by using a glass jar and a stiff piece of paper. Wait until they are on a flat surface, or you can gently nudge them with the piece of paper to move them to an easier spot to catch.

  • Place the jar upside down over the spider and then gently slip the piece of paper under the lip of the glass jar. 
  • Once the spider is in the jar, and you’ve slid the paper underneath it, turn the jar upside down so that the paper is sitting on top of the jar.
  • Keeping the paper secure with your hand, take the spider into your garden or street and dispose of it outside. 

If you’d rather not have a close encounter with a spider (especially ones that can deliver a nasty bite), call in a professional pest control company. They will catch and dispose of the spiders, plus they will be able to identify which species you are dealing with. 

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Do you have a spider or pest problem? Pest Control Unlimited is ready to help. With years of experience in the pest control field, we can remove pests from your residential or commercial space safely. Rest assured, our professional and friendly team will get the job done properly and rid your property of any pests. To find out more about the various services we offer, visit our website today.