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5 Common Household Spiders

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Although spiders feed only on insects and other arthropods, and provide effective pest control in gardens and around homes, they are often considered pests themselves.

Colorado is home to dozens of species of spiders, a handful of which may find their way into homes, and only a couple of which pose any risk to people and pets. Five of the most common spiders that may be found in and around homes along the Front Range and across Colorado are:

Funnel Weaver Spiders

According to the Colorado State University Extension, funnel weaver spiders (Agelenidae) are the most common spiders found in residential settings. As their name implies, funnel web spiders construct dense webs—often in shrubs or along the corners of buildings—with a funnel-like base, which the spiders use to enter the web when prey is snared. Though harmless to humans, funnel web spiders are often mistaken for the brown recluse, a venomous spider that is rare in Colorado and for which other more common brown spiders are often misidentified.

Jumping Spiders

Though relatively tiny, even compared with other spiders, jumping spiders (Salticidae) can leap several body lengths. Although jumping spiders use silk webbing to create trails, protect eggs and build shelters, they actively hunt their prey instead of waiting for insects to become trapped in their webs.

Wood-Louse Hunters

Thanks to fangs that are large in comparison to their approximately half-inch bodies, wood-louse hunters (Dysdera) have a fearsome appearance. But, as the CSU Extension notes, these fangs are used to feed on pillbugs and other hard-bodied insects. Wood-louse hunters typically remain in their silk homes during daylight and hunt at night.

Yellow Sac Spiders

Yellow sac spiders (Miturgidae) are especially common in Colorado homes in the fall and winter, when cooler temperatures force them to seek warmer shelters. Yellow sac spiders spend much of the day in silk sacs, which they generally construct in crevices or the upper corners of rooms. The species to which yellow sac spiders belongs, Cheiracanthium, is thought to be the most common source of spider bites in the United States, although the bites are harmless.

Widow Spiders

The notorious black widow and its common Colorado relative the western widow belong to the species of spiders known as cobweb spiders (Steatoda); these spiders may dwell in dark, undisturbed spaces in and around homes, and they can create sprawling, messy webs. While most cobweb spiders pose no threat to humans, widows possess a nerve venom, and their bites may require medical attention.

If you need help coping with a pest problem in the greater Denver or Fort Collins areas, or anywhere along the Front Range, please contact Animal & Pest Control Specialist, Inc. online or call us at 303-987-0842.


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