What is a Jumping Spider?
The jumping spider is a type of spider that gets its common name from its jumping ability, which it uses to catch prey. Jumping spiders belong to the Family Salticidae. There are more than 4,000 known species of jumping spiders in the world, with about 300 species found in the United States and Canada, including the zebra spider, Salticus scenicus.
Usually black, sometimes brown, tan, or gray, and usually with pale markings.
They have 8 legs
Compact with relatively short legs
Adult body length about 1/8 – ¾” (4-18 mm)
Found throughout the United States
What Do Jumping Spiders Look Like?
Jumping spiders are commonly mistaken for black widow spiders due to their compact black bodies with relatively short legs. However, jumping spiders can also be brown, tan or gray in color with pale white, gray, yellow, red, blue or green markings. Adult jumping spiders range in size from about 1/8-3/4” (4-18 mm) and are typically covered in dense hairs or scales that are brightly colored or iridescent. Their front legs are usually thicker and somewhat longer than their other legs.
Adult zebra spiders have gray bodies with white markings on their front and abdomen. Their legs are white or brown with gray rings, resembling a zebra. Female zebra spiders are 3/16-1/4” (4.3-6.4 mm), while males are 1/8-1/4” (4-5.5 mm).
In general, jumping spiders have the best vision of any spider species, being able to detect and react to movement up to 18" (45 cm) in distance. However, their night vision is very poor. They have eight eyes in three rows. The front row has four eyes with a very large middle pair.
Signs of an Infestation
The most common sign of a jumping spider infestation is seeing the spider itself. Jumping spiders will usually be found hunting around windows and doors because more insects are attracted to those areas.
Jumping Spider Bites
Although jumping spider bites are uncommon, they may cause redness, itching, stinging and swelling. If you suspect a jumping spider has bitten you, clean the site with soap and water. Then, apply a cold compress over the spider bite location. Adults can also take aspirin or acetaminophen and antihistamines to relieve minor symptoms. However, if symptoms continue to worsen for more than 24 hours, it’s crucial to seek medical attention. If possible, bring the spider to the doctor for proper identification and treatment.
What are Brown Recluse Spiders?
Often identified by a dark brown violin shape on its back, the brown recluse spider is predominantly found in the Midwest and Southeast of the United States. This species is well known for its "secretive" behaviors, as it prefers to take residence in warm, dry and dark environments, such as woodpiles, basements and closets. This arachnid bites, usually unintentionally when it feels trapped, typically when a hand or foot reaches into a shoe or piece of clothing or a box in the attic or basement where a brown recluse has made its home. Because their bites can take three or more hours to develop and about three weeks to heal, it is important to keep an eye on the individual which was bitten. The brown recluse venom can cause severe allergic reactions, notably in children, the elderly or those with preexisting medical conditions.
The brown recluse or fiddleback/violin spider gets its common names from its coloration and reclusive habits, or the dark violin/fiddle-shaped marking on the top of its chest. Brown recluse spiders are found in southern Europe, temperate Africa, and in North, Central, and South America. In the United States, brown recluse spiders are found predominantly in the Midwest and Southeast. Of the 11 recognized species, six are of public health importance.
Light to dark brown, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on back
¼ - ½ inch long
Found in the south central Midwest from Ohio to Nebraska and south through Texas to Georgia
What Do Brown Recluse Spiders Look Like?
Adult brown recluse spiders are usually about 1/4 to 1/2 inches in length. Their color ranges from tan to dark brown, usually with a darker fiddle-shaped marking on dorsum or top of the cephalothorax. Brown recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in three groups of two each (diads) in a semicircle. Spiderlings (immatures) are very similar to adults except they are smaller and slightly paler.
Signs of an Infestation
Signs of a brown recluse spider infestation mainly include spotting one, or noticing webs in and around the home. If you have an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
Brown Recluse Spider Bites
The bite of a brown recluse spider is usually not felt, but it may produce an immediate stinging sensation followed by intense pain or this reaction may be delayed for 6-8 hours. A small blister usually appears and the surrounding bite area becomes swollen. Symptoms include restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping. The dead tissue gradually sloughs away during the next 10-14 days, leaving an open ulcer and possibly exposing the underlying muscles and/or bone. An antivenom has been developed but it is not clinically available. Call a physician or go to an emergency room immediately if bitten, and take the spider along for identification purposes. It should be noted that not all brown recluse bites result in ulcer formation, and that bites of other arthropods may cause similar reactions in people.
What are Black Widow Spiders?
Black widow spiders get their common name from the popular belief that the female eats the male after mating, a phenomenon which rarely happens in nature. These spiders can be found worldwide with five species established in the United States and are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. Although fatalities are rare, the black widow’s venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s and can cause muscle aches and nausea, as well as make breathing difficult. Read on to learn more about black widow spider control and extermination.
Black, with characteristic red "hourglass" on back
1 ½ - 1 3/8 inches long
Found throughout U.S.
What Do Black Widow Spiders Look Like?
Black widow spiders are typically black with two reddish triangular markings usually joined to form a reddish hourglass shape down its back – their most recognized feature. Females are occasionally brownish black. Most black widow spiders are 3 to 10 mm long, with females being larger than males. Black widow spiders have eight legs and eight simple eyes, including two lateral pairs that almost touch.
Young black widow spiders are primarily orange and white but acquire more black color as they mature. They have markings that are very similar to male adults – with one or two reddish markings on underneath side of abdomen.
Signs of an Infestation
One of the most obvious signs of a spider infestation is the presence of webs in the home or on the property. Black widow spiders usually construct messy and irregular webs located near ground level. Finding a silken sac – which holds eggs – in the doorway is another sign that a spider infestation is underway. If you see any of these signs, professional black widow spider extermination services may be necessary.
Black Widow Spider Bites
While male black widow spiders rarely bite, females may bite in defense, especially after laying eggs.
Symptoms of a black widow spider bite include fever, increased blood pressure, sweating and nausea. Pain is usually almost immediate and reaches its maximum in 1-3 hours. The pain associated with a black widow spider bite may continue for one to three days and then gradually subside. Read more: Symptoms, Signs & Spider Bite Treatment.
Fatalities from a black widow spider bite are unlikely, as long as proper medical treatment is sought in a timely manner. If you notice black widows or signs of a spider infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional who can safely and effectively address black widow spider control.
Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don't hunt with webs. Instead, they chase their prey using their fast running ability. These spiders are often big and hairy which alarms some people, but they are primarily nuisance pests. Over 100 species of wolf spiders are found in the United States and Canada.
Usually dark brown, often with paler (or sometimes yellow) stripes or markings
Stout-robust body with long, spiny legs
3/8 – 1 3/8“ (female) 1/4 – 3/4“ (male)
Found throughout U.S.
Wolf spiders actively hunt during the night and usually rest in sheltered places during the day. They are fast on their feet and pursue prey. Because of these habits, wolf spiders are commonly seen by people.
Wolf spiders may enter structures in search of prey. Although they are not inclined to be permanent residents in structures, they often stay once inside. Indoors, wolf spiders tend to remain at or near floor level, especially along walls and under furniture. Outside, wolf spiders can be found under stones, landscape timbers, firewood, leaves and other debris.
Because wolf spiders feed on a variety of insects, including crop pests, they can be beneficial. Wolf spiders can bite, but it's extremely rare to experience a wolf spider bite unprovoked. They will only bite if they are handled. The presence of wolf spiders in homes is usually accidental.
Description: Tarantulas are our heaviest spiders by weight and have a body length of about 1 ½ inches (40 mm). They are relatively common throughout Texas and their large size makes them quite recognizable. Typically, the head-thorax region (cephalothorax) and legs are dark brown, the abdomen brownish black. Color may vary between individuals and certainly changes after a molt.
There are 14 species of tarantulas in the genus, Aphonopelma, listed from Texas in a recent work. Identification of species is difficult and requires mature males, a microscope, proper literature and experience.
Life Cycle: Females lay 100 to 1,000 eggs in a web which is constructed like a hammock. The egg sac is retained in the burrow, guarded, and usually held by the female. Eggs hatch in 45 to 60 days. Spiderlings hatch in July or later in the year within the egg sac. Once they leave the egg sac, the spiderlings may stay with the females for 3 to 6 days or longer before dispersing. Many of the young fall prey to other spiders or predators as they disperse to begin their own burrows. Females have lived in captivity for over 25 years. Males in Texas rarely live over two or three months after maturity.
Habitat, Food Source(s), Damage: Like other spiders, tarantulas have “fangs” on the end of the chelicerae which inject poison when they bite prey. Spiders only ingest liquid food but they will chew the food somewhat while they feed. Tarantulas occur throughout Texas and are common in grasslands and semi-open areas. Tarantulas use burrows, natural cavities under logs or stones, spaces under loose bark of tree trunks and even old rodent burrows as shelters. They also dig their own burrows. Webbing is sometimes used to line the shelter and a few lines of silk are placed on the ground in front of the shelter to detect passing prey. These spiders usually are restricted to the ground but can climb. They usually remain in the burrow waiting for prey to come by but may move a few meters out to forage when necessary. They typically feed on crickets, June beetles, ground beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas, and caterpillars. One of the most spectacular spider events in Texas occurs for a few weeks each summer when male tarantulas actively wander apparently seeking females. This phenomenon is not well understood and may be related to migration more than mating.
Pest Status: Large size and hairiness of tarantulas attracts attention and concern, bites of Texas species are generally not serious to humans. When disturbed, tarantulas maneuver to face the threat and will raise up on their hind legs and stretch out their front legs in a threatening posture. When disturbed they also may rapidly brush the top of their abdomen with their hind legs which dislodges urticating hairs from the spider abdomen which irritate the eyes or skin of an attacker.
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