Spiders

Spiders are arthropods with eight legs, fangs, four pairs of eyes, and the ability to spin webs. Many people have phobias of spiders as they like to nest in dark areas, and many of them are poisonous. Spiders lay eggs inside of an egg sac, which often looks like a small cotton ball or brown sac. Because spiders are territorial and don’t colonize, they spread quickly when they hatch to other areas of the home. If they hatch from outside, they will billow, or fly along a web until they land, and make their nest there. That is why if you see a black widow in a neighborhood, chances are high most other neighbors have them too because of the way they spread. Spiders hunt other insects, so if someone has spiders, it is guaranteed there are other insects around, even if they are not visible. There are many different types of spiders.

Wolf Spider

Size: 3/8” to 1 3/8”

Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons

Description: These spiders are very common. They are light brown with two or three dark stripes down its back. They aren’t poisonous enough to harm humans, but they are more aggressive than other spiders. They can get pretty large. When eggs hatch, they will all get onto the mother’s back until they are more mature. Sometimes when you smash a wolf spider, tiny spiders will spread in all directions, which is both neat and very scary to witness. They move extremely fast for their size, which scares most homeowners.

Life Cycle: Egg sacs will usually have 100-135 eggs. When they hatch, they stay with the mother for a while by living on its back. They can live up to three years.

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Hobo spider

Size: 1/2”

Image Attribution: Jennifer Huizen

Description: Hobo spiders have a unique look. They are medium brown with dark stripes along the side. They also have triangle markings on the sides. They have a degenerative poison that eats away at muscle. When bitten, a bruise will appear, followed by infection unless treated quickly. They usually live along the ground, in ditches, crawl spaces, in retaining walls, or in basements. They make webs that look like a funnel. Hobos are scary because they can be seen coming out of the darkness, grabbing prey, and taking it back into the darkness.

Life Cycle: Hobos live up to 2 years. Eggs, when they hatch, molt up to 15 times before they mature into adults.

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Black Widow spider

Size: 1 1/2” to 2”

Description: Black widows are one of the most poisonous spiders in the North America. They have a red hourglass on the bottom of their abdomen, and the rest of the body is black. Males are less common, and are brown with a red hourglass. Females often eat the males after mating. Black widow bites can be deadly, and can cause many side effects. Their webs are extremely strong, and have no organization to them. You can often tell if a nest is from a black widow nest simply from the webbing.Life Cycle: Similar to other cockroaches

Life Cycle: Black widows make 5-10 large white egg sacs, each containing 150-250 eggs each. When they eggs hatch, they put their webs into the air and balloon into the air, and make nests wherever they land. Only a few will survive into adulthood, as they eat each other quickly after hatching.

Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse spider

Size: 1/4” to 1/2”

Image Attribution: Rick Vetter

Description: These spiders like dark, humid areas, and are most often found in storage areas such as closets, attics or basements. They are also very poisonous, and can be deadly, although not as aggressive as a black widow. Their poison is a necrotic toxin that attacks the skin and muscle around the bite. Open ulcers can appear, and muscles can die as a result. Healing takes several months.

Life Cycle: Egg sacs contain 100-300 eggs, and hatch within 25-40 days. Females live around 2-5 years.

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Size: 1/8” to 3/4”

Image Attribution: Thomas Vattakaven

Description: These spiders have the ability to spin webs, but prefer to hunt their prey, rather than waiting. They are small and furry, and have a unique ability to jump up to 20 times their body length. They are very fast and very aggressive, but not very poisonous.

Life Cycle: Jumping spiders have a rare mating ritual that looks like a dance. When eggs are laid, they are covered under bark in silken nests.