Of the many species of identified spider species, house spiders are the most frequently found in human dwelling places. Although their presence is discomforting, house spiders are not necessarily lethal to humans. Small, controlled populations can even prove useful, as they consume other unwanted household pests. House spider webs are typically funnel-shaped and can be located in various places within a home, including windows, ceiling corners and above or beneath fixtures. House spider webs are large and constructed of thin silk threads. They serve both as dwelling places and as traps for prey. A house spider’s body is divided into the cephalothorax and the abdomen. They are classified as arachnids rather than insects and have eight, single-lens eyes. House spiders are brown in color and also have dark markings on its abdomen.
Black Widows Spiders
Black widows are identified by red “hourglass” markings on the underside of their abdomens. Black widows are shiny black in color. Females are larger than males and can measure up to 10 millimeters in length. Black widow spiders favor dark, secluded areas such as crevices and woodpiles. The venom of the black widow spider severely weakens the nerves and the brain, leading to impaired breathing, body aches and nausea. Death is more likely in very young or old individuals.
Brown Widow Spider
The brown widow is generally lighter in color than the black widow. The color can range from tan to dark brown to black, with shades of grey also possible. Like the black widow, the brown widow has a prominent “hourglass” marking on the underside of the abdomen; the brown widow’s hourglass, however, is usually a vivid orange or a yellowish color. The brown widow has a black-and-white “geometric” pattern on the dorsal side of its abdomen. Brown widows are often preyed on by mud daubers and sometimes by digger wasps. The brown widow has neurotoxic venom that is as toxic as the black widow’s.
Brown Recluse Spider
Ranging in size from one-forth to three-fourth inches long, Brown recluses are normally light- to medium-brown with the violin marking being black, but have been known to be cream-colored to brownish-black. Spotting a Brown recluse may be harder than one might think. As their name implies, they’re reclusive—and they like it that way. Knowing what they look like can help, though. Not many people know the Brown recluse as the “Violin spider” or the “Fiddleback spider,” but remembering such nicknames can help in identifying this cloistral arachnid. Why? Because the Brown recluse’s most characteristic feature is a violin pattern on the top of the spider near the head, or cephalothorax. While this pattern is sure to be found on most adult Brown recluses, some young Brown recluses may be lacking the fiddle-like figure. It is also noted that the baby brown recluse does not have many of the characteristics of a mature brown recluse.
The violin pattern is itself not wholly diagnostic. Brown recluses also have a unique set of eyes. When examined closely, one will observe that the Brown recluse has not eight eyes like the typical spider but three pairs of eyes (that’s a total of six, if you’re counting).
The full-grown Wolf Spider ranges in size from ½ inch to over an inch, and up to 4 inches when legs are spread. It is gray to brown in color with bristles on its body and legs. The Wolf Spider has an excellent sense of sight, perhaps related to its nocturnal hunting habits. Wolf Spiders have eight eyes (all the better to see you!) arranged in three rows: the top row contains two medium-sized eyes, the middle row two large eyes, and the bottom row 4 small eyes. The eyes of a Wolf Spider also have reflective properties; if light is shined in their eyes at night they will produce a sort of glow that is easily distinguishable.
Jumping spiders tend to exhibit dull coloration, although the bodies of some males may glisten. Jumping spiders are known for their swift reflexes and leaping abilities. These spiders are capable of leaping as high as 25 times their own size and as such, are extremely capable predators. Jumping spiders also possess impressive eyesight. Although jumping spiders are not web-weaving arachnids, they do produce silk. Their silk is used to mark retreats and to protect eggs. Silk may also function as a dragline while jumping, allowing jumping spiders to control their fall and trace their steps.
Commonly found dwelling beneath rocks, logs and other objects on the ground, ground spiders rarely leave their homes except to hunt. These spiders are red or gray-brown in color and may be solid or striped. Ground spiders do not cause any medical conditions in humans. Due to their reclusive nature, humans rarely see them. While these spiders do spin silk, they do not trap prey within their webs. Rather, ground spiders hunt and chase prey along the ground. Hunting typically occurs outside, but ground spiders may also be seen in homes when temperatures drop significantly.
Grass spiders typically reside between the leaves of plants. Their webs can be located in hidden corners of gardens.
Grass spiders are a type of funnel weaver, are common outdoors and are occasionally found indoors. They are generally brownish or grayish with light and dark stripes near the head. They have long spinnerets and are moderate-sized (3/4 inch long). Grass spiders construct a large sheet web with a funnel they use as a retreat. These webs are commonly built on the ground, around steps, window wells, foundations, and low shrubs.
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