Ever jump at the sight of a spider crawling across your wall or ceiling? Much of our fear of spiders comes from not knowing for sure how dangerous it might be. And you likely resort to killing any spiders you come across inside your home. But some spiders are themselves good for pest control, so it’s important to know the difference between which spiders are harmless and helpful versus which ones are dangerous.
Is it Normal to Have Spiders in Your Home?
To put it simply, yes – some house spiders are normal to have in your home. Most species of spiders are not hazardous to humans, and serve as great natural predators against common pests such as crickets. Additionally, a little bit of cleanup and entrance sealing can usually prevent an abundance of spiders from making their way inside if you happen to see too many.
It’s important to understand which types of house spiders are okay to have around to a reasonable degree. Knowing how to identify common house spiders and realizing when you need professional pest control solutions will go a long way for your peace of mind and safety.
10 Most Common Household Spiders
To ease your mind and prepare you for your next encounter, we’ve listed 10 of the most common household spiders seen in Arizona and the Western United States. We hope this will help you tell the difference between those which are indeed venomous, and those which are harmless:
1. Daddy Long Legs/Harvestmen: We’ll start with everyone’s favorite harmless arachnid. With tall legs that make it appear threatening, they are treated a bit unfairly. Harvestmen – or daddy long legs – are actually harmless to humans and beneficial for insect control in Arizona.
2. Black Widows: This is a venomous type you should be wary of if you cross it. Characterized by their red under-belly and messy webs, they are not aggressive unless provoked.
3. Brown Spiders: Both the Arizona brown spider and the normal brown spider are completely safe. However, they resemble brown and desert recluses enough to where they’re often a false source of terror for people who see them in their homes. They have 3 sets of eyes instead of the 4 which recluses have – but you might not be interested enough in finding out one way or the other.
Read More: Homeowner’s Guide to Pest Control in Phoenix
4. Brown Recluse: Brown recluses are not particularly common in Arizona ( ß link to blog there). However, they are often mistaken for desert recluses, which are certainly present.
5. Desert Recluse: Speaking of the desert recluse, it is a close family member of the brown recluse, and certainly shares its venomous effects on humans. Though they are (as their name suggests) shy and not likely to attack you unprovoked, they are still worth your utmost care when encountering one.
6. Grass Spiders: Characterized by long, thin legs attached to a brown and white torso, these are quite common outdoor spiders. They spin funnel-like webs to protect the opening of their homes, and they capture insects. Luckily, they stay out of human contact usually – and are perfectly harmless.
7. Tarantulas: Intimidating but mostly harmless to humans, these large hairy spiders are quite common in the desert. They are not prone to attack, and though their bite can hurt humans, the effects are minimal and subside in a day or so.
8. American House Spider: Imagine a spider so common they name it after… being inside houses! They are mostly grey and compact, and will be about the size of a nickel. They are usually harmless, and try to hide in cracks and crevices in your home.
9. Wolf Spider: Wolf Spiders are imposing and unique spiders that can be found often in the desert. They don’t spin webs – instead, they lurk in trees or shrubs and pounce on their prey. They are essentially harmless to humans, and not inclined to bite you. Instead, you’ll find them hiding in dark spaces such as wood piles or corners of concrete structures.
10. Jumping Spiders: These are characterized by their large set of eyes in the front of their body. However, they’re shy and do not build webs, so they’re likely to stay away from you. They can bite in self-defense, but the likelihood is low.
What Spiders Are Venomous?
While we have listed 10 common household spiders and alluded to the prevalence of many others that might be found around your home in Arizona, there are only a few to be worried about.
The brown or desert recluse are both extremely venomous. Similarly, black widows have detrimental effects on humans and are worth avoiding at all costs.
Additionally, Hobo Spiders (which are not typically found in Arizona) can cause irritation and potentially some necrosis to human tissue – but this is not something often seen.
You shouldn’t be concerned for your safety if you think you’ve got a spider problem in your home, which is why we highly recommend hiring your trusted local pest control service provider to prevent or eradicate any potential infestation you may have.
Keep Your Home Spider-Free with Insectek
At Insectek, we have an appreciation for spiders – many of them eliminate pests just like we do! However, we also understand that some of them aren’t welcome in your home, and we have decades of experience in household spider removal in Arizona to make sure you live comfortably and safely in your home.
If you are finding a few too many spiders in your home, one of our experienced and licensed technicians can happily help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.