December 14, 2016
Five W’s and an H About Brown Recluse Spiders
Learn about brown recluse spiders with Lena Duenas. What makes brown recluse spiders so threatening, who is most at risk of being bitten by a brown… Read More
We have many different types of spiders in Florida; some pose a threat to us, and some don’t. Most of the time they are content to share our space without any interaction with us.
Spiny orb weaver spiders are one of the most easily recognized spiders in Florida. This tiny, 1/8” to 1/4” spider is wider than it is tall and has an obvious oval white shell on their back with red and black markings. They are sometimes referred to as crab spiders because of their crab-like shape.
These spiders are active in Florida year-round but have an influx of activity between October and January.
Spiny orb weaver spiders eat small insects that they catch in their webs, so they are attracted to citrus groves and woodlands where insects are readily available.
Citrus groves and woodlands are the places that these web spinners are most frequently found.
Spiny orb weaver spiders are not dangerous or destructive.
The wolf spider is one of the largest spiders in Florida. They can get about as large as a grapefruit. They are brown with camouflage markings.
The majority of wolf spiders are nocturnal and hunt during the night, but some do hunt in the early morning hours.
Wolf spiders are attracted to places that will provide them with their preferred food of crickets, grasshoppers, flies, ants and earwigs.
Wolf spiders are not web weavers. They hunt for their prey and pounce on it to overtake and consume it. They are most likely found on the ground in wooded areas. They also dig burrows or hide under debris while they wait for a potential meal.
Wolf spiders are not considered dangerous or destructive to humans.
Their extremely long legs in proportion to their small body gives the most commonly seen spider in Florida its name. An adult’s body can be 1/16”-1/2” long.
The adults will come out in the evening and wander in search of food but are mostly inactive during the day.
Daddy long-legs feed on insects and other spiders but are also known to be scavengers of sweet vegetable juices.
Daddy long-legs spiders like to hang out on tree trunks and windowsills when outside. When inside, these spiders like damp spaces like garages or basements.
These spiders are harmless and are considered a nuisance pest for the way they can congregate and scavenge inside households.
The brown recluse spider is a relatively small spider, 1/2” to 1”. It is all brown except for the distinct black violin-shaped mark on its head.
The brown recluse spider is a nocturnal spider and is most active at night.
Brown recluse spiders prefer foods that include crickets, cockroaches and other soft-bodied creatures and are attracted to areas that would offer them a food source as well as a place to hide.
Brown recluse spiders are not established in Florida, but they can be brought in by immigration (people moving in from another state).
Indoors, they are most commonly encountered when they have hidden away in attics, closets, and other dark areas. They frequently will hide away in clothing, toys, boxes, furniture and books. Outdoors, they are most usually discovered hiding out under buildings and eaves and anywhere that they can be safely hidden away. The key word here is ‘hidden.’ The brown recluse is reclusive. It’ is not out in the open areas, but is always in hiding.
The brown recluse spider isn’t considered to be particularly destructive, however, they are a bit dangerous. Their bite usually causes pain and burning which can be severe. If you are bitten by ANY spider, it is always recommended that you obtain and save the spider for medical identification and seek medical advice and treatment as soon as possible.
The Southern Black Widow Spider is a large, poisonous spider that is roughly 1-1/2” in length when its legs are extended. It is jet black with red spots at the tipped end of their abdomen and a red hourglass marking on their underside.
Southern black widow spiders are nocturnal spiders that hunt and mate at night.
Southern black widow spiders are attracted to debris and garbage that will not only give them shelter but will offer them plenty of insects to eat.
Southern black widow spiders are most likely to be found outdoors tucked away in dark and secluded areas. Their favorite hiding places indoors include: crawlspaces, basements, attics and inside stored clothing.
Southern black widows are not destructive but, like other widow spiders, they do have a poisonous bite that is extremely painful and can make you very ill. In the case of a southern black widow spider bite seek medical attention immediately.
This spider has the distinction of being one of the largest web weavers in the United States. The banana spider is a flat brown spider that can be 1/4” to 1-1/2” in length.
Banana spiders are nocturnal and do the majority of their activities at night.
Banana spiders are insect eaters so they are attracted to areas with a slight breeze that brings in a constant flow of food to their web.
Banana spiders are most commonly found in forests, along trails, and in any heavy shrubbery. They don’t fare well indoors.
Banana spiders are neither dangerous nor destructive but they do bite…and it hurts.