There are many species of spiders that call Indiana home. Learn more about common spiders in Indiana and how the professionals at POW Pest Control can rid your home or business of these frightening arachnids.
Some of most common spiders found in Indiana are the Wolf Spider (Lycosidae), Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), Common House Spider (Achaearanea tepidariorum), Harvestman Spider - aka: Daddy Longlegs (Opiliones - technically not a spider), and the Black Widow (Latrodectus).
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The black widow is common to Indiana and most recognizable by its red hour-glass located on the thorax. Black Widows are the most venomous spiders in North America using alpha-latrotoxin to cause immense pain to its victims.
In Indiana, you are most likely to find Black widows in dark, secluded areas such as woodpiles and crevices. Within your home, you might spot them in sheltered, dimly lit locations like garages, dark corners, basements and closets.
The story behind naming the black widow spider is in relation to its mating behaviors. Following copulation, female black widow spiders (usually larger than the male) will kill and feed upon their mates. But this isn't the norm. This type of behavior has largely only been observed while the spiders were held in captivity.
Female black widow spiders can attack humans if provoked and they deliver the most toxic spider bite in the United States. +
The brown recluse has a tan colored exterior that gets darker toward the center of the spider. They only bite when agitated but the bite can cause tissue damage hours later (although its's uncommon).
This spider is most commonly found in the southern half of Indiana and becomes much less common as you travel north. The brown recluse is highly likely to inhabit similar spaces as the black widow. One major difference is that you most likely will not see a brown recluse on or near a web, since they don't spin webs to catch prey.
Many spiders are often incorrectly identified as the brown recluse. If you spot what you believe to be a brown recluse and it's has any of the following characteristics, it most likely is NOT a brown recluse:
The common house spider or Achaearanea tepidariorum is not dangerous to humans and only known to bite in self defense. They will also play dead when provoked.
This spider (located throughout the US) is often found in basements, attics and crawl spaces as well as barns and stables. The common house spider tends to make their webs near human habitats, but they try to stay out of the way of humans simultaneously.
A bite from the common house spider is fairly toxic but much less potent than other spiders. Bites will feel like a bee sting and have no lasting negative effects.
Harvestmen -also known as daddy long legs - aren’t technically spiders, but Opiliones, a type of arachnid not related to spiders. They are venomous to other insects but harmless to humans.
Daddy Long Legs love damp, shades areas such as underneath logs and rocks and around trees. It is rare to find them in living spaces, but if they do, they usually hide in basements, crawlspaces, garages and sheds.
Daddy Long Legs (or Harvestman) are often seen in larger numbers in the fall around harvest time (hence the name). They do not create webs and only have a lifespan of around a year.
Wolf spiders are also referred to as ground spiders or hunting spiders due to the way they capture their prey.
Wolf spiders are more likely to be seen in during the day unlike the brown recluse - whom they closely resemble. They are commonly found in a variety of habits from dry woodlands to wet forests and meadows. Some can also be found indoors.
Similar to the brown recluse, wolf spiders do not spin traditional webs to catch their prey. In fact, this species usually reside within burrows. In Indiana, as temperatures fall, wolf spiders seek warmer habitats and have been known to enter homes where they might be found around windows, doors, garages, basements and houseplants.
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