Spiders

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There are about 3,000 species of spiders found in North America. Cellar spiders, American house, Grass spiders, Wolf spiders, Garden spiders, Brown Recluse and Black Widows are a few of the more recognizable spiders. The two venomous and harmful spiders found in Oklahoma are the Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders.

Appearance
 
  • They have 8 legs

  • They don’t have wings or antennae

  • They have 2 body regions, a Cephalothorax (head & thorax) and an Abdomen

Behavior, Diet & Habits

There are about 3,000 species of spiders found in North America. Some spiders like warm dry environments such as attics, air vents, and room corners. Other spiders like moisture-rich environments like crawlspaces, basements, and areas near plumbing. No matter what environment they prefer, all spiders like to hide in dark places.

They are nocturnal predators which means they hunt for prey at night. Their diet consists of insects, spiders and other small prey. They inject their prey with venom to paralyze or kill it for consumption. Once subdued, they inject their prey with a pre-digestive fluid. Once this fluid begins the digestive process they suck the fluid back out. Many types of spiders can survive for a week up to a few months without a meal.

Brown Recluses and Black Widows are the two venomous spiders found in Oklahoma that are harmful to humans. Please visit their designated pages for more specific information on these dangerous spiders.

Reproduction

After mating, females deposit 20 to a few hundred eggs in silken sacs. The number of eggs correlates directly to the species of spider and whether they tend to their young or not. Spiders that tend to their young lay fewer eggs since each egg’s chance of reaching maturity is much greater.

Signs of an Infestation

The most common signs of infestation are seeing spiders or their webs (depending on the species). Spider bites are another common sign. Many spiders cannot penetrate human skin but most spider bites result in some redness and localized swelling. However, the two that leave painful bites are Brown Recluses and Black Widows.

Treatments

To prevent further infestation, keep buildings in good repair, seal cracks and crevices correctly and remove clutter and debris from the premises to reduce harborage areas. We recommend removing webs and egg sacks buy vacuuming and sweeping and also recommend removing their food source. We recommend contacting your local pest control technician, who will inspect and identify the species, then apply the appropriate treatment.

Cellar Spider 
(Pholcidae)

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Appearance
 
  • 1/16 to 5/16 inches in length

  • They have a small body with 8, very long thin legs

  • Color ranges from pale yellow to light brown or grey

  • Found in cellars, basements, and crawl spaces

  • People often call Cellar Spiders Daddy Longlegs, however, they are not a true Daddy Longlegs (Harvestman Spider)

American House Spider 
(parasteatoda tepidariorum)

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Appearance
 
  • They are 18 to 5/16 inches in length

  • Their color is highly variable: yellowish brown, white abdomen with dark spots and striped legs

  • You can often find them indoors

  • They are a nuisance pest due to their webs more than the spider itself

Grass Spider
(Agelenopsis)

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Appearance
 
  • They are 1/4 to 3/4 inches in length, excluding the legs

  • Their color is variable: black, brown, tan and grey

  • They create cave-like or funnel webs to catch their prey

  • They are outdoor spiders and you’ll generally find them in the grass

Wolf Spider
(Hogna Aspersa)

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Appearance
 
  • They are 1/2 to 2 inches in length

  • They are brown to grey in color with various lines and markings

  • People often mistake them for a Brown Recluse, but lack the recluses’ violin markings

  • They do not spin webs and instead hunt for prey at night

  • They can be found around doors, windows, basements, garages, and house plants

Garden Spider
(Argiope aurantia)

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Appearance
 
  • 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches in length

  • Their color varies from black, white, brown, tan, & grey

  • The females have a distinctive color such as bright yellow or are banded

  • They spin classic circular webs

  • They are common outdoors in gardens, yards, and fields