Spiders make many of us cringe away, triggering some kind of automatic “ugh!” shudder response that seems to be deeply instinctive and almost uncontrollable. Arachnophobia must be one of the most common fears in the world. Even so, some spiders can be incredible to look at, especially the ones you know can’t hurt you.
I’ve been fascinated by spiders since I was a kid, and although some send me shrinking away in terror, others intrigue me and I want to see more. We’re going to explore 13 popular non-venomous spiders and talk about whether you need to call out pest control if you spot any of these species.
It’s worth noting that when we talk about non-venomous, few spiders are truly non-venomous, because most use venom to hunt their prey. However, for the purposes discussed here, non-venomous means that their venom is not dangerous to people, or will have a minimal effect in most cases if you do get bitten.
One: Trap Door Spider
This spider can bite, but its bite is not toxic to people. It is an amazing spider that digs itself a burrow and creates a door at the top using silk and soil (and some spit). It then crouches behind this door, touching it, so that it will feel vibrations from insects passing overhead.
It grabs the insects, drags them into the burrow, and eats them. The hunting method is so different from the approach that most spiders take, this is a spider you definitely want to watch in action. It can also live for over thirty years in the wild!
Two: Feather-Legged Orb Weaver
One of the few spiders that is truly non-venomous (rather than just non-venomous to humans), the feather-legged orb weaver also has a unique hunting strategy.
Most spiders kill their prey by biting it and injecting poison into the body, but the feather-legged orb weaver cannot do this, and instead it squeezes its prey to death, using silk and its strong legs. Once the prey is dead, the spider then spits some digestive enzyme into it.
This breaks down the insect’s insides, and the spider can suck them out and eat them. There is no venom at all involved in its hunting strategy, and it won’t hurt you if you handle one.
Three: Huntsman Spiders
You shouldn’t need to worry about being bitten by a huntsman spider, although they can bite if provoked. They are non-venomous but do quite often wander into houses and will sit on walls. If you disturb one, it will usually flee into the shadows, as they are shy creatures and would rather run than attack
They can move very quickly, and you should be more cautious of a female guarding eggs or babies, as these are much more likely to be aggressive and lash out at humans.
These spiders can grow to around two inches, including the legs, and they are hairy and brown.
Four: Wolf Spiders
Wolf spiders might sound terrifying, but they are also among the non-venomous arachnids. There are quite a few kinds of wolf spiders, with most family members being black or brown, and they are very fast runners.
They hunt their prey by chasing it down, as wolves do, rather than by using webs and lying in wait. They are formidable hunters, and although they can bite, they usually use their speed and sensitivity to movement to run away instead.
“A bite from a wolf spider could cause some small amount of swelling, but they are generally considered non-venomous, and their bites rarely create much of a reaction in people.”
These spiders are often confused with tarantulas in the wild, and they are considered interesting parents because they carry their babies around on their backs.
Five: Jumping Spider
As the name suggests, these spiders can jump, and they use this to hunt prey. They will spring forward suddenly to leap on an unsuspecting insect, which they can then overpower and eat. They can leap up to fifty times the length of their own bodies by doing this.
They are another non-venomous spider and are much more likely to run away from you than to attack you. A jumping spider might bite if picked up or provoked, but it would be unlikely to hurt very much.
They can see very well, better than any other spider, at least during the day. They are thought to be able to see things up to eighteen inches from them – which is better than I can say myself, being very short-sighted!
Highly impressive arachnids, the tarantula has proven a very popular pet over the years, even though it sets arachnophobes shuddering. I’m not sure I could handle touching one myself, but they are incredible to look at.
The hair on a tarantula’s fangs could irritate the skin and they do bite when they feel threatened. However, they are not toxic to people, and if handled with care, can become accustomed to being picked up gently. They are excellent hunters and can grow to more than three inches.
In the summer, the males tend to migrate, which means you’re more likely to come across them on the move. They can also fit through surprisingly small gaps, which is certainly something a would-be pet owner should keep in mind when choosing a suitable container!
Seven: American House Spider
This is a spider you’re very likely to see if you live anywhere in America. They are generally harmless, but their webs can be very messy and this makes them unpopular house guests. Unfortunately, you are highly likely to have them around if you have any dark, undisturbed corners to get into – and who doesn’t?
These spiders don’t bite and are not considered any threat to humans. Their abdomens are rounded and they tend to have brown, slightly patchy bodies.
Eight: Long-Bodied Cellar Spider
Another lover of dark and quiet spaces, the long-bodied cellar spider is also common in households. It is likely to infest your garage, your basement, any crawl spaces, attics, or even just unused cupboards.
It is a non-venomous spider, which some people incorrectly call a daddy longlegs. It is not a daddy longlegs (those are a different kind of arachnid that only has two eyes), but it’s easy to see why the confusion arises.
You are very likely to find these in your home, and you can safely move them without fear of getting bitten.
If you’re like me, you might want to use a cup and a piece of cardboard, rather than trying to pick them up in your bare hands – and this is generally a good safety measure anyway, in case you’re mistaken about the identity of what you’re holding.
Nine: Sac Spiders
These spiders like to hang around on the ceilings of houses, and you might see them at any time of year. They are about half an inch long and are generally nocturnal, so you will normally see them moving around at night, rather than in the day.
These spiders don’t make webs, and there is some debate about whether they count as non-venomous. They do have venom and they can bite, but most people will not react badly to it. However, some lists include them among the venomous and dangerous arachnids, so you should handle them with care!
Ten: Crab Spiders
This spider is named because of the way it holds its legs; it looks amazingly like a miniature crab. It can also run sideways, just as a crab can. Crab spiders usually depend on camouflage, rather than webs, to lure in their prey. They will wait in a hidden spot and then snap their powerful front legs around their prey.
Crab spiders can even change color to suit their environment – just like chameleons can. They can manage pink, white, green, and yellow, but only in pale colors. They achieve this by altering the pigment in their bodies, but it can take up to there weeks to take full effect, so these spiders tend to stay in one place for a while.
They do not generally bite humans, although they do use venom to immobilize the insects that they catch. They then inject digestive enzymes to dissolve the internal organs and suck the insects dry. Their venom is not dangerous to people, so they can be considered non-venomous.
Eleven: Chilean Rose Spider
“This spider is slightly venomous, but its venom is too mild to be dangerous to people; if you were bitten by one, it would probably feel like being stung by a bee.”
They are popular pets, like tarantulas, and can be stunning colors. Some are – as the name suggests – bright rose colored, while others are pink or gray.
They are a very large kind of spider, and can grow to over five inches long. If you want to see a gorgeous arachnid, even if you’d rather not handle it, this is certainly one of them.
Twelve: Australian Grey House Spider
Despite its name (and being indigenous to Australia), this spider is found across the world. It is tiny, with females only growing to around 1.4 cm and males only growing to about 1 cm. They have slight stripes on their legs.
They are not venomous enough to be considered harmful to people, although they do use venom and digestive enzyme when hunting their prey. To catch prey, they spin webs in corners or in crevices, and lie in wait for insects.
They are found in Australia, the United States, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, and Uruguay.
You are quite likely not to even notice this little arachnid, as it is small and tends to spend most of its time in isolated corners, rather than running conspicuously across floors or up walls.
Thirteen: Funnel Web Grass Spiders
A species that mostly lives outdoors, these spiders are also known to occasionally venture into houses, so it’s quite likely you may come across them at some point. However, they are not dangerous to people, and they are considered low risk.
They have light and dark stripes near their heads, and they grow to about three quarters of an inch long. They create a large, funnel-like web (as the name suggests) and retreat into the center of this for safety.
They will rarely stay indoors, even if you see them, as there are few suitable places for them to build webs. They prefer tall grass and low shrubs that they can spin between.
Is Pest Control Necessary? My Experience And Conclusion
It’s worth noting that almost any spider can bite you, and almost all spiders do have some venom in their fangs because they use it for hunting. However, it’s also important to remember that few spiders actually do bite.
I have never been bitten, or even threatened, by a spider. I have handled plenty, even ones that frighten me. Usually, spiders can be relocated and taken outdoors safely enough by simply putting a glass over them and sliding a piece of card beneath them.
Only the most venomous species really seem worth calling pest control for. Because spiders are usually lone creatures, it will be rare that you need to get somebody else out to help you deal with them; it’s not like trying to deal with a wasps’ nest or a cockroach infestation.
“However, when it comes to removing the most venomous kinds, such as the black widow, it may be worth calling out an expert who has both the experience and the equipment to properly deal with the threat.“
If I had to deal with a dangerous arachnid myself, I’d be getting some very protective gloves and a glass before approaching it.
Most spiders are venomous and can produce some soreness and swelling if they bite you, even if they are considered “non-venomous” for these purposes. You may find it more useful to define whether a spider is dangerous or not, as venom is a key part of the hunting strategy for many arachnids.
However, the venom of many spiders is too mild to really affect humans, so they can be safely handled and removed from the home when necessary.
Alright, that’s it for this article guys, if you found it useful then a share on social media or your website would be cool!
All the best
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