Types of Spiders

A spider climbs a strand of web

Nobody is happy to see a spider infestation. There are around 4000 species of spiders in North America, alone, with many of them being poisonous. Indeed, while just as many are not poisonous to humans, they can still be the source of mysterious spider bites in the night, and can spread at a rapid rate (many species of spiders can lay thousands of eggs during a mating season). Here are some of the most common types of spiders that we see in Utah…

Cobweb spiders

Cobweb spiders are one of the most common families of spiders in North America, with well over 200 different species living here. Cobweb spiders often have messy and chaotic webs that are designed to efficiently catch more small insects. Of all cobweb spiders, the most dangerous that we have in Utah is definitely the black widow. A female black widow can produce four to nine egg sacs every summer, with 100 to 400 eggs in each of those sacs. A black widow bite is incredibly venomous, and can even be lethal to smaller humans.

Jumping spiders

Jumping spiders are active hunters, and, rather than spin webs to catch unsuspecting insects, will move and jump onto their prey to inject them with their venomous bites. Of all jumping spiders, one of the most common that we tend to see in Utah is the wolf spider. Female wolf spiders carry their egg sacs by attaching them to their spinnerets. After hatching, the spiderlings will climb onto their mother’s back, where she will carry them around for several days until they can start to jump and hunt on their own.

Orb-weaving spiders

When we think of a classic spiderweb, we tend to think of a round web with a very intricate pattern that repeats itself all around the center. This particular type of spiderweb is the work of orb-weaving spiders. These webs are designed to work like giant nets, and are often spun to catch flying insects. Orb spiders are quite common in Utah, and may also be referred to as “garden spiders.” To humans, they are relatively harmless. If aggravated, they might bite a person, but they contain very little venom, and nowhere near enough to have any lasting effect to a person.

Funnel web spiders

Funnel web spiders are highly distinguishable by the webs that they spin, which are usually in the form of a tunnel. Inside of this self-created tunnel, the spider is able to burrow and wait for unsuspecting prey. In the United States, most funnel web spiders are relatively harmless to humans, as opposed to other parts of the world (if you want to see a really deadly spider, check out the Sydney funnel-web spider in Australia). One particularly harmful funnel web spider is the hobo spider, which can cause necrosis in humans, if bitten. However, they are usually non-fatal.