Common Spiders in Northeast Ohio

There are many different species of spider in Ohio, nearly 600, though none are exclusive to the northeast portion of the state. Nearly all of the most common spiders in Ohio are not dangerous to humans, and they are frequently found in homes, barns, garages and other human habitats.

  1. American House Spider

    • Regularly found in northeastern Ohio, the common house spider can be found across the rest of the United States as well. As its name implies, it is one of the most common spiders in the country and is frequently found inside homes. They are brown and less than 1/4 inch in size. They're web spiders, using their silk-spun homes to capture insects, and while their bites are venomous, they are rarely harmful to humans.

    Wolf Spider

    • Wolf spiders are larger spiders that are rarely found indoors. They are hunting spiders that do not rely on webs to catch their prey, usually consisting of insects. They are extremely fast and are about 1 inch in size. They are typically gray, with visible hair that gives them a tarantulalike appearance. According to Richard A. Bradley, associate professor at the department of EEO Biology at Ohio State University at Marion, there are nearly sixty sub-species of wolf spider in the state of Ohio. Their bites are rarely dangerous to humans.

    Barn Spider

    • Like its name implies, the barn spider is most often found in barns, although they also can be found in caves and in any rocky area. They are usually light brown, about 3/4 inch long and can be distinguished by their large abdomen. The barn spider is an orb weaver, and spins a circular web every night to catch flying insects. They are harmless to humans.

    Grass Spider

    • Grass spiders are another species whose habitat is made clear by their name. They are dark brown or black in appearance and are very small, typically less than a 3/4 inch long. They build funnel webs to catch their insect prey. Like the barn spider, the grass spider is completely harmless to humans.

    Cellar Spider

    • Also called a daddy long-legs, the cellar spider is very common across all of America and most of the world. The body of a cellar spider is usually between 2 to 10 mm in length, but their legs can be five times that. They are entirely harmless to humans, despite urban legends to the contrary claiming their bites are deadly.

    Black Widow

    • The northern and southern black widow spider can be found in northeastern Ohio, and is one of the few dangerous species of spider native to the state. The female is the larger of the sexes, about half an inch in size, and can easily be identified by its red hourglass-shaped marking on its black body. The male of the species has four white stripes on its body and no noticeable hourglass marking. Black widow venom is a neurotoxin and although fatalities from the bite are rare, they can cause intense pain and even convulsions.

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