Fear of spiders is very common around the world but these creepy arachnids are beneficial for controlling pest insect populations in the environment and home. Hundreds of harmless and poisonous spiders thrive in Idaho, but some are more widespread than others. These four spider varieties are the most common found in southeast Idaho.
This spider belongs to the Agelinidae family. Its web is flat with a woven funnel that extends into a hidden area under rocks or shrubs. The funnel-web weaver usually builds its web in grassy areas, wood piles, dense shrubbery, in dark corners and in basements.
This large spider runs quickly, darting in different directions. The funnel-web weaver does not see very well and catches its prey through vibrations on the web. It is brown with long spinnerets growing from its abdomen.
Cellar spiders belong to the Pholcidae family and have long, skinny legs, small bodies and are tan in color. They are often mistakenly referred to as daddy longlegs. They inhabit cellars and other dark, damp places. Cellar spiders often hide in corners of floors and ceilings. Their webs are shared by one male and one female and often have egg sacs the size of peas on the web. If the web is disrupted, the spiders move back and forth so fast they can barely be seen. They never build new nests but keep repairing the same one.
Crab spiders belong to the Thomisidae family. This medium sized spider features legs that look like a crab’s legs. Its first two legs are longer than the rest and curve inward like a crab. Crab spiders sit on flowers and wait to ambush bees, flies and other insects that feed on nectar.
These spiders are either vivid in color or white to blend in with the flowers. They can change their color within a few days, depending upon where they are waiting for insects. The most common way crab spiders get into a home is by being carried in with cut flowers or vegetables.
Wolf spiders belong to the Lycosidae family. They are dark in color and run quickly across the ground or floor with long legs. They dart from place to place when found under rocks, fallen limbs or other debris lying on the ground. The wolf spider can grow up to two inches. They are dark brown or dark grey with black flecks that help them blend in with the soil. Some wolf spiders feature two dark stripes across their backs. Wolf spiders often enter houses late in the summer or early autumn. They do bite but are not poisonous.
- Photo Credit Brown Daddy-long-legs (Phalangium opilio) image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com white crab spider 2 image by Jeffrey Sinnock from Fotolia.com carolina wolf spider image by Kurt Anderson from Fotolia.com