Common Spiders in the Carolinas

Common Spiders in the Carolinas

Spiders often get a bad reputation that they do not deserve. Sure, they are creepy, have eight legs, and can sometimes be venomous. However, these eight-legged creatures are a great asset to our environment. Despite their occasionally creepy appearance, spiders contribute to the balance of nature. 

For one, spiders are great for pest control, preying on various insects and other arthropods. They help control populations of flies, mosquitoes, moths, beetles, and even harmful agricultural pests. Spiders are also a part of the incredible diversity of life on our planet. There are over 45,000 known species of spiders worldwide, many of which can be found in the Carolinas. 

One often-forgotten benefit of spiders is the research that has been done around their engineering prowess. Spider webs are the hallmark of spiders, and they serve multiple purposes tailored to their hunting strategies. Spider silk has inspired scientists to develop innovative materials for applications such as biomedicine, aerospace, and textiles. 

With all of these benefits of spiders, having a working understanding of the different types of spiders in our region can help demystify them. Getting to know these incredible creatures is a great way to shed fear and gain an appreciation for spiders, so we have put together a guide to the common spiders in the Carolinas!

Common Spiders in North Carolina

1. Wolf Spiders

These creatures are the most commonly known family of spiders throughout the globe. With over 2,000 known species of Lycosidae, this likely is what you think of when you imagine a spider. Wolf spiders have fairly stout bodies and are typically brown, gray, or black. 

Unlike most spiders that rely on their webs, wolf spiders are active hunters and chase down insects such as beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. They are very impressive jumpers, which allow them to pounce on their targets with precision or spring away when threatened. 

Despite their intimidating appearance, wolf spiders are generally non-aggressive. They will only bite if they feel threatened or cornered and do not pose a significant threat to humans. However, if you find them in your home, they can be jarring and a bit of a nuisance.

2. Fishing Spiders

One of the larger species of spiders in the Carolinas, fishing spiders are well adapted to aquatic environments. These spiders typically live near bodies of water such as ponds, streams, or marshes and are mostly found floating around on vegetation.

Fishing spiders are very large spiders for our region, often with a three-inch leg spend, which is big enough to fill the palm of your hand. One of the most unique features of fishing spiders is that they can “walk on water” by using the fine hairs on their legs to create a layer of air, allowing them to float like a raft. 

Fishing spiders are not harmful to humans and will typically avoid confrontation. However, if threatened, they may bite in self-defense. Their venom is relatively mild and not considered dangerous to humans, causing minimal effects similar to a bee sting.

3. Black and Yellow Garden Spiders

Garden spiders are some of the most striking arachnids in the US. They are known for their distinctive orb-shaped webs, as well as their bright yellow and orange markings that cross their backs. These colorful creatures play a vital role in controlling insect populations in their habitats, which, as their name describes, are gardens. 

Garden spiders use their webs consisting of orb-shaped concentric circles to capture insects in flight. They primarily feed on mosquitoes, flies, and yellow jackets. When prey touches their web, they will rush straight over to it and immobilize it with spider silk.

Like the other spiders that we have mentioned so far, black and yellow garden spiders are harmless to humans. While they may bite if threatened or mishandled, their venom is harmless. It is very rare for garden spiders to bite humans.

4. Black Widow Spiders

One of two types of spiders that can pose health hazards to humans if bit, black widow spiders are typically found in dark, secluded places under rocks, stairs, or in thick grass. These spiders are the state's most common venomous spiders and can be identified by their round abdomen, glossy black body, and hourglass-shaped markings. 

Female black widows possess a potent venom, making them potentially dangerous to humans if they are a bit. For the most part, black widows are non-aggressive and will only bite if threatened or disturbed. Their bites can cause symptoms such as fever, pain, cramps, and nausea. In severe cases, black widow venom can cause difficulty breathing. If you are bitten by a black widow, make sure to seek medical attention. 

To minimize the risk of encountering black widow spiders, make sure to keep indoor spaces clean and clutter-free. Shaking out shoes and clothing that you store outdoors can help prevent conflict with black widows that may seek shelter there. 

5. Brown Recluse Spiders

The other Carolina spider that can cause health hazards is the brown recluse spider. Brown recluse spiders are relatively small and are characterized by a violin-shaped marking on their cephalothorax. They are not very common in North Carolina but are typically found in quiet, undisturbed areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. 

If there was one spider to do your best to stay away from in the Carolinas, it would be the brown recluse. The bite of a brown recluse spider can cause a range of symptoms depending on the individual's reaction. From minor redness to severe lesions, the bite of a brown recluse can be unpredictable; therefore, it is important to seek medical help promptly.

Controlling Spiders in NC with Rid-A-Bug

While spiders are mostly good neighbors, they can sometimes become a nuisance, especially when they begin invading our spaces. That's why it is important to work closely with your pest control company to keep spiders at arms reach

Since its inception in 1972, Rid-A-Bug Exterminating, Inc. has been family-owned and run. For the past five decades, we have offered the area the best quality extermination while retaining exceptional customer service. 

Rid-A-Bug Exterminating provides efficient, dependable, and effective pest management. Our trained personnel can respond swiftly and provide solutions to your pest problem when you need us the most. In addition to years of experience, we hold several key qualifications, including:

  • Licensed, Certified and Registered staff – North Carolina Department of Agriculture
  • WDIR Accredited Inspectors – North Carolina Pest Management Association
  • Quality Pro Certified – National Pest Control Management Association
  • NC Wildlife Damage Control Agent – NC Wildlife Commission
  • TAP Insulation Certified Installer

Pests and rodents can be a problem throughout the year. If you have a pest problem, call Rid-A-Bug Exterminating. We are your trusted exterminators serving the Piedmont, foothills, Triad, and all the way down to Charlotte in the Carolinas and up through Virginia. 

We usually respond within 24 hours, to ensure that your property is free of bugs and rodents as soon as possible. Please contact us as soon as you notice an insect problem. We are here to help!