Spiders are often feared and vilified, but these creatures play an important role in our ecosystems.
Here in Ohio, there are a variety of spiders that can be found all year long. Some of these spiders are harmless, while others can deliver a painful bite. Whatever way you look at it, many of these spiders are considered pests when they’re in the home.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 12 different types of spiders found in the Buckeye State.
- There are several types of common spiders in Ohio, including jumping spiders, the yellow garden spider, the house funnel weaver, and more.
- Of all the species of spiders in Ohio, the vast majority are not dangerous to humans.
- Life-threatening spider bites are uncommon in Ohio, but if you’re bitten by a brown recluse or black widow, be sure to seek medical attention.
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|House Funnel Weaver||¼-⅜” long, long brown legs||Cracks, basements, garages||Minimal – not aggressive and does not bite humans but often confused with other species||Web is a sheet connected with a funnel-shaped tunnel|
|Hackled-Mesh Weaver||Large, heavy-bodied, brown, about ⅓” long||Under rocks and logs||None||Zig-zag Type Web|
|Barn Orb Weaver||Brown or gray||Barns, rock walls||None||Several feet in diameter web|
|Furrow Orb Weaver||Smoth, shiny abdomen, up to ⅜” long||Common near lakeshores||None||Spiral-shaped web|
|Parson Spider||Long, cylindrical spinnerets with a black body and white markings||Floors of buildings, near rocks, often in homes||None||Does not spin a web, wanders the ground|
|Field Wolf Spider||Dark brown bodies, ¾-7/16” long||Agricultural fields, occasionally wander into buildings||Minimal – rarely bite and only do is if provoked, but not venomous||Build shallow burrows with minimal silk|
|Yellow Sac Spider||Bright yellow body, up to ¼” long||Gardens and buildings||Moderate – bites occasionally result in slow-healing wounds||Transparent silk cocoons|
|Long-Bodied Cellar Spider||Long legs, bodies up to ⅜ long, pale in color||Cellars and basements||None||Cobweb-like webs|
|Dimorphic Jumper Spider||Pale yellow bodies with black stripes, up to ⅜” long, some males are tufted||Gardens||Minimal – occasionally bite when scared, but do not have any venom that can harm humans||Do not use webs to catch prey; pounce instead|
|False Black Widow Spider||Shiny globular abdomen that is dark or black, lacks the red hourglass marking of the actual black widow||Garages and other outdoor buildings||None||Tangled cobwebs in protected places|
|Northern and Southern Black Widow Spiders||Black with the red hourglass shape||Abandoned barns and buildings, rock ledges||Serious – bite when disturbed and are extremely venomous||Tangle webs|
|Folding Door Spider||Large, dark brown to black bodies up to ½” long||Burrows near rock cliffs, cave entrances, in forests||Moderate – they do bite but it is not likely to be dangerous||None – they burrow|
1. House Funnel Weaver
The House Funnel Weaver Spider is a common spider in Ohio. It is easily recognized by its large size and brown-and-cream coloration.
The house funnel weaver spider is not considered dangerous to humans, but it can be a nuisance if it builds its webs inside your home. These spiders typically build their webs in small openings such as windows or doors.
The web is generally large and circular with a funnel-like opening at one end. The spider waits inside the funnel for prey to become entangled in the web. Once the prey is captured, the spider will come out of the funnel and wrap the prey in silk before eating it.
2. Hackled-Mesh Weaver
The Hackled-Mesh Weaver spider is a medium-to-large-sized spider with a dark brown body and dark brown, longitudinal stripes on its abdomen. Its legs are also striped and are covered in hairs that give them a banded appearance.
Hackled-Mesh Weaver spiders get their name from the zig-zag pattern that is found in their web. This pattern is created by the spiral of silk that the spider produces when it builds its web. The function of the zig-zag pattern is unknown, but it is thought to help the spider capture prey or to make the web more visible to potential mates.
Hackled-Mesh Weaver spiders are found throughout the United States but are most common in the Midwest and Northeast regions. In Ohio, they can be found in fields, gardens, forests, and sometimes even inside houses. These spiders build their webs in areas where there is a lot of insect activity such as near lights or flying insects attracted to porch lights.
Hackled-Mesh Weaver spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and their bites do not pose any medical threat. They typically build nests among rocks or logs, in humid habitats. However, their webs can be a nuisance if they are located in areas where humans frequent such as porches, patios, or decks.
Additionally, these spiders sometimes enter homes through open doors or windows in search of prey. Once inside, they may build their webs in areas where humans live such as living rooms or bedrooms. While they are not considered dangerous, Hackled-Mesh Weaver spiders can be a nuisance if they are present in high numbers.
3. Barn Orb Weaver
The Barn Orb Weaver spider is brown or gray in color and has a large, round abdomen. Males and females look similar, but males are usually smaller than females.
As their name suggests, Barn Orb Weaver spiders typically build their webs in barns and other structures. However, they can also be found outdoors in gardens, trees, and bushes.
Although their bites are not poisonous to humans, they can still be painful. If you are bitten by one of these spiders, wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
The webs built by Barn Orb Weaver spiders are called orb webs. These webs are round or oval-shaped with radial symmetry. The spider builds its web by first creating a series of sticky radial lines. It then creates a series of non-sticky spiral lines that intersect the radial lines. The spider uses these spiral lines to trap insects that fly into the web.
If you come across one of these spiders, there’s no need to be alarmed—they pose no threat to humans.
4. Furrow Orb Weaver
Furrow orb weavers are small-to-medium-sized spiders. They are brown or black in color and have markings on their abdomens that resemble furrows or ridges. The shapes of these markings vary by the individual spider but may include lines, ovals, or diamonds.
Furrow orb weavers are found throughout the United States and Canada but are most common east of the Rocky Mountains. They typically inhabit fields, gardens, and forest edges but can also be found near human-made structures such as homes, garages, and sheds. These spiders build their webs in areas that offer plenty of food sources such as lawns, bushes, and trees. It is one of the few that can survive the winter.
Furrow orb weavers pose very little risk to humans since they do not have venom that is harmful to us. Bites from these spiders may cause minor irritation but will not result in any long-term health effects. In fact, these spiders can actually be beneficial since they help control populations of harmful insects such as mosquitoes and flies.
Furrow orb weavers build webs that are circular in shape and typically measure between 2 and 4 feet wide. These webs often have a spiral pattern of dense silk with regular intervals of space between the spiral strands. The center of the web usually has a thicker zig-zag pattern of silk known as a stabilimentum which helps support the web and makes it visible to prey.
5. Parson Spider
The Parson spider gets its name from its habit of scavenging for food at night, much like a parson or vicar. It is also sometimes called the black-and-white sac spider because it builds large, round egg sacs that it hangs from its web. These egg sacs can contain up to 100 eggs!
Parson spiders are small. They are black with white markings on their abdomen and legs. Their bodies are elongated, and they have two rows of six eyes each.
Parson spiders build their webs near ground level in dark, secluded areas like under porches or in bushes. They are most active at night when they go out to hunt for food, which consists mainly of small insects like flies and moths.
Parson spiders pose little threat to humans and are not known to be aggressive. However, their bites can cause mild irritation, redness, and swelling. If you experience these symptoms after being bitten by a spider, seek medical attention immediately.
Parson spiders build messy webs that can be unsightly if they’re located in an area where you don’t want them (like your front porch). If you have a Parson spider problem on your hands, call a pest control professional to take care of it for you.
6. Field Wolf Spider
The field wolf spider is a medium-sized spider with a dark brown or black body. They have long legs and can reach up to ½ inch in length. They are sometimes confused with the brown recluse spider, but they can be distinguished by the fact that they do not have a violin-shaped mark on their back.
Field wolf spiders are found in fields, gardens, and other open areas. They are commonly seen running across the ground or climbing up plants. They build webs to catch prey, but they do not stay in them for long periods of time.
Field wolf spiders are not aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened. Their bites are not considered to be dangerous to humans, but they can be painful. If you are bitten by a field wolf spider, you should wash the area with soap and water and ice it for 10 minutes. You may also want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever if the pain is severe.
Field wolf spiders build irregular webs in shallow burrows to catch their prey. The webs are often built close to the ground in grassy areas or among rocks and debris.
7. Yellow Sac Spider
The yellow sac spider is a small, light-colored spider that is common in Ohio. These spiders can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, gardens, and homes. They are most active at night and during the day they hide in their webs or in rolled-up leaves. The yellow sac spider gets its name from the fact that it builds its web in a flattened silken sac.
These pests aren’t necessarily dangerous to humans but can be a nuisance inside your home. They aren’t in season every month out of the year, either. In fact, you’re unlikely to see them around November and December.
8. Long-Bodied Cellar Spider
These long, thin-legged spiders are commonly found in and around Ohio homes. They get their name from their long, narrow abdomen which can be up to twice the size of their cephalothorax (head region). They are light brown to tan in color and have very long legs.
Although they are not considered dangerous to humans, cellar spiders can be a nuisance because of the large number of webs they build. These webs are often found in dark corners and around window sills. In some cases, the webs may be so thick that they obscure the view out of a window.
Cellar spiders pose no threat to humans and are actually beneficial because they help control other insect populations.
9. Dimorphic Jumper
The Dimorphic Jumper can be found in both urban and rural areas throughout Ohio. They jump to catch their prey rather than build a web.
The Dimorphic Jumper is not aggressive and will not bite unless provoked. If you do get bitten by one of these spiders, it is not considered dangerous and will not cause any serious harm. However, you may experience some redness, swelling, and pain at the site of the bite.
10. False Black Widow
These creepy crawlies are not to be confused with their more venomous cousins, the black widows. While false black widows don’t pack the same poisonous punch, they can still give you a good bite if provoked. So it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid them altogether if possible. Here’s what you need to know about false black widows in Ohio.
False black widow spiders are small, brown, and shiny with a spherical abdomen. They typically lack the red or orange hourglass-shaped mark on their lower back and can grow to be about a half-inch long. If you see a spider that fits this description, chances are it’s a false black widow.
You’ll find these spiders hanging out in dark places like basements, closets, and garages—pretty much anywhere that’s sheltered and free from disturbance. They spin webs that they use to catch their prey, which mainly consists of small insects like flies and moths.
While false black widows are venomous, their bites generally aren’t harmful to humans unless you have an allergy to spider venom.
11. Northern and Southern Black Widow
This eight-legged creature is one of the most venomous spiders in Ohio, but fortunately, it is not that common.
An adult northern black widow is about a half-inch long and has a glossy black body with a red hourglass shape on its abdomen. The red hourglass may be broken into two separate spots. Some males and immature females may have yellow or white stripes running down their backs.
Black widows are shy creatures that often build their webs in quiet, out-of-the-way places, such as under rocks or in woodpiles. They also may be found indoors in dark, secluded areas such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages. Although they’re not aggressive, black widows will bite if they feel threatened.
A black widow’s bite is usually not deadly to humans; however, it can cause serious illness. Symptoms of a black widow bite include nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, sweating and increased blood pressure and heart rate. If you think you have been bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention immediately.
12. Folding Door Spider
The Folding Door Spider is a member of the Araneidae family and is found in many parts of the United States, including Ohio. These spiders get their name from the hinged “doors” that they build into their webs. These doors allow the spider to quickly retreat into its web if it feels threatened.
Folding door spiders build their webs near sources of food, such as homes, porches, and garages. These spiders are nocturnal hunters and will often be seen running along the ground in search of prey. The most common prey items for these spiders are insects such as flies and beetles.
While folding door spiders are not aggressive towards humans, they can bite if they feel threatened. These bites are not considered dangerous to humans but may cause some swelling and irritation at the site of the bite. If you suspect you have been bitten by a folding door spider, it is important to seek medical attention just to be safe.
Do I Have to Worry About Brown Recluse Spiders?
The brown recluse spider is a small spider (about the size of a quarter) that is light brown in color. These spiders are not aggressive and will only bite humans if they feel threatened. When they do bite, their venom can cause serious health problems, including necrosis (death of tissue).
The good news is that most people who believe they have encountered a brown recluse have actually encountered another harmless brown spider.
They are rarely found in parks but are most often found in buildings. Usually, this is only during the mating season when males are wandering searching for females.
Spiders might not be everyone’s favorite creatures, but they play an important role in our ecosystem. The next time you see any of these spiders, take a moment to appreciate these amazing creatures!