Seeing a Black and White Spider? It’s Probably a Zebra Jumper

A species of arachnid that is common in North America, the Zebra Jumper is known for its black and white exterior and its ability to run and jump quickly, as well as for its enlarged eyes and binocular vision. 

So if you find a zebra jumper in your house, what should you do? Panic? Call pest control

Most of the time, none of those things are necessary. This benevolent spider is beneficial for the environment and can usually just be reintroduced to the great outdoors. 

Let’s take a closer look at this black and white spider and learn more about whether it’s a friend or foe and why! 


Key Takeaways

  • Unlike some other species of spiders, the zebra jumper does not have a dangerous, painful bite and actually offers a number of benefits in the home and garden.
  • This spider eats pests like mosquitoes and typically won’t come inside, preferring wooded habitats instead.
  • If you do notice a zebra jumper in your house, there’s no need to panic – just reintroduce it to the great outdoors!


Zebra Jumper (Salticus scenicus)

The zebra jumper is a small, black and white spider that is common in North America. It gets its name from the zebra-like stripes on its body. 

This is the easiest way to tell this spider apart from other common species of spiders in the United States, like grass spiders, yellow sac spiders, or orb weavers. This spider likes to hang out in leaf litter and other wooded areas. It is one of the friendliest spider species you’ll find. 

In addition, zebras jumpers have excellent eyesight and are able to leap on their prey with great accuracy. 

The zebra jumper is a member of the Salticidae family, which includes more than 5,000 species of spiders. These spiders are known for their jumping ability, and they are also able to run rapidly on vertical surfaces. 

The zebra jumper feeds primarily on small insects, including ones we consider pests, like mosquitoes, but it will also consume aphids and other small arthropods. These bugs are unique in that they can eat prey up to three times their size!

Zebra jumper spiders are unique in that they do not build webs to catch their prey. Instead, they actively hunt down their prey, using their speed and agility to capture them. 

Once they have captured their prey, they will wrap it up in silk and then sink their fangs into it to inject venom. The venom quickly paralyzes the prey, allowing the spider to eat it at its leisure. 

These spiders are not considered to be dangerous to humans, and they are actually classified as beneficial because of their role in controlling insect populations. They’re unlike other spiders you might find in North America, like the black widow spider, brown recluse spider, or wolf spider. Spider bites from a jumping spider are uncommon, and even if they do occur, they are unlikely to cause any pain or irritation. 

The zebra jumper is found in a variety of habitats throughout the world, including in North America, Asia, and Europe. 

The zebra jumper is most active during the spring and summer months, when it can be seen running rapidly across leaves and branches in search of prey. 


Are Zebra Jumpers Poisonous?

Zebra jumpers are not poisonous to humans, but their bite can be painful. In most cases, the pain will go away after a few hours. However, some people may experience more serious reactions, such as swelling and redness.

Fortunately, zebra jumpers are not aggressive, and it’s highly unlikely that you will be bitten by one in the first place. These little black and white spiders are actually quite harmless, and they’re more likely to flee than to bite. 

However, again, some people may experience minor irritation or swelling at the site of the bite. If you have any concerns, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.


Keeping Your House Spider Free

Zebra jumper spiders are common outdoors, but there are steps you can take to ensure that they don’t make their way into your house. 

The best way to prevent zebra jumper spiders from entering your home is by sealing up any cracks or holes in walls or windows that may act as entry points for these intruders. Additionally, you should keep your windows closed when possible so that spiders cannot come in through them. 

Finally, don’t forget to regularly check your home for any signs of spider activity such as webs or egg sacs—these can be indicators that more unwelcome guests have arrived!  

If you must use spider traps, you can—but remember, zebra jumpers are not harmful and are better off left alone. These common spiders won’t hurt you or make you sick.

Spiders have always had something of a bad reputation when it comes to human interaction—but not all spiders are created equal! Next time you spot an unusual looking spider meandering around your lawn or house, chances are good that it’s just a harmless Zebra Jumper looking for a snack or place to rest its eight legs.