Spiders have adapted to live in nearly every type of habitat, and they are one of the top 10 most diverse populations on earth. They play vital roles in all ecosystems- except in your home. The following spider facts will help you learn more about these eight-legged pests, some of which might appear in your backyard this summer and fall.
Appearance: Adults are 6-12mm in length with a tan-brown coloring and a pattern on the thorax resembling the shape of a violin. The eyes are arranged in three pairs forming a semi-circle. They are not commonly indigenous to the midwest, but may be transported.
Habitat: It is very rare to encounter a brown recluse spider. Chances are, if you found a spider in your home that is light brown, it's most likely NOT a brown recluse. They live in dry areas with little to no air flow and no activity. They are extremely reclusive creatures and won't live in harmony with active humans or activity of any sort, thus the name.
Appearance: Typically brown or tan with various markings; the body ranges up to 3/8" in length, with a spherical abdomen.
Habitat: This is the spider most commonly found indoors. It is more of a nuisance than a threat, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. Indoors, house spiders are most likely to be found in upper corners, under furniture, in closets, around window frames, and in basements, garages and crawl spaces.
Appearance: Up to 3/4" in body length, with an extremely thin body structure. Pale yellowish, light brown or grey. Their extremely long legs make these spiders appear much larger and give them their nickname of “daddy long legs”.
Habitat: Cellar spiders prefer dark, damp areas such as crawl spaces, basements and shed, although they may be found around doorways, in warehouses and sometimes in garages of homes.
Appearance: Dark brownish grey with lighter striped markings on legs. Females are typically 3/8 to 1 3/8" in length, while male wolf spiders are about 1/4 to 3/4" long. They tend to be big and hairy, which alarms people, but they are just considered a nuisance, not a harmful spider.
Habitat: Wolf spiders are found in nature under stones, wood, leaves and other low-lying debris. Indoors, the wolf spider prefers floor-level turf along walls, under furniture and in basements, where other insects may be found.
Appearance: Orb weavers, or garden spiders, are very brightly colorfully patterned.
Habitat: Orb weavers love vegetation, moisture, and areas that are home to many other types of insects. You can find them in your cucumber patch, your flower beds, or your shrubs.