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Common Spider Species in New York and Where They’ll Be Hiding

By Pestech Pest Solutions
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Common-Spider-Species NY

For many Americans, spiders evoke a sense of fear. In fact, according to Chapman University’s Survey of American Fears in 2018, more than one-fifth of respondents said they were “afraid or very afraid” of insects and arachnids, like spiders.

However, even for homeowners or business owners that aren’t afraid of spiders, these arachnids can still cause distress. One spider can lead to many more, and infestations can prove to be extremely costly.

If you encounter spiders in your New York home or business, it’s helpful to be familiar with common New York spiders and know where NY spiders hide so you know which ones can potentially hurt you and how you can prevent them.

Top Ten Most Common Spiders Found in New York

Whether you’re a New York business owner or homeowner, spiders are pesky critters that can find their way inside and give your customers or family the creeps.

Although not all spiders are harmful to humans, they are still uninvited visitors that can create unwanted webs in your business or home. However, there are some spiders with dangerous, poisonous bites you should avoid.

To know which spiders pose a severe threat and which are simply pests, be on the lookout for these ten species of spiders found in NY.

1. Sac Spider

Sac-Spider

You’ve probably heard of the brown recluse spider, but are you familiar with the sac spider?

Sac spiders, scientifically known as Clubionidae and Miturgidae, often have a pale yellow color. Because of this, sac spiders are also commonly referred to as yellow sac spiders, which have two main species — Cheiracanthium mildei and C. inclusum.

These species are the spiders to watch out for in New York, since they are the only ones known to be harmful to humans, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

How to Identify The Sac Spider:

  • Pale yellow, tan, brown or green
  • Dark fangs
  • Long, translucent legs
  • Black “feet”

Is a Sac Spider Poisonous?

Somewhat. Their venom can destroy your cell tissue and result in painful burning or itchy sores that take a long time to heal, but their bite is not fatal.

Where Will a Sac Spider Be Hiding:

Vegetation

2. Nursery Web Spider

Nursery-Web-Spider

The nursery web spider in the Pisauridae family is another spider New York business owners and homeowners may come in contact with. These spiders are often initially misidentified as wolf spiders since they are similar in appearance.

Nursery web spiders are also commonly referred to as fishing spiders, since some species of these spiders fish for aquatic prey like crustaceans, insects and minnows.

The spiders will wait on pond or stream banks with their legs barely touching the water as they wait for vibrations from prey. Once the nursery web spider senses this vibration, it will dive into the water to capture its prey.

How to Identify a Nursery Web Spider:

  • Tan, blackish brown, gray, rusty or yellow-like color
  • Smaller legs and eyes than wolf spiders
  • Hair that looks like suede

Is a Nursery Web Spider Poisonous?

No

Where Will a Nursery Web Spider Be Hiding:

Vegetation, on pond or stream banks, on basement walls

3. Funnel-Web or Grass Spider

Funnel-Web-Spider

Funnel-web or grass spiders, members of the Agelenidae family, are known for their durable but non-sticky sheet webs that they build in vegetation.

When grass spiders build these webs, they have one corner of the sheet taper into a funnel and wait for insects to land on it. Once prey lands on the web, the grass spider works quickly to subdue it with a bite.

How to Identify a Funnel-Web Spider:

  • Brown
  • About three-quarters of an inch long
  • Long spinnerets

Is a Funnel-Web Spider Poisonous?

No, but may bite if they feel threatened

Where Will a Funnel-Web Spider Be Hiding:

In low-growing vegetation, in plantings around buildings, along the bottom of fences or in crevices of homes or businesses

4. Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Black-and-Yellow-Garden-Spider

The black and yellow garden spider of the Argiope aurantia species is one of the biggest spiders in the state.

These spiders are commonly known as orb weavers. They weave incredibly intricate webs, which feature a structural frame of non-sticky spokes and lines, a sticky spiral that traps insects and white zigzag silk that keeps birds from flying through it and destroying it.

These spiders are active during the day and rebuild the web each morning, hoping prey lands so they can wrap it up in large bands of silk. Adult female black and yellow garden spiders are known to be hundreds of times bigger than males.

How to Identify a Black & Yellow Garden Spider:

  • Reddish-brown with black and yellow bands around the abdomen
  • Exceptionally large
  • Intricate webs

Is a Black & Yellow Garden Spider Poisonous?

No, but may bite on rare occasions, which usually only results in some discomfort and mild swelling

Where Will a Black & Yellow Garden Spider Be Hiding:

In gardens and fields