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
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:
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:
2. 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:
Is a Nursery Web Spider Poisonous?
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 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:
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
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:
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
5. Sheet Web Weaver Spider
The sheet web weaver spider is another common spider in New York, although you may never see one. These spiders, of the family Linyphiidae, are very small and prefer to hide out in vegetation, staying close to the soil or just very slightly above the ground where they construct non-sticky, fine sheet webs.
These webs feature many super fine, disorganized strands that insects can’t see. Once insects get caught in their webs, these spiders go on the underside of the web to bite their prey through the web.
How to Identify a Sheet Web Weaver Spider:
Is a Sheet Web Spider Poisonous?
No, not known to bite people
Where Will a Sheet Web Spider Be Hiding:
In vegetation, close to the ground
6. Wolf Spider
If you’ve ever come in contact with a big, fuzzy spider that tends to move extremely fast, you likely have seen the wolf spider.
The wolf spider, of the family Lycosidae, is named for its furry, brownish grey appearance. These extremely agile spiders have powerful, long legs so they can run after their prey since they don’t use webs.
Two of the wolf spider’s eight eyes are also enlarged to help them spot potential prey while they hunt at night. These New York spiders typically prefer to hunt alone and carry their egg sac in their spinnerets.
How to Identify a Wolf Spider:
Is a Wolf Spider Poisonous?
No, but may bite on rare occasions if they feel threatened, resulting in some pain, itchiness and swelling
Where Will a Wolf Spider Be Hiding:
On the ground, usually in the grass or other lower parts of plants, inside on the floor
7. American House Spider
The American house spider, or Achaearanea tepidariorum, is the most commonly seen species around the home. You’ve likely seen one of these spiders hanging upside down from messy webs by only a few threads.
These spiders build webs where they can stay protected from the elements, often entering homes or businesses.
However, since they may still struggle to survive inside a home, these spiders may resort to a nearby shed or garage instead. Common American house spiders generally leave people alone, although they are still an unwanted pest inside.
How to Identify an American House Spider:
Is an American House Spider Poisonous?
Where Will an American House Spider Be Hiding:
In protected areas inside or near buildings
8. Cellar Spider
You’ve probably heard of daddy long leg spiders, which are in the same family as the commonly found cellar spider. Members of the family Pholcidae, female cellar spiders lay their eggs and then wrap them with silk and carry them in their fangs. These spiders are not known to bite and are not poisonous, despite some urban legends saying otherwise. Instead, these spiders protect themselves by rapidly gyrating in their web, hiding and becoming nearly invisible to potential threats.
How to Identify a Cellar Spider:
Is a Cellar Spider Poisonous?
No, not known to bite
Where Will a Cellar Spider Be Hiding:
close to the ceiling, hanging upside down from a loose web.
9. Jumping Spider
Another common spider species found in New York is the jumping spider of the family Salticidae. These spiders have a distinct look and are known to be smarter than other spiders, as they tend even to have their own personalities. These spiders have excellent vision and are active during the day, where they hunt insects and other spiders. Like their name suggests, they can jump great distances in search of prey or vegetation. Jumping spiders put their abdomen to the ground before jumping to establish draglines, so if the jump comes up short, they only fall a little since their spinnets can clamp onto the silk.
How to Identify a Jumping Spider:
Is a Jumping Spider Poisonous?
No, but may bite on rare occasions
Where Will a Jumping Spider Be Hiding:
In plants, windowsills and mailboxes
10. Crab Spider
Crab spiders got their name from holding their legs to the side and scuttling along like a crab. These spiders also usually walk sideways or backward, using only their back legs. The crab spider’s first two pairs of legs are very large and look crab-like, as well.
Instead of building webs like other spiders, crab spiders will sit still, waiting for prey to come close enough to capture.
How to Identify a Crab Spider:
Is a Crab Spider Poisonous?
No, but bites can be painful. However, they rarely bite humans as most are too small.
Where Will a Crab Spider Be Hiding:
Important Notes About New York Spiders
Although the average life expectancy for New York spiders is only about one year, some species live through the state’s frigid winter months by going inactive and hiding in warmer spaces, like homes or businesses. Therefore, you may notice an influx of spiders entering your home or business when the weather starts getting colder.
Hunting spiders generally mate in the fall, while other species such as the jumping spider or wolf spider lay their eggs in the spring. Spiders keep their eggs in sacs to protect them from cold winter weather, so they can stay warm when they hatch. You may find these spiders in cracks of bark, in leaf litter or lofts or garages in or near your home or business.
What Spiders Eat
Spiders rely on insects as their primary food source, but many spiders will also eat other spiders. They will only go for live prey or prey that they killed recently, so you won’t catch spiders feeding off of something that has been dead for a long time. However, food sources vary from species to species.
Web-building spiders, like the black and yellow garden spider or the grass spider, for example, like to feed on flying insects:
On the other hand, hunting spiders such as the crab spider may eat other insects:
However, spiders don’t have mouthparts to chew, so they use their jaws, called chelicerae, and hollow fangs to distribute venom when they attack prey. They cannot swallow solid food, so they regurgitate digestive juices onto their prey to liquefy it and crush it with their chelicerae before sucking up its juices. Spiders also use their pedipalps, located on both sides of their chelicerae, to help maneuver their prey while feeding.
What to Do If You See a Spider Inside Your Home or Business
Whether you’re relaxing at home or hard at work, seeing a spider crawling across the wall is enough to make most people spring out of their seats. When you see a spider inside your house or business, you have two main options — trap and release or kill. This is ultimately up to you. Still, it’s also crucial to try to identify the spider before making a decision, as you wouldn’t want to attempt to trap and release a yellow sac spider, for example, and end up with a poisonous bite. Consider the list of New York spiders above to give you a general guideline when it comes to identification.
If you plan to trap and release a non-poisonous spider, you need to be quick. Start by grabbing a clear cup or a bowl to place over the spider and a piece of cardboard or other thin but sturdy material you can put underneath the container as a base. You should also have someone ready to open the door for you.
With these materials in hand, you’ll need to swiftly put the cup or bowl over the spider and carefully slide the cardboard or other material under the container. You’ll also need to keep your hand pressed against the cardboard or paper to ensure the spider stays contained. Once you’re outside, you should take the spider far enough from your home or business to release it that it doesn’t come crawling right back.
If you choose to kill the spider, you can purchase and set out traps for them, hit them with an object, spray them directly with a pesticide or use a vacuum to suck them up quickly. However, if you have a poisonous spider in your home or business, it’s best to contact pest control services to get rid of the spider safely. Plus, there are plenty of prevention methods you can take to avoid spiders from coming in altogether.
How to Prevent Spiders in Your New York Business
You don’t have to wait until you find spiders in your New York business before you do something about it.
Although It’s illegal in New York State to self-spray pesticides, there are still some ways that you can prevent facilitating a spider infestation in your building.
Spiders can squeeze their way into small, tight spaces through cracks and crevices in your building. Here’s what you can do:
To Prevent Spider Infestation in Your Commercial Building…
- Seal Any Cracks in the Walls
Since spiders can fit through even the smallest cracks, inspect the walls of your building and seal any cracks you find in the walls to help keep them out. Additionally, if you have cables running through walls from inside your business, check the seal around the hole that the cable runs through, too.
- Make Sure Your Windows Have Hole-Free Screens
If you ever open the windows of your business, be sure that they have screens to keep pests from crawling in. You should check these screens to ensure they aren’t damaged in any way, and replace them as soon as you can if they are. A screen with a hole is still an open invitation for any pest to come right into your business.
- Fix Any Damage to the Building’s Foundation
If your business is located in an older building, check for cracks in the foundation from any settling that may have occurred. Many times, spider infestations start in the basement or crawlspace of a building, so be sure to check your business regularly for any damage, like holes or cracks, in those areas to keep the spiders out.
- Keep the Area Clean
Spiders often hide and build webs in hidden locations where there’s a lot of clutter or debris, so make sure you’re keeping things neat and organized inside your business to prevent spiders from making a home inside. One way to enforce this is to keep a regular cleaning schedule. Regularly dusting and vacuuming not only helps clean up any existing spider webs and eggs but prevents them from coming back.
- Think About Lighting
Although light itself generally doesn’t attract spiders, it can attract insects that are a food source for spiders. This food source may then attract spiders to your place of business. Consider turning off your business’ outdoor lights or switch to a different type of lighting, like yellow sodium vapor lights, to avoid attracting bugs. If outdoor lighting for your business is a must, try to keep lights away from door entrances.
- Secure Entrances
Just like secure windows and hole-free window screens play a crucial role in keeping spiders out of your business, be sure to check your entrances and exits for any cracks or doors that don’t completely shut. Spiders can breach even the smallest spaces in your building, so protect your business and take preventative measures to ensure that they don’t have any easy way in.If you’re continually removing spiders and their webs, and they keep coming back, or you find a large number of spiders, you’re likely dealing with a more significant problem that will require pest control services. Again, it is illegal in New York State to self-treat your commercial property, so we would recommend hiring a professional commercial pest company.
How to Prevent Spiders in Your New York Home
Your home is supposed to be a peaceful place where you can relax, and finding spiders crawling around inside your house can make it difficult to do so. Just like spiders can squeeze through the smallest openings and infiltrate your business, they can do the same inside your New York home. While the occasional spider may not indicate any major problems, it’s essential to seek professional help if you suspect you have an infestation.
For residential pest control in New York, count on Pestech’s integrated pest management services to help put your family at ease and say goodbye to spiders. However, don’t put off taking preventative measures — here are just a few different ways you can prevent spiders from taking over your home.
To Prevent Spider Infestation in Your Home…
- Use Sealant for Any Cracks in Your Home
Prevent spiders from crawling into any small cracks in your home by sealing them up with caulk or a similar substance. You can also use caulk around any of your cables, wires, faucets or other electrical components since they all run outdoors. As part of this, you should also regularly inspect your home for any cracks or holes that could serve as a potential entry point for spiders.
- Keep Your Home Clean Inside
Another excellent way to prevent spiders in your house is to keep things clean and tidy. If you have clothes on the floor, you have a potential hideout for spiders. Make sure you pick up all of the clothes on the floor and shake them out before you hang them up. Keep a regular cleaning schedule where you dust and vacuum at least once a week, as it will maintain a clean environment and show spiders that your home is not an optimal place to seek shelter. Additionally, if you keep shoes outside, make sure you inspect them and shake them out before putting them on or bringing them indoors.
- Maintain a Tidy Yard
Keep spiders as far away from your home as possible by keeping your yard clean. Spiders are drawn to vegetation, so tall, unmowed grass or plants near your home could be potential hotspots. Although plants can provide a beautiful aesthetic, consider moving them away from any entrances to your home, along with mulch, stones, leaves, woodpiles or other debris that could act as spider hiding spots. Be sure to mow and rake regularly.
- Concoct a DIY Mixture
Instead of trying out different pesticides, some homeowners may opt to create a natural deterrent using an essential oil like peppermint oil. You can create a peppermint oil and vinegar mixture to spray around the windows and doors to keep spiders away, as peppermint oil has been proven to deter some species of spiders.
- Use Airtight Storage
Do you plan to store things away for extended periods? If so, consider ditching cardboard boxes and use airtight storage bins instead. Spiders and other pests can easily find their way into cardboard boxes, making for an unpleasant surprise when you finally retrieve your belongings. Airtight storage will prevent anything from getting in and keep your items safe.
- Keep Insects Away
Since insects are a spider’s primary food source, it’s just as vital that you work to prevent them as you work to prevent spiders. While you could take measures like storing food in tight containers in a safe place to keep out bugs like ants or roaches, it’s crucial to stay up to date with pest management services. Rely on Pestech Pest Solutions to take care of pests around your home by scheduling monthly or quarterly visits and prevent a possible spider infestation.
Contact Pestech Pest Solutions to Keep Spiders Out of Your New York Business or Home
It’s never too early to start spider prevention in your home or business. For all of your pest control needs, you can count on Pestech Pest Solutions to help. At Pestech, we value your health and safety above all else, which is why we work quickly and efficiently to banish pests from your home or business. Pestech has been serving New York residents and business owners since 1989 as New York’s largest family-owned and operated pest management center, and we’re ready to help you get rid of unwanted eight-legged visitors today. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee to ensure continued service at no additional cost if we can’t solve the problem the first time. With plenty of locations around New York, contact us today to get started with pest control near you.