A Guide to 12 Spider Species in New Jersey and Identifying Potential Dangers

By Horizon Pest Control

Spiders are a common sight in many New Jersey homes, with several species being found in the area. While most spiders are harmless and even beneficial for controlling other pests, there are a few dangerous species that pose potential risks to humans.

It is important to be able to identify these species promptly in order to address the situation. If you suspect the presence of dangerous spiders in your home, it is crucial to seek professional help to safely remove them. 

While most spiders in New Jersey are harmless, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with certain species and take steps to address their presence promptly for the safety and well-being of your household.

Common House Spiders

Common house spiders, scientifically known as Parasteatoda tepidariorum, are commonly found in New Jersey. These spiders typically have a brown or grey coloration with patterns on their abdomen. They have a small and oval-shaped body, with females measuring around 5-8mm in length, while males are slightly smaller.

They are commonly found in human dwellings, such as homes, sheds, and outbuildings. Common house spiders are known for their web-building behavior and can often be found in corners, windows, and other secluded areas of a home. They are adept at catching insects in their webs and are efficient insect predators.

One interesting characteristic of common house spiders is their reliance on neurotoxic venom to incapacitate their prey. This venom is not harmful to humans, but it is effective at subduing the spiders’ insect prey.

American Grass Spiders

American grass spiders, also known as Agelenopsis, are commonly found in New Jersey. These spiders are typically light to medium brown in color with darker brown or black stripes running along the cephalothorax (head and thorax) and abdomen. They have a distinctive funnel-shaped web that they use for hunting, with the narrow end of the funnel leading to a retreat where the spider hides. These spiders are typically found in grassy, open areas such as fields, meadows, and gardens throughout New Jersey.

American grass spiders are known for their unique hunting behavior. They do not actively hunt or spin webs to catch prey, but instead rely on their funnel-shaped webs and their agility to capture insects that come near their web. Their venom is not considered harmful to humans and their bite is rarely felt, often compared to a bee sting. Their non-aggressive nature and limited toxicity make them a low-risk species to humans.

Hacklemesh Weavers

Hacklemesh Weavers, also known as Amaurobius ferox, are a species of spider found in New Jersey. They are typically found in wooded areas, under rocks, and in the cracks and crevices of buildings. These spiders prefer dark, moist environments and can be found in basements, woodpiles, and leaf litter.

Hacklemesh Weavers are small to medium-sized spiders, with a body length of around 8-15mm. They are brown in color with a distinct pattern of light and dark markings on their abdomen. These spiders are known for their irregular web-spinning habits, creating messy, haphazard webs.

Identifying Hacklemesh Weavers in New Jersey can be done by their distinctive brown coloration and the unique pattern of light and dark markings on their abdomen. When encountering these spiders, it is common to observe them moving quickly and erratically, as well as retreating to a hiding place when startled.

While Hacklemesh Weavers are venomous, their bite is not considered dangerous to humans. However, if bitten, it is important to clean the area and watch for any signs of an allergic reaction.

Woodlouse Hunter

The Woodlouse Hunter spider, commonly found in New Jersey homes, is easily identified by its reddish-brown color and its robust body, with long legs and distinct palps. These spiders prefer to inhabit dark, damp areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and garages, where their primary prey, woodlice, are abundant. Their diet consists mainly of woodlice, which they actively hunt and feed on.

Feeding habits of the Woodlouse Hunter spider involve actively stalking and catching woodlice. They use their speed and agility to chase down their prey before swiftly immobilizing and consuming them. These spiders are not aggressive towards humans and are not known to pose any threat. However, they may occasionally venture into human living spaces, especially during the warmer months, potentially leading to encounters with humans.

Its distinct features, including its long legs and palps, are essential for capturing and subduing its prey. Once a woodlouse is caught, the spider uses its fangs to inject venom, paralyzing the woodlouse before consuming it.

Triangulate House Spiders

Triangulate house spiders, also known as Steatoda triangulosa, are commonly found in New Jersey. These spiders are known for their triangular-shaped abdomen, which is dark brown with a distinct white, V-shaped marking. Their legs are long and thin, and they move quickly when disturbed.

These spiders typically make their homes in dark, secluded areas such as basements, garages, and sheds. They are also known to live in corners, behind furniture, and in closets. Triangulate house spiders are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day unless disturbed.

As for their diet, these spiders primarily feed on small insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and ants. They use their silk to create messy, irregular webs to catch their prey.

Triangulate house spiders are generally not aggressive and will only bite if provoked or handled. While their venom is toxic to insects, it is relatively harmless to humans. Bites may cause minor discomfort, swelling, and redness at the site of the bite, but serious medical concerns are rare.

Wall Spiders

In New Jersey, there are several types of wall spiders commonly found, including the common house spider and the cellar spider. The common house spider is typically brown or gray with a bulbous abdomen and can be found in dark corners or underneath furniture. The cellar spider, on the other hand, has long, thin legs and is also known as the “daddy long-legs” spider.

Both types of wall spiders are harmless to humans and prefer to feed on small insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and moths. They are usually found in homes, barns, and sheds where they can easily catch their prey in their webs. These spiders tend to be rather reclusive and spend most of their time hidden in crevices or corners, only coming out to hunt for food.

Due to their harmless nature and their role in controlling insect populations, wall spiders are generally considered beneficial. They are unlikely to bite unless their webs are disturbed and are overall non-aggressive towards humans. Therefore, they are an important part of the ecosystem and contribute to keeping insect populations in check in the New Jersey area.

Red-Spotted Ant Mimic Spider

The red-spotted ant mimic spider, found in New Jersey, is known for its distinct physical characteristics, including its reddish-brown coloration with a red spot on its abdomen. This spider mimics the appearance and movement of ants, using its elongated body and behavior to deceive both predators and prey. It hunts by mimicking ant behavior, using its agility to move quickly and silently to catch unsuspecting insects.

When it comes to nesting habits, the red-spotted ant mimic spider does not need to weave webs for hunting or catching prey. Instead, it creates silk nests for resting, using silk to construct protective shelters in crevices or under loose bark. This spider is adept at avoiding predators due to its ant-mimicking behavior and is often mistaken for harmless ants, allowing it to move and hunt without attracting unwanted attention.

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders in New Jersey are typically brown or gray in color with a distinct Union Jack impression on their backs. They are solitary, nocturnal hunters that do not spin webs, instead, they actively hunt for prey using their excellent eyesight and speed. They can be found in grassy or wooded areas and are often seen running around on the ground.

If bitten by a wolf spider, symptoms may include itching, swelling, and pain at the bite site. In some cases, redness and mild blistering may also occur. While their venom is not considered dangerous to humans, it is still recommended to clean the bite area with soap and water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also help alleviate discomfort. If symptoms worsen or persist, seeking medical attention is advised.

Parson Spiders

Parson spiders, commonly found in New Jersey, are typically around 1/2 to 2/3 inch long and have a light brown body with a distinct dark stripe down their back. They are known for their quick movements and are often found in homes, particularly in basements, crawl spaces, and other dark, damp areas.

These spiders are nocturnal hunters and often wait for their prey to come to them, rather than building webs. They primarily feed on small insects and other spiders, using their speed and agility to swiftly catch their prey.

While parson spiders are generally not aggressive towards humans and will only bite if provoked, their bite can cause minor pain, redness, and swelling. In rare cases, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the venom, resulting in more severe symptoms.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Encountering a brown recluse spider can pose a potential danger as their bites can cause serious symptoms. These symptoms may include redness, itching, pain, and blistering at the bite site, followed by fever, nausea, and muscle pain. In severe cases, the bite can lead to tissue damage and necrosis, which may require medical attention.

In New Jersey, identifying a brown recluse spider can be challenging. However, they can be recognized by their distinctive violin-shaped marking on the top of their cephalothorax. It’s important to note that misidentification of spiders is common, so it’s best to consult with a professional for accurate identification.

To prevent encounters with brown recluse spiders, it’s important to regularly clean and declutter indoor spaces and seal any cracks or crevices where spiders might enter. Additionally, using sticky traps to capture any spiders and consulting with a professional pest control service for safe removal methods can help eliminate the presence of brown recluse spiders in the home.

Bold Jumping Spiders

Bold jumping spiders, scientifically known as Phidippus audax, are commonly found in New Jersey. They are recognized by their flashy black body with a bold white or orange spot on their back. These spiders are relatively small, growing to about 0.5 inches in length. Their behavior is characterized by their agile jumping abilities, which they use to pounce on their prey. They are carnivorous and feed on a variety of insects. Bold jumping spiders are commonly found in grassy areas, gardens, and around buildings. They are known for their keen vision, with four large forward-facing eyes that allow them to accurately judge distances for their impressive jumps.

Their habitat includes tall grass, shrubs, and small plants where they can find insects to prey on. Their jumping abilities and quick reflexes make them efficient hunters, capturing prey with ease. Although these spiders may seem intimidating, they are generally harmless to humans and are actually beneficial for controlling insect populations in their habitats.

Black Widow Spiders

The black widow spider, known for its shiny black body and red hourglass mark on its abdomen, can be found in New Jersey. These spiders prefer to inhabit dark, undisturbed areas such as woodpiles, sheds, and outdoor furniture. They are known for their venomous nature, as their bite can be harmful to humans. The venom contains neurotoxins that affect the nervous system, causing symptoms such as severe pain, muscle cramps, and nausea.

Black widow spiders are renowned for their distinctive web-building behavior, creating strong, irregular webs in secluded areas to capture their prey. These webs are often found close to the ground, providing a hiding spot for the spiders to stay hidden while waiting for their next meal.

Encountering a black widow spider in New Jersey poses potential medical risks, making it important to seek medical attention if bitten. Their potent venom can lead to serious complications, especially for those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions. It’s essential to take precautions and be aware of their presence, especially in areas where they could be living and where their webs may be present.

Spider Treatments with Horizon Pest Control

Horizon Pest Control offers comprehensive spider treatments to eliminate and prevent spider infestations in New Jersey. Our expert technicians employ advanced methods, such as the targeted application of professional-grade insecticides, to effectively eliminate existing spider populations. Furthermore, we also focus on preventive measures to keep spiders from returning, including sealing entry points and removing potential habitats.

Our spider treatments address the fear-inducing nuisance pests by creating a safe and pest-free environment for homeowners in New Jersey. By eradicating spiders from homes, Horizon Pest Control helps alleviate the anxiety and discomfort that often accompany spider infestations. Additionally, our preventive measures ensure that homeowners can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that their homes are protected from future spider invasions.

Homeowners in New Jersey can trust Horizon Pest Control to provide reliable and effective spider treatments, ultimately creating a safer and more comfortable living environment.

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