Spiders are very common in the United States, including the state of Florida. It’s a perfect environment for them and their insect prey, with it’s warm, humid weather and ample vegetation. Whether you see them or not, your house has spiders in it. Fortunately, most of them are harmless and even the ones that have the potential to be dangerous only bite if provoked. With that being said, in this article we learn about 10 of the most common spiders in Florida.
10 Common Spiders in Florida
1. Black Widow
Scientific name: Lactrodectus genus
Black widows aren’t one species, but rather a whole genus of spiders. They’re all characterized by small size, large, rounded abdomens, and a red marking in the underside of the abdomen. They also weave “messy” cobwebs with no discernible pattern, and like to live in dark places like attics, basements, closets, and woodsheds.
While their venom is extremely potent, they aren’t an aggressive species and because they live in dark, secluded parts of the home that are rarely visited, bites are fairly rare. There’s a good chance you have one or more black widows living in your Florida home, but there’s also a good chance you’ll never see them.
2. Brown Recluse
Scientific name: Loxosceles reclusa
Infamous for it’s potentially deadly bite, the brown recluse is accurately names. It’s brown, and it’s reclusive. Even more than black widows, they like to avoid human contact and live in places that are rarely visited. These spiders are small, with uniform brown coloring except for a violin-shaped dark patch on their thorax.
The brown recluse is more common than many people realize, but it’s habit of avoiding people and living in parts of the home that people almost never enter means that, like black widows, bites are from brown recluse spiders are unusual.
3. Domestic House Spider
Scientific name: Tegenaria domestica
One of the spiders you’re most likely to encounter in your home, the domestic house spider can be found all over the world, including Florida. Typically a dark orange or brown color, with dark bands on the legs and v-shaped patterns on the abdomen, they build funnel-shaped webs in dark closets, windowsills, and behind furniture.
These are fairly small spiders, and they’re unlikely to bite. If one does bite you, it’s typically both painless and harmless. You can easily remove them from your home by catching them in a cup and taking them outside, but since they’re harmless, you may want to let them be- they’ll keep the populations of insect pests under control.
4. Jumping Spider
Scientific name: Salticidae family
A large and extremely widespread family of spiders, most jumping spiders are tiny. They also have a unique eye arrangement, with two very large front-facing eyes, and in many species the abdomen is not much larger than the thorax. Jumping spiders do, in fact, jump, and they use their jumping ability, rather than a web, to catch their prey.
Most of the time, when they jump, they leave behind a single thread of silk like a safety rope. Jumping spiders almost never bite humans, and when they do, they’re so small you likely wouldn’t even feel it.
5. Southern House Spider
Scientific name: Kukulcania hibernalis
A fairly large species that’s often mistaken for a brown recluse, females are rarely seen because they construct webs around crevices in secluded places like cupboards, basements and attics. Males tend to be more mobile and are more frequently encountered.
Both males and females can reach two inches in size, making them one of the larger spiders you’re likely to encounter in your home. Thankfully, they’re fairly harmless and don’t really pose a threat to you or your family.
6. Yellow Sac Spider
Scientific name: Cheiracanthium genus
This genus of small, pale spiders are extremely common in houses all over both North America and Europe, including Florida. In agricultural areas, they’re considered highly beneficial predators and can be important to controlling pest populations.
In homes, however, they can present a mild risk. Their venom is mild, so as long as you aren’t allergic to their venom their bites aren’t a health risk. They are painful, though.
7. American House Spider
Scientific name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
Easily mistaken for black widows because of their size, web design, and body shape, the best way to tell them apart is that the American house spider isn’t black. Instead, it’s usually brown or tan in color.
They also may be more visible than black widows, because they tend to construct their webs closer to occupied parts of the home. They tend to eat lots of annoying insects like flies and mosquitoes, and since their bite is usually harmless, they may be pretty beneficial to have around.
8. Wolf Spiders
Scientific name: Lycosidae family
Wolf spiders are common worldwide, and can be found throughout Florida. They don’t build webs, preferring to chase down their prey. They prefer to stay outside, but it’s quite common, especially in rural areas, for them to enter houses in search of food.
While they’re large, fast, and a bit scary, they aren’t dangerous. They run from human contact, and though their bite is painful, it won’t cause serious harm.
9. Banana Spiders
Scientific name: Argiope aurantia
Also called yellow garden spiders, these massive, brightly colored spiders weave enormous webs. You won’t find one inside your house, but it’s very likely at some point one will construct it’s web on the outside of your house.
Because of their large size, people are often quite scared by these spiders. Fortunately, because they won’t enter your home and they build their webs up high in very visible locations, you’re unlikely to ever be surprised by one. Bites are almost unheard of; if one should bite you, it will be comparable to a bee sting.
10. Huntsman Spiders
Scientific name: Sparassidae family
The most famous examples of this family are the giant specimens from Australia and Southeast Asia, but there are huntsman spiders in Florida, too. While they’re not as big as their Australian cousins, they’re still impressive in size and an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare.
They’re often confused with wolf spiders, and have similar lifestyles. Huntsman spiders have different eye configurations and their thorax is more rounded. In fact, in addition to being mistaken for wolf spiders, they’re also frequently mistaken for male tarantulas.