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10 Common Spiders in Wisconsin (Pictures)

Wisconsin is home to more than 500 species of spider! Not only is the state home to a wide variety of spiders, but these arachnids can be found in all kinds of habitats. Many common spiders in Wisconsin can be found inside homes!

Are there dangerous spiders in Wisconsin? What kinds of spiders bite humans? If you have questions about spiders found in Wisconsin, you’ll find the answers you need below.

10 Common Spiders in Wisconsin

What kinds of spiders are you likely to see in Wisconsin? Read on to learn more about the spiders that you’re most likely to find in this Midwestern state.

1. Giant House Spider

Giant house spider on the wall
Giant house spider on the wall | image by Tom Trelvik via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Eratigena atrica

With a body size of up to 0.73 in and a leg span of 1.8 in, the giant house spider is one of the largest spiders found in Wisconsin. True to its name, it’s common to find these spiders in homes. In the wild, these spiders prefer to live in caves or in dry forests, where they like to hide under rocks.

Even though this spider might look intimidating, it’s considered to be harmless. Since it’s known to eat insects and other spiders, it can even be helpful to have these spiders in your home. While the giant house spider is sometimes mistaken for the hobo spider, it’s actually known to eat hobo spiders!

2. Fishing Spiders

Fishing spider
Fishing spider | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Dolomedes

Wisconsin is home to many types of fishing spiders, including the dark, striped, and six-spotted fishing spiders. These semi-aquatic spiders are usually found alongside ponds and streams. They’re nocturnal hunters that mostly feed on aquatic insects like mayflies.

Like the giant house spider, fishing spiders tend to be on the larger side. One of the most common species, the striped fishing spider, can grow to be up to 3 in. They’re not dangerous to humans and will usually run away when people are nearby.

3. Northern Yellow Sac Spider

Northern yellow sac spider
Northern yellow sac spider | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium mildei

The northern yellow sac spider is one of only a few venomous spiders found in Wisconsin. They can be found throughout the states and are often found around homes, especially in gardens. It’s extremely common in Wisconsin and is most active at night.

Spiders are known for capturing their prey in webs, but this spider actively hunt down its prey. During these searches, yellow sac spiders may bite humans. These bites usually aren’t dangerous, but they can be very painful and can even lead to rashes and blistering.

4. Jumping Spiders

Jumping spider on leaf
Jumping spider on leaf

Scientific Name: Salticidae

Since jumping spiders are the largest family of spiders, it should be no surprise that lots of different jumping spiders can be found n Wisconsin.

Some of the most common species include the bold jumper, the tan jumping spider, and the zebra spider. Other species in the state include the dimorphic jumper and the flea jumping spider.

Jumping spiders are drawn to flat vertical surfaces and are often seen lurking on garden fences and walls. They’re not dangerous to humans and can even be helpful. Some jumping spiders, like the zebra spider, like to feed on pests like mosquitoes.

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5. Tiger Wolf Spider

Tiger wolf spider on wood
Tiger wolf spider on wood | image by Andy Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Tigrosa aspersa

The tiger wolf spider is the most common type of wolf spider in Wisconsin. It usually lives in wooded areas but is sometimes seen inside homes, especially during the winter. It’s a nocturnal, solitary spider that likes to hunt alone.

These spiders aren’t aggressive, but they may bite humans when they’re under threat. They may inject venom when they bite, but thankfully, the venom doesn’t cause severe reaction in humans. Some common symptoms of a tiger wolf spider include pain and swelling.

6. Northern Black Widow

Northern black widow spider
Northern black widow spider | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Latrodectus variolus

The northern black widow is the most dangerous spider that can be found in Wisconsin. It’s most likely to be seen in the east-central region of the state, especially in areas close to bodies of water. The majority of confirmed sightings are in Door County, which is located along Lake Michigan and Green Bay.

Northern black widows are usually found outdoors and often hide in hollow logs or piles of brush. While this spider is very timid and rarely bites humans, bites can cause severe reactions and require immediate medical attention. It’s easy to recognize black widows thanks to their distinctive red hourglass markings.

7. Orb-Weaver Spiders

Giant lichen orb weaver
Giant lichen orb weaver | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Araneidae

If you’ve ever spotted a brightly-colored spider in Wisconsin, there’s a good chance it was an orb-weaver! These spiders are frequently seen throughout the badger state. Some of the most common species include the giant lichen, cross, red-spotted, and shamrock orb weaver, but other species can be found in the state as well.

These spiders are best known for the large, spiral-shaped webs that they weave. Some species, like the giant lichen orb weaver, can spin webs with a diameter as large as 8 ft.! While orb-weavers are occasionally seen in homes, they’re most likely to be found outdoors and prefer habitats like forests and fields.

8. Crab Spiders

White-banded crab spider
White-banded crab spider | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Thomisidae

These spiders have crab-like legs and are frequently seen moving sideways or backward, which is why they’re named after crabs. Since they like to sit on flowers and other plants, they’re sometimes called flower spiders or flower crab spiders. Some of the most common species in Wisconsin are the golden-rod and white-banded crab spider.

You’re most likely to see these spiders in gardens, but they can also be found lurking on potted plants indoors. Crab spiders don’t spin webs and like to wait for insects to come to them. Some types of crab spider are nocturnal, but the species found in Wisconsin are active during the day.

9. American Nursery Web Spider

American nursery web spider
American nursery web spider | image by Melissa McMasters via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira

The American nursery web spider is very common in Wisconsin and can be found all over the state. It likes to live in high weeds, tall grasses, and shrubberies, but can also be found inside homes, especially in basements. Due to its tan body and dark brown markings, it’s sometimes mistaken for a wolf spider.

While these spiders do produce venom, that venom isn’t dangerous to pets or humans. The American nursery web spider is an active hunter that likes to feed on mosquitoes and gnats. It’s very sensitive to heat and may seek shelter inside homes during the hot summer months.

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10. Broad-Faced Sac Spider

Broad faced sac spider on fabric
Broad-faced sac spider on fabric | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Trachelas tranquillus

This spider is a scavenger that likes to feed on dead spiders and other insects. While they’re usually seen outdoors, they often venture into homes in the late fall when temperatures start to drop. Its body is dark brown, but its legs are much brighter and can even be a deep shade red!

The broad-faced sac spider may bite when under threat, and that bite can cause extreme pain and can even lead to infection. This may be because it primarily eats dead or decaying insects. If you suspect that you’ve been bitten by one of these spiders, it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible!