10 Spiders Crawling Around Philadelphia

Black and yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia
© Ron Rowan Photography/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alanna Davis

Published: October 6, 2023

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There isn’t a place in America that’s completely spider-free. The truth is, they live everywhere, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid them. Philadelphia is no exception, and there are many species of spiders that call this city home. The best way to be prepared for an encounter with these arachnids is to educate yourself. Some spiders are dangerous, while others are harmless, so it’s important to know the differences and the relative risks. Today, we discuss 10 spiders you can spot crawling around Philadelphia.

1. Wolf Spider

Rabid wolf spider on textured surface. Isolated closeup. Large harmless Texas garden spider. Rabidosa Rabida

Unlike many spiders, wolf spiders don’t weave webs. Instead, they build burrows.

©Cathleen Wake Gorbatenko/Shutterstock.com

The intimidating wolf spider is one of the most notable spiders in Pennsylvania. There are two main species that are native to the Philadelphia area, Hogna carolinensis and Tigrosa aspersa. Wolf spiders are large and fast, and unfortunately, it’s relatively common for them to take up residence in or around homes. Try not to panic too much, though. These spiders are prolific carnivores and spend their time eating other pesky insects. If you’re brave enough, keeping one around might act as a form of free pest control.

2. Orb Weaver

Neoscona crucifera is an orb-weaver spider in the family Araneidae.

The name “

orb weaver

” comes from the iconic orb shape of their webs.


There are many different species of orb weavers in Philadelphia, but the two most common are the spotted orb weaver and the red spotted orb weaver. Orb weavers are highly recognizable for their large abdomens, spiny legs, and bright coloration. Nocturnal orb-weavers will appear slightly less bright in color. These huge spiders are not dangerous to humans, although if handled or scared, they may bite. The pain and intensity of an orb-weaver bite is on par with a nasty bee sting, so it’s inconvenient, but nothing to cause serious concern.

3. Black Widow

Black Widow spider outdoors on a web

Black widows are the most venomous spiders found in North America.

©Sari ONeal/Shutterstock.com

The black widow is famous for being the most venomous spider in the United States, and unfortunately, this species is very common in the Philadelphia area. However, you can take some comfort in knowing that these spiders want to encounter you about as much as you want to encounter them. Black widows spend their time in dark, hidden areas and the chance of running into one is low. However, it is always important to exercise caution when visiting areas they are known to inhabit. Their venom is not fatal, but it can cause extreme pain and discomfort. Seeking medical attention immediately is highly recommended.

4. Jumping Spider

Macro on Hyllus semicupreus Jumping Spider. This spider is known to eat small insects like grasshoppers, flies, bees as well as other small spiders.

To execute incredible jumps, jumping spiders contract body muscles to redirect blood flow to the legs.

©Dmytro Khlystun/Shutterstock.com

There are a handful of jumping spider species that call Philadelphia home, but the most common is Phidippus audax. You might not notice this little critter until it goes flying in the air, as it is only a few millimeters in size. Impressively, they are able to jump anywhere between 10 to 50 times their body size in order to accurately catch flying prey. These spiders are not dangerous, but they can be a little anxiety-inducing due to their rapid, jerky movements. Jumping spiders are non-venomous, but their bites can cause irritation.

5. Daddy Longlegs

Giant daddy longleg spider, Artema atlanta

Daddy longlegs are also known as harvestmen or harvesters.

©Eugene Troskie/Shutterstock.com

The daddy longlegs is probably the most recognizable entry on this entire list. This iconic lanky creature is found in countless homes and apartments across Philadelphia. However, you may be surprised to learn that this is not a spider at all. While they are arachnids, daddy longlegs are more closely related to scorpions, so you can think of this entry as an honorable mention.

Nonetheless, daddy longlegs are very relaxed and non-threatening, with bites so rare that it is difficult to even study their effects. They are slow and solitary, preferring to set up camp in secluded, low-foot-traffic areas. Removing them from the home is very easy due to their docile nature. However, if you elect for them to stay, they’ll happily pay their rent by eating other insects that find their way into your home.

6. Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Black and yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia

Having black and yellow garden spiders in your yard may be good, as they’re happy to kill other pests.

©Ron Rowan Photography/Shutterstock.com

Although this spider’s coloration may seem like a powerful warning that they’re venomous, the black and yellow garden spider is another non-dangerous entry on our list. The only time this species may become aggressive is when protecting their egg sac, so steer clear if you spot one in their web. With their bright yellow and black bodies and elegant long legs, it’s hard to deny that they are some of the flashiest spiders in all of Philadelphia. Fortunately, you’re much less likely to see this spider in your home. These spiders prefer to take up residence in grassy areas or gardens instead.

7. Funnel Spiders

Funnel weaver spider, Textrix sp., waiting for preys on a sunny day

Funnel-web spiders are some of the most venomous spiders in the world, and any bite from one should be treated as potentially life-threatening.


There are two main species of funnel spiders native to Philadelphia: the grass spider and the barn funnel weaver. These spiders get their nickname from the “funneled” webs they weave. Respectively, the barn funnel weaver prefers to create their webs in secluded nooks and crannies of barns or houses, whereas the grass spider prefers to set up camp outside in grassy areas. These spiders avoid people, and the risk of a bite is low, but it’s highly recommended to seek medical attention in the event that one occurs.

8. Common House Spiders

common house spider on a smooth tile floor seen from ground level in a kitchen in a residential home

Common house spiders are harmless and rarely bite.

©Christine Bird/Shutterstock.com

House spiders are the most common spider all throughout America, not just in Philadelphia. In fact, It’s likely that you’ve got a few hiding in your home right now. Relax though; these spiders are helpful to have around. Just like the wolf spiders spend their days eating other insects that stumble into your house, common house spiders are really just in it for the food. They are wonderful at getting rid of pest insects like mosquitos and flies and generally hide away to avoid human interaction.

9. Fishing Spiders

Fishing spider floating on water

Fishing spiders are often predated by frogs, fish, and bats.

©iStock.com/Andrew Waugh

Unique among its contemporaries, the fishing spider prefers to build their nests by bodies of water. This spider is slightly more common outside Philadelphia but can still be found close to small bodies of water within the city. The diet of a fishing spider consists of tadpoles, aquatic insects, small fish, and on occasion, even small mammals. They are similar in size to wolf spiders, so encounters can be frightening. However, they’re far more interested in catching their prey than they are in facing off with people. In the event you do get bit, it is non-toxic to humans.

10. Brown Recluse

Brown recluse spider. Violin spider.

The brown recluse can live up to four years.


Although uncommon, it’s not unheard of for brown recluses to be found in Philadelphia. They’re not native to the area, but instead, they were likely brought over unknowingly by those traveling from other states. Although their venom is powerful and a bite is cause for serious concern, the chances of running into one are very low. However, if you are bitten by a brown recluse, seek immediate medical attention.

Final Thoughts

Despite its urban atmosphere, there are many spiders crawling around Philadelphia. Luckily, the most common ones are usually the most harmless ones. Even so, being educated about these spiders and the risks they pose will give you a better advantage if you find yourself face-to-face with one.

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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