Phoenix, Arizona, has the perfect weather temperatures for all types of spiders. Spiders benefit us by consuming pesky, annoying insects; however, if you have arachnophobia like me, this fact does not matter. Normal tiny house spiders may occasionally appear and are easier to deal with, but Phoenix has large and small venomous spiders to watch out for. There are eight spiders to keep an eye out for if you decide to go exploring outdoors!
1. Black Widow
Black Widow spiders are poisonous arachnids with a red-orange hourglass pattern on their abdomen. Their legs have an oily substance that helps prevent them from getting stuck in their webs. The venom of this spider is fifteen times stronger than that of a rattlesnake! Twenty-two of thirty-nine species of black widow spiders are found all over Arizona. This spider has a strong silk web to capture mosquitos, flies, and grasshoppers. Black widows prefer dry, dark, undisturbed areas. Symptoms of a black widow spider bite include muscle aches, difficulty breathing, and nausea. These arachnids do not intentionally go after humans but will inflict a bite if disturbed. The name “Black Widow” was given to this spider because females eat males after mating. Black widows have a lifespan of up to 3 years and are 1.5 inches long.
2. Brown Recluse
Brown recluse spiders are often called the “Fiddle Back” or “Violin Spider.” Two species of the brown recluse are found in Phoenix, the Sonoran Brown and Mojave Brown. These spiders will try to avoid humans by staying in dark, warm environments like the basement. Bites from this spider usually go unnoticed because symptoms do not occur in several hours later. Symptoms include restlessness, fever, and skin blistering. Aside from the violin-shaped appearance, this spider has six eyes instead of eight. Bites tend to be more severe in children and older people. If you see a brown recluse crawling around on the floor, it may be due to starvation, overcrowding, or pesticides.
3. Wolf Spider
The Hogna Carolinesis is the most common wolf spider in Phoenix. These spiders like to hang out around Phoenix’s pools, lakes, and canals. Wolf spiders are hairy, gray-brownish, and have dark brown patterns on their back. This spider will hang mostly in garages, houseplants, piles of leaves, and under rocks. Although these spiders try to avoid humans, allergic reactions from a bite can occur. Symptoms include fever, nausea, sweating, and cramping of the muscles in the bite area.
There are over eight hundred species of tarantulas worldwide, but only thirty reside in Arizona. Although these spiders look intimidating, they are harmless and will warn before biting. Before inflicting a bite, tarantulas will release spiny hairs that can irritate the skin. The hair and bite from this spider are not dangerous to humans but should be thoroughly cleaned and monitored for local reactions. In Phoenix Valley, male tarantulas are seen in large numbers crossing roads in search of a mate!
5. Giant Crab Spider
The Giant Crab spider is a large desert arachnid seen on vertical surfaces like trees and shrubs. Giant Crab spiders are dark brown with long legs exceeding two inches. They are often mistaken for tarantulas but are known as the huntsman spider. This spider obtained its name because it can extend their legs at a right angle of their body, giving a crab-like appearance. They tend to hide in crevices during the day and are active at night looking for food. It is more likely to see these spiders outside of your home.
6. Jumping Spider
The tiny jumping spider is hairy, with four eyes on its forehead and four more on the side of its head. This little arachnid can jump six times its body length by shifting its body fluid pressure forward. They are usually gray, tan, or brown with bright, flashy markings! Jumping spiders are not venomous, but a bite from these arachnids can cause redness, itching, and mild swelling. These spiders can be found on loose bark, under stones, or basking in the sun. If you ever see a jumping spider in the wild doing a funny, fancy dance, he is trying to impress a female to mate with!
7. Black and Yellow Garden
The black and yellow garden spider is an orb-weaving arachnid that builds large circular webs. Female black and yellow garden spiders can grow up to one inch long, three times the size of males. These spiders have venom that immobilizes their prey but is harmless to humans. Although these spiders are beneficial to have around, they can be a nuisance to have around because of their large webs.
8. Sun Spider
The harmless sun spider is commonly seen in Phoenix Valley between March and October. These spiders can grow up to one and three-quarter inches long. Sun spiders are also known as the came spider and the Wind-scorpion” because of their appearance and speed. Sun spiders are not venomous because they lack venom glands.
Although there are many spiders to keep an eye out for, there are ways to keep them from entering your home. Before winter emerges, patch up any holes, cracks, and crevices around the house. Spiders love to hide in places outside the home, such as wood pies and leaves. If you notice an infestation of these creatures around your home, call an exterminator to assess the problem and spray pesticides. Always shake clothing or shoes that have not been used for a period to avoid a potential spider bite. When outdoors, be cautious of your surroundings!
|8 Spiders in Phoenix to Watch Out for!|
|1. Black widow|
|2. Brown recluse|
|3. Wolf Spider|
|5. Giant Crab spider|
|6. Jumping spider|
|7. Black and yellow garden spider|
|8. Sun spider|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tran The Ngoc/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.