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July 07, 2020

Michigan Spiders

By Lauren Hogarth

We hate to break it to arachnophobes, but Michigan has its share of the eight-legged crawlers. The good news is that only a couple possesses the power to hurt humans significantly. In this blog, we will get to know 22 of Michigan’s resident spiders.


Cross orb weaver
Araneus diadematus

Size: Between 6 and 20 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Many places including yards, fields, and farms
Can they harm you?: Not known to bite humans unless cornered. The resulting bite is similar to a mild bee sting.
Fun fact: These spiders can sometimes “balloon,” meaning they ride the wind to higher locations. They can sometimes be found on the outside of skyscrapers.

American house spider
Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Size: Between 4 and 9 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Indoors and outdoors, often near where humans live
Can they harm you?: These will only bite when attacked by a human; otherwise, it will likely run. Even if it does bite a human, only swelling and itching will occur.
Alternate name: Common house spider

Banded garden spider
Argiope trifasciata

Size: Between 4 and 26 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In open fields and prairies
Can they harm you?: They will only bite a human if attacked, but the result will be similar to a bee sting.
Fun fact: Males are much, much smaller than females

Grass spider
Agelenopsis

Species: A variety of species under the genus Agelenopsis
Size: Between 6 and 19 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In grass and the corners of buildings
Can they harm you?: No, and they will likely retreat if you approach.
Fun fact: They are very easily startled by any creatures except their prey.

Hacklemesh weaver
Amaurobius ferox

Size: Between 8 and 15 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In dark places, near homes, under rocks and logs
Can they harm you?: Not known to bite
Fun fact: In addition to bugs and spiders, these creatures will munch on earthworms.

Dark fishing spider
Dolomedes tenebrosus

Size: Between 7 and 26 millimeters
Where can you find them?: You’ll likely find this spider in the forest, hanging out on a tree.
Can they harm you?: It’s unlikely they will bite, but if they do, the bite is similar to a mild bee sting.
Fun fact: These spiders are preyed upon by individual wasps and other animals.

Black and yellow garden spider
Argiope aurantia

Size: Between 5 and 28 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In gardens (hence the name), fields and farms
Can they harm you?: They might bite you if they feel attacked, but the bite is harmless to humans.
Alternate names: Writing spider, golden garden spider, corn spider

Goldenrod crab spider
Misumena vatia

Size: Up to 10 millimeters
Where can you find them?: These spiders love flowers and are often found hiding in goldenrods … hence the name.
Can they harm you?: No.
Fun fact: These critters change colors from white to yellow and back again, to camouflage on different flowers.

Ant mimic spider
Castianeira longipalpa

Size: Between 5 and 10 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In a variety of place near ground level, including under rocks, under logs and near fallen leaves
Can they harm you?: No.
Fun fact: These spiders exhibit many behaviors associated with carpenter ants, including raising front legs into the air to look much like an ant’s antennae.

Six-spotted fishing spider
Dolomedes triton

Size: Between 8 and 20 millimeters
Where can you find them?: This spider is found on the edges of all different varieties of bodies of water.
Can they harm you?: They will bite if threatened, but the bites are not dangerous to humans.
Fun fact: These critters can stay underwater for 30 to 60 minutes at a time.

Woodlouse hunter
Dysdera crocata

Size: Between 9 and 15 millimeters
Where can you find them?: This spider is predominantly found in gardens, forests, and fields.
Can they harm you?: The worst that will likely happen if this spider bites you is slight itchiness at the site of the bite.
Fun fact: The common name for this spider comes from its diet that consists almost exclusively of woodlice, also known as pill bugs.

Eastern parson spider
Herphyllus ecclesiasticus

Size: Between 4 and 13 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Usually hiding underneath objects in wooded areas but might be spotted in the open or even indoors during nighttime hunting
Can they harm you?: They are considered harmless, though their bites might cause an allergic reaction in some humans.
Fun fact: These spiders are very fast and not often captured either literally or photographically.

Carolina wolf spider
Hogna carolinensis

Size: Between 18 and 35 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Typically found in dry areas
Can they harm you?: They are timid and will flee humans. However, if caught by a human, this spider might bite, causing a similar reaction as a bee sting.
Fun fact: It’s the official state spider of South Carolina.

Orchard orb weaver
Leucauge venusta

Size: Between 3.5 and 8 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In different habitats, including on trees in wooded areas and moist environments
Can they harm you?: This spider is too small to have fangs large enough to deliver venom to a human.
Fun fact: Charles Darwin named this spider.

Arrow shaped micrathena
Micrathena sagittata

Size: Between 4 and 10 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In the woods or on the edge of forests, living in foliage
Can they harm you?: If this spider does bite you, which is unlikely, the resulting bite will appear much like a mosquito bite.
Fun fact: This spider has three claws at the end of each leg.

Spitting spider
Scytodes thoracica

Size: Between 3 and 6 millimeters
Where can you find them?: You will likely find them in or around buildings, especially in dark spaces.
Can they harm you?: No.
Fun fact: While spiders typically have eight eyes, these creatures only have six eyes.

Barn funnel weaver
Tegenaria domestica

Size: Between 3 and 6 millimeters
Where can you find them?: You will likely find them in or around buildings, especially in dark spaces.
Can they harm you?: They rarely bite humans, and even if they do bite, it should cause zero pain.
Fun fact: They sometimes curl into a ball if they feel threatened.

Zebra jumper
Salticus scenicus

Size: Between 4 and 7 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In areas inhabited by humans, such as on buildings and fences
Can they harm you?: Another timid spider, their bite is rare and resembles an ant bite
Fun fact: They can tell when a human is watching and immediately change their behavior, basically showing off.

Southern black widow
Latrodectus mactans

Size: Between 3 and 13 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Confined, protected spaces both near and far away from structures
Can they harm you?: While this spider is not aggressive, meaning a bite is rare, the venom is dangerous to humans. Healthy adults will likely avoid any potential for life-threatening reactions to the venom but will likely experience extreme muscle cramping and other effects. Anyone who has experienced a bite should seek medical attention immediately.
Fun fact: These spiders are preyed upon by certain wasps and other animals.

Northern black widow
Latrodectus variolus

Size: Between 4 and 11 millimeters
Where can you find them?: In wooded areas and tree stumps, mostly in the western Lower Peninsula, according to Michigan State University
Can they harm you?: Bites are rare but dangerous because the venom is very poisonous. A tiny percentage (less than 1 percent) of bite victims die. Others experience pain, nausea, cramps, and profuse sweating.
Fun fact: They can be told apart from southern black widow spiders because the hourglass on the northern variety is detached in the middle.

False black widow
Steatoda grossa

Size: Between 4 and 11 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Often they are found indoors near the ground
Can they harm you?: This is an extremely timid and non-aggressive spider. However, like many other species, they will bite humans if they feel threatened. Some blistering at the site of the bite is possible, according to the Penn State Department of Entomology, as well as pain and nausea.
Fun fact: In the 2002 film adaptation of “Spider-Man,” this is the species of spider that bites Peter Parker.

Long-legged sac spider
Cheiracanthium mildei

Size: Between 5 and 10 millimeters
Where can you find them?: Mostly found indoors, many times nocturnally crawling on walls and ceilings
Can they harm you?: If bitten by this spider, mild irritation or itching is likely.
Fun fact: This spider is many times confused for the brown recluse.

A note about the brown recluse

Let’s be clear — you are unlikely to come across a brown recluse (species name Loxosceles reclusa) in Michigan. If you do, yes, they are dangerous.

These critters cannot live in temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which means Michigan is not the place for them. Once in a while, though, they are found in the state. For instance, a Davison family recently found some of these bad boys in their garage.

If you do believe a brown recluse has bitten you, seek medical attention immediately.

Identification is critical with spiders, and we always ask our customers to try and save the specimen for the professional to identify and treat accordingly. Most of our calls regarding spiders are concerning their presence inside of the home, or their unsightly nests on/around buildings. Spider excrement can leave marks on windows and stain siding as well.

Hogarth’s Pest Control specializes in the removal and prevention of spiders in and around homes. If you are experiencing an unpleasant spider issue, do not hesitate to give us a call today!


The Pennsylvania State University. “False Black Widow Spider (Department of Entomology).” Department of Entomology (Penn State University), 2020, ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/false-black-widow.

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