Wait! Don't Squish That Spider: It May Be Your Friend

When you see a hairy creature with beady little black eyes, a thick furry body, and eight long legs, your first instinct my be to smash it.

But wait!

If you live in the Southern United States, don't squash that creepy spider, until you know what kind it is. Why, you ask? Because it might be the friendly huntsman spider that, as its name implies, hunts and kills other pests in the home. 

What Does It Look Like?

Huntsman spiders are commonly mistaken for tarantulas. This is because these spiders are large and hairy, but they do have distinguishing characteristics. Huntsman spiders are brown, while many tarantulas are black. They also have crab-like legs that stretch out sideways with joints that twist forward. This means they can run forward, backward and sideways to catch their prey. 

These spiders are large, often equivalent to the size of a human hand, and they have fangs. While their appearance may be frightening, they rarely bite humans, unless you really bother them, and if they do, it is generally not a cause for alarm. Their bite can cause mild symptoms, such as pain in the bite area, nausea and headache. 

Where Do They Live?

Huntsman spiders live in a hunter's favorite place cozy wooded areas. They like to live in trees crevices, wood piles, and yes, in your home, garage, shed, or car. These spiders don't build webs because they hunt their food, so they won't leave messy spiderwebs around your home. 

They live in warm regions, including balmy Southern States, like Hawaii, Texas, and Florida. These spiders are also known as rain spiders. They are good at predicting a rain shower and quickly scurry for shelter before the rain arrives.

How Do They Help You?

Huntsman spiders are helpful to you because they eat other insects. If you allow these furry creatures to take up residence in your home, they will reward you by eating up your problem pests. Their diet consists of invertebrates and insects, including cockroaches; they also eat other spiders. They use their venom to kill their prey before eating them. 

Should You Keep Them?

If you're not deathly afraid of spiders, then a few huntsman spiders can help control some of the other pests around your home or in your shed. However, if you just can't live with these eight-legged creatures, you can call an exterminator to get rid of them. 

If you're not sure what type of spider you're sharing your home with, you can contact a local pest control service like Combat Pest Control to help you identify the type of spider. If it's the friendly huntsman, you can decide whether to become friends or foes.