Jumping Spiders

Salticidae
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Jumping Spiders Identification

Pest Stats

Color

Usually black, sometimes brown, tan, or gray, and usually with pale markings.

Legs

They have 8 legs

Shape

Compact with relatively short legs

Size

Adult body length about 1/8 – ¾” (4-18 mm)

Antennae

No

Region

Found throughout the United States

What Do Jumping Spiders Look Like?

Jumping spiders are commonly mistaken for black widow spiders due to their compact black bodies with relatively short legs. However, jumping spiders can also be brown, tan or gray in color with pale white, gray, yellow, red, blue or green markings. Adult jumping spiders range in size from about 1/8-3/4” (4-18 mm) and are typically covered in dense hairs or scales that are brightly colored or iridescent. Their front legs are usually thicker and somewhat longer than their other legs.

Adult zebra spiders have gray bodies with white markings on their front and abdomen. Their legs are white or brown with gray rings, resembling a zebra. Female zebra spiders are 3/16-1/4” (4.3-6.4 mm), while males are 1/8-1/4” (4-5.5 mm).

In general, jumping spiders have the best vision of any spider species, being able to detect and react to movement up to 18" (45 cm) in distance. However, their night vision is very poor. They have eight eyes in three rows. The front row has four eyes with a very large middle pair.

Signs of an Infestation

The most common sign of a jumping spider infestation is seeing the spider itself. Jumping spiders will usually be found hunting around windows and doors because more insects are attracted to those areas.

Jumping Spiders Prevention

How to Get Rid of Jumping Spiders

Need to know how to get rid of jumping spiders? If a jumping spider is found indoors, remove it with a vacuum and dispose of the vacuum bag outside. Contact a licensed pest control professional if you suspect a jumping spider infestation. A pest control professional will conduct a thorough inspection of the home or building and properly identify the spider species.

When it comes to preventing contact with jumping spiders, it’s important to eliminate the primary ways that these spiders can enter the home. Most often, jumping spiders enter through wall cracks or poorly screened windows and doors. Make sure to seal wall openings with a silicone-based caulk, and properly screen windows and doors. Watch this video to learn the proper technique to patch a screen. Another way that jumping spiders may gain entrance into the home is by accidentally hitchhiking inside boxes, grocery bags or other items that are brought from the outside in. Inspect these items before bringing them into the home to reduce the risk of a jumping spider infestation. For more tips on spider control, click here.

Jumping Spider Bites

Although jumping spider bites are uncommon, they may cause redness, itching, stinging and swelling. If you suspect a jumping spider has bitten you, clean the site with soap and water. Then, apply a cold compress over the spider bite location. Adults can also take aspirin or acetaminophen and antihistamines to relieve minor symptoms. However, if symptoms continue to worsen for more than 24 hours, it’s crucial to seek medical attention. If possible, bring the spider to the doctor for proper identification and treatment. Learn more about spider bites here.

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Jumping Spiders Education

Threats

In some cases, jumping spiders will bite in defense, but their bite is not poisonous. As such, jumping spiders are not considered a large danger to humans, especially given that these spiders are more likely to run away from people than attack them. Jumping spiders do possess fangs and produce venom, but the venom is not a medical threat.

While they can bite, the jumping spider bite is not poisonous. They are not considered dangerous.

Habitat

Retreats may be built under furniture, in drapery folds, between books on bookshelves, in cracks found in wood floors, around door and window molding, etc. Outside retreats may be found under loose bark, between leaves, etc. Indoors, spiders will usually be found hunting around windows and doors because more insects are attracted to these areas and their vision is best in sunlit areas. Outdoors, jumping spiders are commonly seen running over tree bark, under stones and boards, on bushes, fences, decks and the outside of buildings, especially sunny areas.

Habits

Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders are active during the daytime and prefer sunshine. They are excellent hunters, due to their jumping ability and swift reflexes. Jumping spiders can rapidly move both sideways and backwards for short distances, and pounce on passing prey. When threatened, jumping spiders may jump 20 times their body length. They employ silk as a dragline when they jump, and the dragline acts as a safety line.

Jumping spiders are unlikely to infest a home, as they prefer outdoor environments with plentiful vegetation and sunlight, such as grassland and prairies. In these locations, they feast on bollworms, cotton leaf worms, webworms, cotton flea hoppers, stinkbugs, leafhoppers and mosquitoes. On occasion, jumping spiders might gain entry indoors via clothing or plants that are brought inside.

Jumping spiders do not construct snare webs but do build web retreats, which are loosely woven, saclike and composed of several envelopes. These retreats are used for molting, hibernation, nighttime seclusion and laying eggs. The egg sacs are typically lens-shaped and suspended like a hammock from the retreat’s wall. Oftentimes, jumping spiders will build a new retreat for each activity – under furniture, in drapery folds, between books, in cracks of wood floors, around doors and window moldings, etc. Outside, jumping spider retreats are found under loose bark and between leaves.

In the New England States, zebra spiders mate in May, and eggs are laid in June and July. Each zebra spider egg sac contains 15-25 white eggs. It’s thought that the older spiderlings overwinter in a retreat and become adults in spring. Adult male zebra spiders are found in April through July, and females are spotted from mid-May to late October usually around windows and doors because there are more insects attracted to these areas. They are also commonly seen in sunlight areas while running over tree bark, under stones, on bushes, and along fences and decks.