spider hanging from its web in front of a window

Common types of spiders in North Carolina Spiders

Spiders are not insects but rather arachnids.  They all have eight legs, two body regions, and multiple pairs of eyes.  They do not have wings, antennae, or chewing mouthparts.  While there are tens of thousands of spiders found throughout the world, there are only a handful that are considered common to North Carolina. 


Black Widow Spiders

black widow on its nest in north carolina yard

These venomous spiders are easily recognizable by the red hourglass-like mark on the underside of their abdomens.  Black in color, these arachnids also appear with lighter red or white spots on the abdomens and backs.

False Black Widow Spiders

flase black widow spider

As their name suggests these spiders looks very similar to real black widow spiders, but they lack the distinctive hourglass-like markings.

Cellar Spiders

cellar spider in a north carolina basement

These harmless spiders are tan or yellow in coloring and have extremely long legs and abdomens that are cylindrical in shape and longer than they are wider.

Brown Recluse Spiders

brown recluse spider inside lenoir nc home

Another venomous spider, the brown recluse is known for its violin-shaped markings and brown coloring.

Giant House Spiders

giant house spider inside lenoir nc home

Large in size, the adult male giant house spider can have a four-inch leg span and the female up to two inches.  Their coloring varies, often dark orange, brown, or beige.

Orb Weaver Spiders

orb spider hanging from it's web outside north carolina home

This type of spider varies in size and coloring, making them hard to distinguish from other spiders.  They do have hairy or spiny legs and are known for the spiral wheel-shaped webs they construct.

Yellow Sac Spiders

yellow sac spider inside dresser drawer in nc

A smaller species with long thin legs, sac spiders are typically pale beige to yellow in color; they may also have a green tinge. 

Wolf Spiders

wolf spider on a rock outside lenoir nc home

Dark in color, wolf spiders have stout bodies covered in hair and long, spiny legs.  They do not create webs but rather hunt down their prey.

Are spiders dangerous?

Whether or not a spider is dangerous depends on the species.  In North Carolina, both venomous and nuisance spiders are present.  Bites from venomous spiders can be dangerous and cause serious health problems. 

Which spiders are venomous?

Venomous spiders in North Carolina include the black widow, brown recluse, false black widow, and yellow sac spider.  A black widow spider bite is not typically life threatening but the symptoms require medical attention.  A brown recluse spider bite can cause the skin around the bite to ulcerate.  Healing may take weeks or months and the wound is prone to infection and scarring.  Because of the symptoms and serious health consequences, those bit by a brown recluse should seek medical treatment right away.  A bite from a false black widow may produce a similar response as the true black widow, only less severe.  Yellow sac spider bites feel similar to that of a bee sting and the symptoms are much less severe than that of a brown recluse spider bite. 

What causes spider problems?

Spiders are most often found living outside in places that include gardens, dense landscaping, woodpiles, tall grasses, underneath of mulch and leaf litter, and between rocks and stones. They are also commonly found living in outbuildings like sheds, barns, and garages. Spiders enter homes and buildings while searching for prey or in the colder months while looking for a place where they can overwinter.  If a home has an insect problem then spiders are also likely to show up for the prey. 

How do you get rid of spiders?

The best way to get rid of spiders is to partner with a pest control company that has the knowledge and tools needed to eliminate spider infestations in both homes and businesses. For homeowners in North Carolina, we highly recommend implementing a year-round residential pest control plan that will take care of spiders and their food source.  Likewise, businesses should have an ongoing pest management program in place. 

How do you keep spiders out of your home?

In order to keep spiders out, you have to ensure they don’t have the opportunity to get in.  To accomplish this, we recommend implementing the following spider prevention tips:

  • Remove potential hiding spots including wood piles. 
  • Seal cracks and openings on the exterior of the structure.
  • Install window screens or repair/replace torn ones
  • Keep garage doors closed when not in use.
  • Install door sweeps and screen doors
  • Eliminate clutter especially in areas where there isn’t a lot of human traffic, namely storage closets and attics.
  • Make sure insects (i.e. their food source) cannot get inside.

Helpful Spider Articles

Venomous Spiders Of North Carolina

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