Woodlouse Hunter Spider

Common Name: Dysdera Hunter Spider

Latin Name: Dysdera

Common Family Name: Dysderid spiders

Latin Family Name: Dysderidae

Other Names:

Origin: About 10 native species are found in North America, north of Mexico.

Biology: These are hunting spiders which use their silk only for lining their retreat and for creating their egg sacs. They may be very fast moving spiders and commonly enter structures to hunt for food or harborage. They are primarily nocturnal, but when found in structures may be seen walking along floors, countertops, walls, or ceilings. They are capable of biting humans, but their venom is generally not considered dangerous. The venom is a cyto-toxic venom, and may cause death of the tissues at the site of the bite, potentially leading to an open wound.

Identification: These are small spiders that are usually brown to reddish brown in color, with an elongate, narrow, egg-shaped abdomen and a darker thorax. The legs are reddish-brown, and the front two pairs of legs are the longest. The males often have greatly enlarged jaws and chelicerae.

Characteristics Important in Control: The occasional spider found indoors is best removed by vacuuming. Elimination of harborage sites around the exterior of the structure will help to reduce the populations of spiders nearby. This includes removing plant debris, firewood, lumber, or other objects that the spiders can hide within or under. Good sanitation and storage practices indoors, keeping materials off the floor in storage areas, will also help prevent the spiders, and exclusion from the structure by sealing cracks, holes, or other openings is needed. Pyrethroid insecticides are excellent for intercepting the spiders that move to the building foundation.