Spider Identification Guide

Spiders can be confusing. While we all know they’re creepy, it’s not always as easy to tell which ones are actually dangerous to you and your family and which ones are okay—as long as they stay in the garden. So today we put together a handy spider-identification guide to help you identify common Oklahoma spiders and see if they pose any danger to you and your family.

Southern Black Widow

  • Color and markings: full-grown females are black with a red hourglass on their stomachs. Young females are black with light-colored spots or stripes. Males have black bodies with a yellow stripe down the back and black and yellow striped legs.
  • Size: females usually have a body length of half an inch long and can be up to two inches long with leg span included. Males are about half the size of their female counterparts.
  • Web and preferred environment: these spiders are very shy and usually weave small webs in dark, well-concealed areas where they won’t encounter humans. This includes wood piles or hollow tree stumps. They can also be found in garden sheds, garages, and basements.
  • Dangerous: generally, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bite you. As a rule, try not to sick your bare hands in spaces where you can’t see what is inside. Black widows are venomous, but bites can be easily and quickly treated if medical attention is sought right away.
  • If you find them in your home: call the experts at Emtec Pest Control right away. We are Oklahoma’s experienced spider removal experts, and we’ll know exactly what it takes to get rid of the spiders and keep them away for good.

Brown Recluse

  • Color and markings: Brown Recluses are brown with a darker brown spot on its back which some say is shaped like a violin. However, the most important characteristic in identifying these spiders is their eyes. Brown Recluses have three pairs of eyes (unlike most other spiders, which have four pairs).
  • Size: these are very small spiders. Even with the largest females, the body length rarely gets over half an inch long.
  • Web and preferred environment: they prefer dark spaces including garages, unused closets, ventilation units, old boxes, etc.
  • Dangerous: This is one of the few spiders found in the area whose bites require medical treatment—if you do sustain one, see medical treatment immediately. However, as their name would suggest, these spiders are very shy and generally avoid human contact. Because of this, bites can be easily avoided.
  • If you find them in your home: call the professionals at Emtec to handle this one right away before anyone gets bit.
Wolf spider portrait
Wolf spider rest on the leaf

Carolina Wolf Spider

  • Color and markings: these spiders are white, black, tan and gray. They have especially long legs which may appear furry and a distinctive eye pattern with six eyes on the front of their head and two on the sides.
  • Size: the largest of all the wolf spider species in the country, females can grow to a body length of almost an inch and a half long—that doesn’t even include their leg span! Adult males grow to about three-fourths of an inch long.
  • Web and preferred environment: Wolf Spiders hunt at night. During the day, they wait in their burrows for prey to come to them. As they are primarily hunters, Wolf Spiders do not weave webs.
  • Dangerous: Wolf Spiders very rarely bite and only when provoked. However, bites can be painful and can be dangerous to children and the elderly, so medical attention should be sought quickly.
  • If you find them in your home: this is a spider you want in the garden, but not in the home. If you see one, contact us immediately for a treatment and prevention plan.

Spotted Orbweaver

  • Color and markings: this spider can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, but is most commonly rust or golden color. Unlike most spiders, the males and females look alike.
  • Size: males and females are very different size-wise, however. Females are about half an inch long; males are about half that length.
  • Web and preferred environment: as the name would suggest, these spiders weave orb-shaped webs which are typically very large. They can often be found on the outsides of buildings, particularly around outdoor light fixtures. They are most often spotted from August to October.
  • Dangerous: they will bite when provoked, but their venom poses no danger to humans.
  • If you find them in your home: these spiders eat annoying jumping and flying insects and are not dangerous to humans, so they do not require removal for safety reasons. But as they reproduce quickly, we recommend calling in the experts at Emtec before you have too many little spiders running around.

Barn Funnel Weaver

  • Color and markings: these spiders are often reddish-brown with gray stripes and black spots.  
  • Size: these spiders are small, with the largest females not even being half an inch long. Males, as always, are slightly smaller than the females.  
  • Web and preferred environment: the Barn Funnel Weaver spins funnel-shaped webs in dark spaces like attics, barns, basements and gardening sheds. They often weave their webs into a corner, because of the funnel shape. The webs are sometimes described as looking like long, thin sheets wrapped into a funnel.
  • Dangerous: these spiders are quick and shy, and there is no record of them biting humans. It can be assumed that, like their cousins the grass spider, their fangs are too small to pierce human skin and do any harm.
  • If you find them in your home: like the Spotted Orbweaver, the Barn Funnel Weaver eats annoying bugs and is not dangerous to humans. However, it can still be undesirable to have inside your home or other space you use often. The professionals at Emtec and take care of them in no time.
Spider resting in its web

Southern House Spider

  • Color and markings: males are light brown and sometimes confused for Brown Recluse spiders. Females have gray abdomens with dark brown legs.
  • Size: Females generally measure about three-fourths of an inch long; males generally measure one-third of an inch long.
  • Web and preferred environment: they often build webs on the outside of buildings in undisturbed spaces like barn exteriors.
  • Dangerous: these spiders rarely if ever bite and when they do pose no danger.
  • If you find them in your home: like the previous two spiders, these little guys will eat up other bugs and don’t post any risks to you and your family. However, we understand you probably don’t want them in your home anyway. We can create a comprehensive plan to get rid of them for good.

At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.