Spiders in Kansas City

In the Kansas City area there are a lot of common spiders.  The Black Widow is a particularly scary one seeing as their bites have to be treated with an antitoxin.  They are typically found inside barns, sheds, meter boxes, or anywhere else that is a protected area.  Another common scary one here in the KC area is the Brown Recluse Spider, who’s name is derived from their choice of living areas.  They like to live in undisturbed areas, such as attics, closets or basements.  These spiders are also scary when it comes to bites as they aren’t typically felt immediately but several hours later. Typically after a bite an ulcer will form where the bite is and it can result in scarring.  There isn’t any available antitoxin for these bites.

A very common, but harmless, spider in the Kansas City area is the Cellar Spider.  They are pale yellow/light brown and have long thin legs.  They can be found anywhere they can locate a corner to string up their web system.  Another spider that is harmless to humans is the funnel web spider, they create their webs (funnel tubes) in bushes, grass or other easy hidey spots.

There are several other common spiders here in the Kansas City area, most of the rest we will discuss are not harmful to humans, but they are a nuisance and most people just don’t want spiders in their space.  The common ones are the Garden spider, Jumping Spider, and Orb Weaver. The Garden spider produce complex webs with a distinctive zig-zag pattern in it, and preys on insects, typically flying bugs.  They produce venom that is not considered harmful to humans.  The Jumping spiders are one of the few spiders that are active during the day, and uniquely can jump up to 20 times their body length.  They are often found indoors under furniture, in drapery, and around windows.  The Orb Weaver spider actually can be helpful in lowering the mosquito population.  They are commonly found in corners inside and out, basically where they can find protection from the elements.

Finally a very common and very LARGE spider found in the Kansas City area is the Wolf Spider.  They have thick bodies and long thick legs.  They have a huge coloring varieties from greys, to brown/tans and even black.  These aren’t web spinners but actually hunt down their prey.  The females are larger than the males.  The females also carries her egg sack at the bottom of her abdomen and later her babies on her back.  Now, the Wolf Spider is not venomous, but they will bite when provoked.  These bites can be painful and sometimes invoke an allergic reaction in its victims.  These symptoms include welling, itchiness, blistering, rash at the bite site, and breathing problems.  Although the allergic reaction is not common, if you or your loved ones have allergies its best to be on the lookout for these spiders.  Wolf spiders tend to be loners, and as they don’t make webs, they look for hiding spots.  These include clothing or shoes, which have been left outside and are easy access.  Garages, sheds, lofts are also a place to be on the lookout as they don’t have a lot of foot traffic.  And when you are outside be aware of pile of leaves.

Overall, Kansas City and the surrounding area have several spiders that aren’t safe for your pets or family.  Its safest to keep your yard and areas with outdoor access free of clutter where these spiders can find refuge.

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