Need help identifying a suspected pest house spider

slowgardenJuly 12, 2011

Hello everybody,

I've encountered this spider in our house on two occasions since spring. Unfortunately, on these occasions I needed to destroy it real quick, for its appearance in the house and behaviour seemed suspect to me. Now I need to better inform myself before the next killing (...or before being bitten to death!), but I hardly know where to look...

Best I can do is try and describe it. A 3/4 in. long jet black spider with a few white markings on the back. Somehow elongated in shape. Legs not very long. Now this unfamiliar appearance aside, what struck me as "alien" was the EXTREME SWIFTNESS with which it crawled (it didn't jump, at least on those occasions where I saw it)! I am very familiar with common brown garden spiders (the ones with the tough, sticky webs that cling on you) and of course house spiders, and this moving speed was really something else!

Each time we observed it, it was in broad daylight.

Come to think of it, the number of regular garden spiders here seemed to have diminished a bit radically; I hope this is just a coincidence!

Sorry if this isn't really the forum to ask about this. If so, where to go?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

First of all, you don't need to worry about this spider being poisonous. You aren't describing (at all) the Black Widow or Brown Recluse, which are the venomous spiders to reckon with in your area.

It sounds like what we see in our home from time to time, and what I have named 'The Black Racing Spider'. Because I don't know what the heck it is.

But anyway, you really don't need to overly concerned. Should you manage to kill one without smashing it to smithereens, you might take a picture and let us see it. Only if it's mostly recognizable, though. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Many thanks for your reassuring post, rhizo_1! In the meantime that I manage to catch one of them black daredevils, if you ever come across at least the genus it might belong to, I'd love to know. Because looking up spiders in books is not simple!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:40AM
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I agree that it is not venomous. I had never seen a black widow until a few years ago. This is in spite of the fact that there are lots of them in Florida. I knew at once that this was not the ordinary spider. it has a large bulbous body that looks like patent leather. I caught it in a jar to check the underside and sure enought there was the red hourglass. Needless to say I destroyed it. I have never seen the recluse even though they are prominent here. Most of these spiders do not run around the house or outdoors. They try to stay hidden in dark spaces. If you are gardening, wear gloves.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:17PM
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