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Spiders in North Carolina

Common Spiders in North Carolina

Spiders thrive across the U.S., though North Carolina's mild climate and variety of terrain is ideal for many species. Feared and hated for their alien appearance and messy webs, the pests usually come into conflict with people when prey or cold weather drive them indoors.

Unknown Type:

Harmless Nuisances

Any arachnid may attack if provoked, but only a few are medically important. Most spiders in North Carolina have bites that are painful, but not dangerous. In fact, many species are helpful, leaving plants alone while preying on insects. Some harmless spiders include:

  • Wolf Spiders - These large gray, black, or brown spiders often live in leaves, mulch, and cut grass. The quick, aggressive arachnids also follow ants and flies into houses. Their bites hurt but aren't venomous.

  • Fishing Spiders - Equally at home along shorelines or in damp basements, the fishing spider is known to terrify people with its size alone. The pests have about a three-inch leg span, which is big enough to cover the palm of an adult human's hand.

  • Black and Yellow Garden Spiders - Striking looks and intricate webs make the black and yellow garden spider one of the state's most photographed species. While their bright yellow markings and black-tipped legs are designed to suggest danger, these spiders are actually harmless to humans.

Health Hazards

Two spider species in North Carolina are more than just a nuisance. These dangerous pests aren't naturally hostile to humans, but may bite if trapped in clothing or against skin:

  • Black Widow Spiders - Found in hidden places, such as under rocks, stairs, or thick grass, the black widow is the state's most common venomous spider. This pest can be identified by its round abdomen, shiny black body, and red hourglass-shaped marking. Bites induce fever, nausea, and cramps.

  • Brown Recluse Spiders - While not common in North Carolina, brown recluses sometimes travel across state lines in packages and delivery trucks. Their bites cause spreading sores. Most suspected brown recluses turn out to be harmless look-alikes, such as wolf or fishing spiders.

Dealing with North Carolina Spiders

Because spiders sneak indoors through tiny cracks around windows and doors, controlling infestations is difficult without help. The experts at Orkin can identify the problem and create a personalized removal plan to get rid of spiders in North Carolina homes.


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