HUNTSMAN SPIDER FACTS & INFORMATION
Scientific Name: Heteropoda venatoria
Heteropoda venatoria, sometimes called the giant crab spider or the banana spider (due to its occasional appearance in marketed bananas), is a species introduced into the U.S. and now found in the subtropical areas of Florida, Texas, California and the coastal southern states. As adults, huntsman spiders do not build webs, but hunt and forage for insects, thus making a contribution to insect control in their habitats.
The huntsman spider is not an aggressive biter, but when a huntsman considers the need to defend itself, it will bite. While their bite is painful and causes swelling, headache, and perhaps nausea, they seldom bite people. Although huntsman spiders are sometimes called banana spiders, they are not like the Brazilian wandering spider which is one of the most venomous spiders in the world.
HUNTSMAN SPIDER IDENTIFICATION
Huntsman spiders are very large, long-legged and one of the largest species of spiders in the U.S. When fully grown, their leg span is approximately 5-6 inches. The huntsman’s long legs, unlike most spiders, spread out forward and laterally in a crab-like fashion - therefore the common name giant crab spider. Do huntsman spiders look like tarantulas? No, since tarantulas have much more hair on their legs and other body parts than huntsman spiders. Huntsman spiders vary in color, but the upper part of their body is generally brown or grey.
HUNTSMAN SPIDER REMOVAL
For huntsman spider removal, Orkin technicians rely on the Orkin Points of Service.
The flattened body of huntsman spiders enables this large spider to fit into surprisingly small cracks and crevices. This ability, along with the huntsman spider’s adaptability to places such as inside houses, barns, garages, sheds and under boards or debris on the ground helps identify places they may be found. Being cold-sensitive, these spiders cannot exist outdoors in areas with freezing winter temperatures, so inside homes they may be found under furniture or cabinets, behind wall hangings, and in closets.
Huntsman spiders sometimes enter structures while foraging for prey and they might squeeze under doors and windows when looking to find a more hospitable environment to escape from the extreme summer heat. To exclude these spiders, replace any screens on your doors or windows that are ripped or torn. Also, replace worn window and door seals and caulk cracks in the home’s foundation or siding since doing so helps prevent spiders or insects from getting inside.
Other practices to minimize problems include:
- Wear shoes when you are outside, particularly in the evening since huntsman spiders are more active at night than during the day.
- Move firewood, leaves, garbage, or any type of debris away from the foundation of your home. This will deter both insects and spiders from building up populations close to the home.
Keeping spiders and pests out of your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Because every yard or home is different, the Orkin Points of Service combine to make a customized plan designed to keep pests out year-round.