Zebra Jumping Spiders

Facts, Identification, & Control

Scientific Name

Salticus scenicus

Appearance

What Do They Look Like?
  • Abdomen: The abdomen has white or light-colored hairs arranged in opposing stripes with a solid band of white around the front part of the abdomen.
  • Body: The cephalothorax (united head and thorax) on the zebra jumping spider has a white lateral band of hairs with additional white hairs and lustrous scales that appear near the region of their eyes.
  • Eyes: As with other species of jumping spiders, they have eight eyes with the center two eyes appearing large and prominent, thus providing the jumping spider group with possibly the best vision of any other group of arthropods.
  • Size: Females and males are similar in size, ranging from about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.
  • Characteristics: Females are often lighter in color than the males. Males have very large, dark fangs that project forward, unlike most other spider species whose fangs extend down.

How Did I Get Zebra Jumping Spiders?

These spiders thrive throughout the U.S. Residents may find zebra jumping spiders clinging to walls on the sunny side of the house or near doors and windows. These arachnids frequently deposit their egg sacs under eaves or windowsills. Zebra jumping spiders prefer the outdoors but sometimes venture into homes by accident or while following prey.

How Serious Are Zebra Jumping Spiders?

Zebra jumping spiders do not build webs to catch prey. When it comes to hunting for food, they are like cats since they hunt down and pounce on their prey instead of capturing their food in a web. However, the quick movements of a zebra jumping spider are often startling for unsuspecting homeowners who unknowingly get near and cause them to quickly flee.

Are They Dangerous?

These spiders are not aggressive biters and will not bite unless handled or otherwise threatened. They do produce venom, which is used to subdue their prey, but this spider’s venom is likely only to cause minimal injury to humans since the spiders are so small.

Signs Of An Infestation

A zebra jumping spider sighting is usually the first indication of an infestation, although the number of adult spiders seen will likely be few in number.

How Do I Get Rid of Zebra Jumping Spiders?

What You Can Do

Preventing infestation begins with:

  • Limiting food sources: Make sure the pest's food sources are kept to a minimum.
  • Exclusion: Holes, cracks, and gaps need to be properly sealed to prevent entry.
  • Cleaning: Removing ground litter that serves as harborage for spiders is also helpful.
What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage zebra jumping spiders and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep zebra jumping spiders in their place…out of your home, or business.


Behavior, Diet & Habit

What Do They Eat?

Zebra jumping spiders are hunting spiders that do not spin a web to catch prey. Instead, they use their web to protect the egg sacs at their nighttime hiding sites. Their prey is any insect or other spider that the Zebra jumping spider can overpower.

Hunting Behaviors

They have an interesting behavior of capturing prey by using a strand of silk like a bungee cord that is attached to the surface on which they are hunting – the side of a house, for example. The spider attaches the "bungee cord" to the vertical wall, then leaps onto its prey and traps it so its meal cannot escape.

Geographic Range

Zebra jumping spiders were previously brought to the United States from Europe and Asia and now its normal range is southern Canada and the entire United States, though it doesn't appear to be common in the Rocky Mountain states.

Where Do They Live?

These spiders commonly inhabit gardens and may accidentally be brought indoors where they like to live on doorways, walls, and windows. This species is usually found around urban and suburban areas where it is often seen hunting on the walls of buildings where the sun warms the surface. Zebra jumping spiders are especially frequent in or around:

  • Bushes
  • Fences
  • High grass
  • Inside and on the exterior of buildings
  • Rock walls
  • Under stones
Reproduction

These spiders usually mate during the late spring or early summer, and in a few weeks, the female spiders lay egg sacs in the protective web. Egg sacs contain from 15-25 eggs. After about 3-4 weeks, the eggs hatch and the young spiders emerge from the egg sac and leave to begin life on their own.