picture of a crab spider of a flower

Crab Spider Control: Protect Your Home

Appearance

What Do Crab Spiders Look Like?
Size: Females grow up to 3/8 of an inch in length, while males usually measure approximately 1/8 of an inch long. Crab spiders have short, wide, and flat bodies.

Color: Colored to blend in with vegetation, crab spiders are usually white to yellow in color and have red streaks on their abdomens.

Characteristics: Crab spiders have small, weak fangs and a raised set of eight eyes that allow them to see in all directions. They walk backwards and sideways, much like their namesake, and do not construct webs. Their front two pairs of legs are larger than the rest and are used to grasp at food.

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Facts

  • Species: Over 200 species of crab spiders are found in the United States.
  • Name: Their name comes from their appearance and manner of movement, which are both similar to that of crabs.
  • Habitats: Frequently found on flowers, fence posts, and other forms of vegetation, crab spiders use camouflage to ambush their prey and paralyze them with quick-acting venom.
  • Common Species: One of the most common species found in our service area is the flower, or goldenrod, spider.

Food

What Do Crab Spiders Eat?
Crab spiders feed on whatever insects happen upon their hiding spots.

This includes

Biology

Life Cycle
Females lay eggs that hatch into spiderlings. These young spiders look like smaller versions of adults. After molting several times, the baby spiders reach maturity and achieve their full size.

Detection

  • Yards: Look for crab spiders in yards and gardens.
  • Vegetation: May notice adult spiders perched on flowers or among vegetation.
  • Hatchlings: Be alert for recently hatched spiderlings.

Problems Caused by Crab Spiders

Like many species of spiders, crab spiders are generally more beneficial than harmful.

Bites
Though they do not typically bite humans, mishandling or imminent threats lead the spiders to take defensive actions.

Since crab spiders have such potent venom, any bite where the skin is broken will be very painful. However, their harmful effects are mostly the result of arachnophobia.

Pollination
Additionally, crab spiders feed on honeybees and may have an effect on pollination efforts.

Signs of Infestation

Sighting
The most common sign of infestation is sighting an adult crab spider.

Though crab spiders are typically solitary creatures, their hatchlings gather together in great numbers and may cause alarm.

Hiding
As the spiders can change color to blend in with their surroundings, people may not notice their presence for some time.

Prevention Tips

Since crab spiders infest homes in rare instances, residents are encouraged to seal off any points of entry in order to reduce the possibility of infestation, such as:

  • Foundation cracks
  • Spaces around piping and wiring
  • Window and door gaps

To keep crab spiders out of gardens, property owners should keep the vegetation well-maintained and turn to habitat modification methods to reduce the availability of the arachnid’s favorite foods.

Tips for Removal from Home

Contact the Experts
In the event that crab spiders do invade the home, professional assistance is typically required.

Crab spider bites are painful and typically the result of inexperienced people trying to handle the spiders. Pest professionals have the training, knowledge, and equipment necessary to eliminate these spiders from homes.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857