The woodlouse hunter spider originated in Eastern Europe and has spread throughout the world. They are named woodlouse spiders because of their prey, the woodlouse aka sow bugs, isopods and roly-polys. Woodlouse spiders are often mistaken for brown recluse spiders because they have the same shape. They are hairless with a dark cinnamon colored cephalothorax and an elongated abdomen that can vary in color from tan to gray with orange legs. The reddish color distinguishes the woodlouse spider from other spiders. They have long fangs that protrude forward and can grow to about a half an inch in size. Most spiders have eight eyes, but the woodlouse only has six that are arranged in an oval shape, with four eyes above the lower two eyes.
Woodlouse Spider Habitat & Behavior
Woodlouse spiders do not build webs and hunt on the ground. They will come out at night to hunt once the sun had gone down where they will use their large elongated fangs to pierce their armored prey. They also turn their prey over and stab it in its soft underbelly. These spiders are commonly found in gardens, under rocks and in the shade of logs. When the temperatures get warm and humidity rises they will find their way into our homes where they are often found in basements. They love to rest in hidden crevices and will create a silk-like enclosure for protection during the day. These are not aggressive spiders and will only bite if they feel threatened or are disturbed. The venom is non-toxic to humans, but their bite feels like a bee sting because of those huge fangs. Luckily these bites don’t usually require medical attention. Those that have been bitten, report the bite to be very itchy. It is possible for people to suffer an allergic reaction from a bite. If there is severe pain or abdominal cramping, then you should seek medical attention. Knowing what they look like and where to find them can help you avoid potential bites.
Woodlouse Spider Prevention
Woodlouse spiders can be beneficial as they are good at controlling pests found outside your home, but if you still don’t want them around then reducing their prey is the best way to keep them away. Make your property less attractive to them by decreasing the presence of prey through regular pest control services and eliminate the places they like to live and hide. This includes damp areas of debris, piles of wood, leaf litter, mulch, etc. and remove standing water to reduce mosquito breeding sites. Taking care of moisture issues in your will also help keep them out. If you notice these spiders in your home you can use sticky traps, step up sanitation and reduce the clutter in your home. A single spider can be vacuumed up or captured and released outside. Larger numbers can be controlled with insecticides if they become bothersome. Seal off entry points they can use to further prevent entry to your home in the future.