Most discussions of Kansas Spiders start with the Brown Recluse spider.
No doubt about it, Brown Recluse spiders are common in Kansas. One Kansas State researcher went as far as saying during the spring through fall, they are probably in every house in Kansas.
No doubt about it, the bite of a Brown Recluse is cause for medical concern. Their venom contains hemotoxin, same as a rattlesnake. Bites cause tissue degeneration. fortunately, the probability of death is very low.
At issue is how to insure that concern about Brown Recluse does not translate into a state with residents paralyzed by fear of spiders.
On a yearly basis, local media reminds residents it is Brown Recluse season, and to keep the name Recluse at the top of their minds. Despite the widespread presence of the spider, it really, really, really does not want to engage with humans.
Consider the following research article An Infestation of 2,055 Brown Recluse Spiders and No Envenomations in a Kansas Home begins:
During a 6-mo period, 2,055 brown recluse spiders, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik, were collected in a 19th-century-built, currently occupied home in Lenexa, KS. We conservatively estimate that at least 400 of these spiders were large enough to cause envenomation. Additional collections from more typically infested homes in Missouri and Oklahoma in 45 and 30 brown recluse spiders, respectively. Despite these infestations, no envenomations of the inhabitants of these three homes occurred.
Holy Guacamole Batman!
Keeping an eye out for Brown Recluse in the home and checking clothes, socks and shoes before putting them on appears to be the best way to stay safe. Brown Recluse really, really, really do not want to engage with humans.
As for other Kansas spiders, consider them beneficial creatures that help with pest management in the home and garden.
The small gallery of spider pictures that follows covers a couple dozen of the most common home and garden spiders.
Visitors interested in addition spider identification tips are invited to press the spiders button. It leads to articles with larger pictures and more detailed information covering one hundred spider species.
Banded Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Six Spotted Orbweaver
Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona domiciliorum)
Hentz Orbweaver (Neoscona)
Arabesque Orbweaver (Neoscona)
Bold Jumping Spider
Golden Jumping Spider
Common House Spider
Triangulate House Spider
Striped Lynx Spider
Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)
Funnel Web Spider (Grass Spider)
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Common House Spiderd and Garden Spiders
Many of the orb weaving spiders in he first column are large and colorful, making them easy to identify. Additionally species such as spotted orbweavers and garden spiders are fairly common in most of the United States.
The picture shows a Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus), also commonly called bridge spiders. They also have a distinct pattern on the back of their abdomen and they often build their webs near or on bridges.
Many of the common house spiders such as cellar spiders and cobweb spiders fit into the web category. Add in common hunting spiders such as ground spiders and jumping spiders, and that translates into both web spiders and hunting spiders sharing space with humans on a day to day basis.
Cobweb spiders also fit into the common house spider category. The Triangulate House Spider and the Common House spider (Parasteatoda-tepidariorum) represent two cobweb spider species that rank as two of the most common house spiders from coast to coast.
A couple of additional Stedota species go by the name False Widow spiders and they often wander indoors.
That leaves the widow spiders of the Genus Latrodectus to discuss. Both Southern and Western Black Widows can be found in the state.
While they normally build nests low to the ground in brush and woodpiles, occasionally one can be found indoors. Only the females are spiders of medical importance. Females of both Kansas species are dark black with a red hourglass marking on the bottom of the abdomen.
Jumping spiders are probably the biggest group of spiders in Kansas. Bold Jumping Spiders and Golden Jumpers are common in yards from spring through fall. There’s a good possibility some will wander into the house.
Another of the interesting Kansas spiders, Woodlouse spiders, belong to the small group of spiders with six eyes. Their stout, hairless bodies grow over one half-inch in length with an additional couple of inches added for the legs.
They often live around residential areas and indoor shelters help them live for a few years. It also means they can live year round in many locations, although they might not be scene during the winter period.
Their large size and aggressive nature when handled by humans, makes them an imposing species. Fear not, there’s no evidence their bites cause anything other than some localized pain.