Don’t be spooked if spiders creep indoors this fall, experts say

Oct 20, 2022, 5:17 PM

A spider's web hangs from blades of grass at dawn in Richmond Park in London, England. (Jack Taylor...

A spider's web hangs from blades of grass at dawn in Richmond Park in London, England. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

(Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — With the weekend forecast bringing colder weather, spiders are bound to make their way into homes any day now. A Utah State University extension in pest management wants to help prepare people for the creepy encounters.

As spiders near the end of their life cycles, they search for mates and a sheltered place to lay their egg sacks. Nick Volesky said it doesn’t need to be scary because most species of spiders in Utah are not a danger to humans, and are typically considered unaggressive or even docile.

In fact, spiders are highly beneficial to the environment and people. They prey on other pests and insects, and serve as an excellent source of food for the more preferable insects, birds, and wildlife in Utah.

Here are some common spiders you might encounter:

Cellar spiders:

  • found in cool, dark, moist places like basements and crawlspaces, or under furniture, etc.
  • brown, six eyes, long skinny legs
  • often build cobwebs in corners, on walls, and ceilings, to capture prey
  • female spider carries her eggs in her fangs
  • not a medical concern to humans, beneficial


Cellar spiders are named because of their habit of gathering in dark, cool, and moist places. (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

Wolf spiders:

  • found in plants or dirt, under objects, in piles of objects, etc.
  • brown or black, up to 2″ diameter, eight eyes in unique pattern
  • not likely to build webs, actively hunt other insects and spiders
  • Female spider carries egg sack under belly, and carries baby spiders (spiderlings) on her back
  • not of medical concern to humans, beneficial

Wolf spiders are aptly named because of their hunting methods, and capturing prey. (Utah State University)

Hobo spiders:

  • found in cracks and crevasses, gardens, dirt, plants, under rocks, ground level, pipes, tubs and sinks, etc.
  • body up to 3/8 inches long, hairy legs add diameter, fast moving, variety of colors but no stripe pattern on legs
    • many funnel web spiders often look similar, particularly hobo and grass spiders
  • builds funnel webs to catch prey
  • Female deposits eggs in fall, male dies after mating
  • do not cause necrotic lesions in humans, beneficial

Hobo spiders are one of the most common indoor spiders found in northern Utah. (Utah State University)

Here are ways to keep spiders and other pests out of your home:

  • Caulk, seal and screen all entry points into the building to exclude spiders.
  • Change exterior lighting from standard lights to sodium vapor bulbs to reduce insects attracted to the building.
  • Vacuum regularly to suck up spiders, webbing, and other insects which can serve as food for spiders.
  • Minimize clutter to reduce areas for spiders to hide, reproduce, and lay eggs.
  • Use sticky traps along baseboards to monitor and help control ground dwelling spiders.
  • Interior/exterior insect sprays are generally ineffective at reducing spider populations long-term, but may provide some short-term knockdown and repellency.
  • Insecticidal dusts can be used in low traffic areas such as boiler rooms, crawl spaces, and voids for longer residual control of spiders

If you have been bitten by a spider, Volesky said the only way to confirm what kind of spider bit you is to collect it and have it identified, which you can do through Utah State University Otherwise, a bite is rarely identifiable by symptoms.

The spider of medical concern in Utah is the black widow, but if you experience a reaction to a bite or symptoms mimic a severe bite, you may want to seek medical attention.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

IOC excludes Russian and Belarusian athletes from Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremonies....

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: How to stay ahead of the 2024 Olympics scams

As Utahns know firsthand from 2002, the Olympics can be a bit chaotic with millions in an unfamiliar place. The situation is sure to entice opportunistic con men with Olympic scams.

2 hours ago

overview of Moab, a city nestled in red rock...

Daniel Woodruff

New Moab development aims to put dent in workforce housing crisis

When we talk about Utah’s housing crisis, one of the most extreme examples is Moab. Housing there is scarce and expensive, especially for the workers who keep the tourist town running.

2 hours ago

pills with rainbow colors...

Debbie Worthen

New overdose task force in Utah launched, DEA claims it’s a success

The DEA is claiming that a new overduce-reduction task force in the state is a success. Some say otherwise.

2 hours ago

Matheson Courthouse...

Alexander Campbell

Nephi man sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for sex tourism

A Nephi man is spending up to 30 years in prison for his connection to sex tourism.

4 hours ago

Shelby Lofton and Mark Jones

Wildlife experts looking into possible tularemia outbreak among beavers in state

The Utah Department of Natural Resources has identified 10 animals that have died from tularemia — a disease that can be transmitted to humans.

5 hours ago

Indian Hills Middle School's Amy Shaw, showing her class her collection of pins from the 2002 Winte...

Shara Park

Utah teacher inspires students with her passion for the 2002 Winter Olympics

An Indian Hills Middle School teacher hopes her love for the Olympic Games will inspire her students to get excited about a possible 2034 return.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Don’t be spooked if spiders creep indoors this fall, experts say