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What to Know About Jumping Spiders

Medically Reviewed by Mahammad Juber, MD on April 09, 2022

Jumping spiders are a wide group of spiders consisting of around 4,000 species worldwide. There are about 300 species in the United States. 

Jumping spiders live primarily in outdoor areas like gardens, trees, and woods. They can enter homes while chasing their prey. 

These spiders are carnivores and feed on smaller insects and spiders. Jumping spiders do not spin webs to hunt their prey. They have strong vision that helps them catch their prey by sneaking and jumping. 

These spiders are not dangerous for humans and pets as they don’t generally bite. But they can bite when they sense danger. Jumping spider bite symptoms are mild and heal within a few hours.

What is a Jumping Spider?

Jumping spiders are included in the family Salticidae. The most common jumping spiders belong to the genus Phidippus and are known as Phidippus audax.

They are relatively smaller than other spiders and are common around homes and gardens. 

These spiders have an impressive vision. They don’t need to build a web or detect vibrations to catch their prey. Instead, they rely on their vision to spot their prey’s movement, and then catch them by jumping directly upon them. 

These spiders can jump distances 10 to 40 times greater than their actual body size. They are more active in the daytime, when they hunt their prey. 

These spiders are also known for their mating dance. Male spiders do intricate movements to send signals to the females for courtship. These movements prevent female spiders from eating male spiders.

If a female accepts a male’s invitation, she allows safe mating.

How to Identify Jumping Spiders

Jumping spiders are shorter than 1 centimeter in length. Color is the most important factor for jumping spider identification. Compared with other spiders, they are far more colorful, and commonly have bright coloration all over their body. 

You will see these spiders in different shades of reds, whites, and metallic greens, especially around their chelicerae (jaws). Phidippus audax males are black with metallic green jaws and white spots on their abdomens. Other species may have red abdomens.

Many jumping spiders use their bright colors to attract females for mating and avoid being eaten. 

These spiders have eight eyes, which are quite different from the compound eyes of insects. Their head and thorax are fused (cephalothorax) and one pair of their eyes is larger and located on the cephalothorax’s front. 

The giant eyes have a great resolution that detects distances like a human eye. The smaller eyes are excellent for detecting motion and are less sensitive. 

Jumping spiders can rotate their eye’s retina but can’t move the lens. When the retina moves, their eye color changes. This way, you can see when these spiders are detecting your movements. 

Are Jumping Spiders Dangerous to Humans?

Jumping spiders are harmless to humans. They are carnivorous, but they don’t target humans for food. They instead feed on other insects and spiders that are equal to or smaller in size. 

They can be harmful when they feel cornered or threatened.

Do Jumping Spiders Bite?

Jumping spiders don’t usually bite unless they sense danger. They can bite when it comes to their survival. 

Jumping spider bites symptoms are mild. The bites can even be asymptomatic, meaning that you won’t feel any symptoms. These bites resemble mosquito bites and are not as serious as a bee sting.

You may feel pain in rare cases when the bite penetrates your skin. This may result in redness, stinging, and swelling. 

If you are bitten, wash the affected area with water and soap. Then, suppress any swelling with a cold compress. If you still feel jumping spider bites symptoms, take aspirin and acetaminophen to relieve the pain. These pain-relievers are for adults only.

Seek medical attention immediately if the symptoms worsen.

How to Get Rid of Jumping Spiders

Spiders don’t require insecticides or pesticides to eliminate as they rarely infest homes. The simplest way to get rid of jumping spiders is to capture and release them outside. 

Three methods can help you ward off the jumping spiders without causing any injury.

Mason Jars

You can capture the jumping spiders by placing a drinking glass or mason jar over them. Then, lift the glass jar slowly and slide in a paper or card underneath the spider. The spider will jump onto the card. Then, take the card outdoors and release them safely. 

If it’s hard for you to carry spiders outdoors, you can use screw-topped jars. These jars have larger openings that allow you to pick up spiders of all sizes easily. 

Critter-Catchers

Another method is to use critter-catchers already available in the market. Make sure to buy a non-lethal one that consists of a soft bristle trap. The trap is attached to the handle that helps you pick up the spider safely, even from distances.

Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners can help you remove spiders living in narrow and high corners of your home. Jumping spiders don’t build webs, but they can live on your shelves or any wooded area. Use your vacuum cleaner to pick up the spider and dispose of the vacuum bag outside. 

How to Prevent Jumping Spiders From Entering Your Home

You can easily prevent free-roaming jumping spiders from coming into your home. Jumping spiders prefer living outside, but they may accidentally enter indoors while chasing their prey. 

Jumping spiders don’t like dry habitats. You can run a dehumidifier in the areas with suspected leaks and water issues to dry out these areas. This will discourage spiders from entering your home or living in it for long. 

You can also prevent jumping spiders from entering by:

  • Sealing windows and vents
  • Using caulks to secure all crevices and cracks
  • Screening vents

If nothing works, it’s better to consult a professional pest control service. These companies have access to several chemicals and tools that you can’t find easily on the market. 

If you’re not sure whether a jumping spider has bitten you, the best way is to consult a healthcare provider at your earliest convenience. They can identify the jumping spider bite symptoms and guide you accordingly.

Show Sources

SOURCES:

BOHART Museum of Entomology University of California, Davis: “Jumping Spiders.”

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station: “Spiders Found in the House.”

National Pest Management Association: “Jumping Spiders.”

Washington State University: “Jumping Spider.”

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