Spiders are one of the most commonly encountered pests in Arizona. Spiders are also one of the stealthiest pests, tending to lurk in out-of-the-way locations where they can blend in with their surroundings. Often, this stealthy behavior means that people are quite startled when they notice that a spider is present, making it more difficult for them to identify the type of spider and evaluate the potential for risk that it represents. The following list of the types of spiders that are commonly found in Arizona can help with identification.

“Most of Arizona’s spiders and arachnids are harmless, but there are a few of the top 10 that will have you running the other way.”

  1. Arizona brown spidersIf you see what looks like a recluse spider, inspect it from a safe distance. It may be an Arizona brown spider that is related to the recluse, but completely harmless. The brown spider only has three pairs of eyes, instead of the four pairs of a brown recluse spider. If you aren’t sure, don’t take any chances, call the professionals.


  1. Black widows Beware of spider webs that have a messy appearance. Black widows prefer to stay inside their web. They often live in piles of wood or rock and are nocturnal. A black widow isn’t aggressive until it feels it’s being attacked. If you get bit, call 911 or head to the emergency room immediately.


  1. Brown recluse spiders You can identify a brown recluse by looking at its eyes, which are arranged in four rows of two. Despite popular belief, not all recluses have the violin marking on their bodies. If you think you see this Arizona spider, call Cummings Termite and Pest to inspect your home.


  1. Daddy long legs spiders Also known as harvestmen, these spiders are sometimes feared as a dangerous arachnid. A daddy long legs cannot harm people. The spider appears threatening since its body is perched up high on stilt-like legs. However, it’s considered a very beneficial Arizona spider because it traps nuisance insects.


  1. Funnel-Web or grass spiders These Arizona spiders have long, thin legs that attach to a brown and white body. They live underground and spin funnel-like webs above the entrance to their dens to capture insects. They are harmless.


  1. Jumping spiders These tiny spiders are difficult to see, but they’re one of the most common in the desert. They have the best eyesight of all the Arizona spiders and hunt during the day. Jumping spiders are not harmful to anything other than the insects they eat.


  1. Scorpions Scorpions are perhaps one of the most feared desert arachnids. The bark scorpion has an extremely painful sting, and it can be toxic to the very young, old, or allergic. They range from one to two inches long, have a narrow body, and do not spin a web. There are many types of scorpions in Arizona. They live in dark places where food and water are readily available.


  1. Sun spiders These spiders are often confused with scorpions because of their coloring and size. The sun spider is harmless to humans. They can eat mice, roaches, snakes, and lizards.


  1. Tarantulas As the largest spider in the world, a tarantula may look intimidating. While they could bite, their venom is not lethal, though it may cause discomfort for a few days. Tarantulas have a high tolerance for provocation before they attack.


  1. Wolf spiders This spider has eight eyes with two of them prominently on their head. It does not spin webs and prefers to hide in a burrow. It’s a nocturnal hunter that stalks its prey and pounces on it. A wolf spider will bite if provoked; but medical research has determined that the venom, while irritating, isn’t deadly. Removing clutter, both inside and outside your home, can help reduce the number of spots these arachnids have to hide. If you like to leave your clothes in a stack on the floor, remember that they consider this an ideal home. Piles of wood and cardboard boxes also make a cozy, undisturbed home for Arizona spiders and arachnids.


Arizona spiders and arachnids are generally harmless and help keep other pesky insects at bay. However, a few varieties can be very painful if they bite or sting you. If you find an unidentified spider, webbing, or a nest in or around your home, call Cummings Termite and Pest for a home inspection.