Image via flickr by Schristia
Jumping spiders are one of the most unique and diverse types of spiders. Despite their small size, many can look very frightening. While they are not dangerous and do not spread disease, an overwhelming jumping spider population is a pest control issue you’ll want to resolve. Take a look at our guide on these various arachnids to learn what makes them different from others and how to get rid of jumping spiders.
Jumping spiders comprise more than 6,000 species in the group Salticidae, the largest family of spiders. Today, 13% of all documented spider species classify as jumping spiders, so their appearance and behavior can vary significantly. Instead of building their webs in open areas to catch flies or other passing creatures, jumping spiders explore and hunt for their prey. Like most spiders, though, they use their silk to build webs and to leave a dragline as they explore, which they can use to retreat if they get stuck or are in danger.
Jumping spiders are generally slow-moving but have sharp vision and can jump far and accurately to capture prey or escape threats. They can leap both laterally and up to 20 times their body height. Most species eat insects and other arthropods, and they hunt during the day, often along walls or floors.
Jumping spiders are small, only reaching about half an inch long, and they have an unusual appearance. Unlike the typical spider with a small body and long, high legs, jumping spiders are short and stubby. They have four pairs of eyes, with the middle pair being quite large for their bodies.
Jumping spiders are nothing if not distinct. They are covered in lots of bristly hairs, which can vary in color, especially on the abdomen, where they’ll look orange, yellow, red, or even white. Their jaws can be bright blue or green. Some species have large front legs that look like scorpion claws. Jumping spiders are so diverse that a few species have evolved to imitate their prey.
With such a distinct and broad group of species, jumping spiders live in nearly every part of the world. Most species live in tropical climates, but every continent other than Antarctica has jumping spiders adapted to the local environment. Scientists have even found a species living on the slopes of Mount Everest.
Jumping spiders prefer living in enclosed areas, which makes them fond of houses and apartments. You’ll usually find them in places where other insects are likely to be, such as near windows and outer doors.
Because jumping spiders aren’t nocturnal and will hunt during the day, they are easy to spot. Although their venom is powerful enough to incapacitate insects that are much larger than them, they rarely bite out of self-defense, and their toxin poses no threat to humans. The only real concern jumping spiders pose is an aesthetic one. Seeing them frequently in your home can be annoying or distressing, especially when they jump suddenly.
The first issue to address with a jumping spider problem is how they are getting inside your home. Check the building’s exterior for any window sealing issues, open pipes, foundation cracks, or other possible pest entrances. Keep in mind that jumping spiders are tiny and can access the smallest of openings. Store dead natural material such as firewood away from your home, if possible. Do not store it in a garage or shed if you can keep it outside on a raised platform.
Excessive spider populations are signs that your home has a lot of insects and other pests that spiders feed on. Keeping your home clean and pursuing pest control measures for insects might help prevent jumping spiders from moving in.
If you know or suspect that you are dealing with a spider infestation on your property, fill out the easy home assessment form. The experts on the Bulwark team will contact you and help diagnose the exact pest and how to remove it.
Like many animals, male jumping spiders typically have prominent color patterns to attract females. Their species have unique and complex courtships, with the males dancing to show off the iridescent hairs on their bodies. Males also show off their agility, performing various sliding, leaping, and vibrating movements. If impressed, the female stays still and allows the male to breed with her. The number of eggs she produces, gestation time, and other factors vary depending on the species.
Unlike the average spider, which has thin and twiggy legs that allow it to climb over a web, a jumping spider’s legs are small and strong, able to build pressure with body fluids and kick off a surface. Also, while most spiders only breathe through specialized lungs in their abdomens, jumping spiders breathe through their mouths, as well; this gives them the extra oxygen necessary to carry out sudden, intense activity such as jumping away from danger.
Jumping spiders are some of the sharpest-visioned arthropods in the world. They can see prey clearly from up to 18 inches, which is 32 times their average body length; this would be similar to a 5-foot-tall human being able to clearly see someone’s face from 180 feet away.
While these little arachnids are amazingly diverse and important to the ecosystem, they can reproduce out of control and make your home less welcoming. Contact the pest control experts at Bulwark to get a thorough, professional look at any pest problem. The sooner you find and address a potential pest population, the easier it will be to control.