Although spiders are commonly found in homes, yards and gardens, many people still suffer from anxiety when they encounter these eight-legged creatures. Most spiders are not poisonous to humans, and their bites do not cause serious effects. What's more, many small, brown spiders are beneficial insects that reduce the numbers of damaging pests in our homes and yards.

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Spiders often feed on damaging pests.

Funnel Weaver Spiders

Funnel weaver spiders are also known as grass spiders and are commonly mistaken for the poisonous brown recluse. The funnel weaver spider is brown, but it is darker than the brown recluse and has black markings on its abdomen. This spider is commonly seen in homes, shrubs and grass in the late summer and early fall. Spinning its silky web, the funnel weaver spider traps its prey and moves in quickly for the kill.

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders are often very small and brown in color. According to the University of Kentucky, wolf spiders range from as small as a pencil eraser to as large as a silver dollar. Wolf spiders often have markings or stripes on their back. This spider does not build webs and is quite fast. Homeowners are often dismayed to find this spider inside their homes, but the bite of a wolf spider is harmless unless the victim is allergic to the venom.

Orb Weavers

Orb weavers range from the very tiny to larger than a silver dollar. This spider is usually brown or tan but also comes in a variety of colors. Orb weavers spin webs which are in a grid shape and are commonly found in gardens and on front porches. This spider is especially active during the late-summer months and often wanders into homes to build its web. The bite of an orb weaver is not poisonous to humans.

Jumping Spiders

Jumping spiders are usually small, measuring less than 15 mm. This spider belongs to the family of spiders commonly known as salticids. Jumping spiders are brown, have a distinctive three-row eye placement and do not build webs. Instead, they hunt their prey during the daylight. In addition to brown, jumping spiders are often black, gray or even various vivid colors. Like the funnel weaver spider, jumping spiders are often mistaken for the dangerous brown recluse spider.