Common Household Spiders in Kentucky

Spiders commonly found in Kentucky don't necessarily want to be found. If you find a spider in your home, chances are it is an "accidental invader" and was living quite happily outside under a rock or near a stream. The black widow, not mentioned below, is the most poisonous spider known to man and, while occasionally found in Kentucky it is found only very rarely. Apart from the daddy long-legs spider and the orb spider, the below arachnids are the most common spiders found in homes.

Spider spinning web, close-up
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Close up of spider on web.

Wolf Spider

Close up of spider
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Wolf spider.

Perhaps the scariest looking of the arachnid family, the wolf spider, is the most common household spider in Kentucky. This spider, also known as the ground spider, is dark brown, black or grey in color. While it is commonly found in homes, it is not meant to be and is called an "accidental invader." Wolf spiders are actually happiest in grassy or leaf-covered areas. Wolf spiders do not weave webs. They will bite if disturbed and are commonly confused with the brown recluse spider. However, wolf spiders move quickly and openly across a floor, while brown recluse spiders are most apt to stay hidden.

Funnel Web Spider

Spider in web
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Web spider.

Common to Kentucky is the funnel web spider, which looks very much like the wolf spider with silk spinning tubes on the abdomen. When you see webs in the dew in the morning, they are most likely spun by a funnel web spider. This spider is happiest under rocks and in grass; rarely will it come indoors. Again, if found indoors, the funnel web has become an "accidental invader."

Fishing Spider

Garden spider
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Fishing spider.

The fishing spider is one of the largest spiders in the United States. This one looks like a wolf spider as well, yet is found more in moist habitats such as basements and other damp parts of buildings. Also found near streams and other bodies of water, the fishing spider is an active hunter and may bite if provoked.

Brown Spider

Spider in the bath
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Brown spider.

Perhaps one of the most feared spiders, alongside the tarantula, is the brown spider, also known as the brown recluse spider. Usually there is a very visible violin-shaped marking on the top back of the brown recluse. This spider has six eyes (other types have eight eyes) and weaves sticky webs to trap its prey. The brown recluse will bite if provoked and has one of the most dangerous spider bites in the United States. The poison from a brown recluse bite can cause tissue damage and may even, in worst-case situations, require surgery to treat the wound. Kentucky is one of the "home" states of the brown recluse spider.