Just about everyone has found spiders within their home, and most people have found spiders that are particularly large, fast and altogether frightening to look at. The most commonly feared spiders exist within hot tropical or desert regions. For example, the largest spider in the world, commonly known as the Goliath bird-eater, is abundant in central and northern South America, and other excessively large tarantulas are by no means rare in southern regions of the United States. However, even residents of relatively cold northern regions are not exempt from occasional indoor spider sightings. Although highly venomous spider species, such as black widow species and the brown recluse are not native to Maine, other large and unsettling spiders like wolf, parson, fisher, jumping and house spiders are found frequently within homes in the state. Not long ago, researchers searched every region of Maine, including seashores, salt marshes, gravel surfaces, schools and homes for spider species. The results turned up hundreds of species, many of which are often found within homes, buildings and other manmade structures.

The Researchers searched the surroundings of Milbridge Elementary School and found a total of 17 invasive spider species, several of which were likely to inhabit the school. A total of 98 invasive spider species were found in domestic habitats, which included interiors and exteriors of houses, garages, sheds, barns, screened houses, seashore cottages, and both public and private professional buildings, such as businesses and schools. Other domestic habitats included boats, canoes, patios, hot tubs, lawn furniture, ornamental shrubs, trees, compost bins, and vegetable and flower gardens. Of these 98 species, 15 were unique to domestic habitats. One of these indoor-dwelling spider species was the Asagenea americana, formerly known as the Steatoda americana. This species is more commonly known as the “two-spotted cobweb weaver,” and they are one of the most commonly collected indoor spider species in most homes in the US and up into Canada. Most of the other 15 species that dwell within domestic habitats in Maine were cobweb spinners, such as S. borealis, or cellar spiders, like Pholcus manueli. Most wolf spider species are somewhat large and they travel constantly in search of prey, which brings them into homes on occasion, but only temporarily. However, one wolf spider species, pardosa saxatilis, also known as the “small wolf spider,” maintains a largely domestic presence. While most domestic spider species were small in size, some larger species included A. cavitacus (barn spider), and Philodromus vulgaris as females from both of these species grow to be nearly three fourths of an inch in length. Two other large domestic species include the running crab spider and the eastern parson spider. The geographical origin of some of these species is under dispute.

Have you ever found a wolf spider within your home?