Spiders | Des Moines, IA

Most spiders found in Iowa are relatively harmless. However, there are a select few to be wary of. Learn about the most common Iowa spiders below!

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider Appearance

Wolf spiders are moderate to large in size (1/4" to 1" long) with dark brown and slightly hairy bodies.

Wolf Spider Behavior and Diet

Typically, wolf spiders can be seen living close to the foundation on the exterior of your home in window wells, around landscaping rocks and retaining walls. They commonly hunt during the day or at night when it is warm. Wolf spiders eat crickets, flies, cockroaches and beetles. They can be alarming because of their large size and rapid movements.

Wolf Spider Reproduction

Female wolf spiders produce egg sacs that spiderlings emerge from. The spiderlings go through a series of stages before becoming adults.

Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow Sac Spider Appearance

Yellow sac spiders are small to medium sized (1/5" to 2/5" long) and yellowish or light colored.

Yellow Sac Spider Behavior and Diet

This species of spider is normally found on foliage or the ground. Yellow sac spiders hunt at night, feed on small insects and hide during the day in a silken tube or sac, from which they take their name. Outdoors, yellow sac spiders will usually roll up leaves into a tube, or choose to live under stones. Inside homes, yellow sac spiders are found in a variety of places, including high-up on walls, near ceilings.

Yellow Sac Spider Reproduction

Yellow sac spiders will breed in early summer. The females tend to mate only once and produce up to five egg sacs with each sac containing approximately 40 eggs.

Fishing Spider

Fishing Spider Appearance

Fishing spiders are among the largest in the Midwest, getting up to as big as 3 inches. They are brown or gray in color with white markings.

Fishing Spider Behavior and Diet

Fishing spiders are typically seen near ponds, swamps, or slow-moving streams, but some may be found at considerable distances from water. Fisher spiders can "skate" across the water and dive underneath to capture prey. In addition to insects, fisher spiders also can catch tadpoles, small fish, and other small vertebrate animals.

Fishing Spider Reproduction

Fishing spider egg cases are typically deposited in June and carried around the female until the spiderlings are about to hatch. Fishing spiderlings can be found between July and September.

House Spider

House Spider Appearance

A common type of spider found indoors is the American house spider, also called the common house spider. It is grayish to brownish with chevron-like markings on its abdomen and a body length of over 1/4 inch long.

House Spider Behavior and Diet

The house spider is known for making a loose tangle of web in secluded and undisturbed areas of the house such as basements and crawl spaces. The webs are designed as a trapping tool for prey. Though the house spider primarily consumes insects, they also eat rodents, other large spiders, small reptiles, etc.

House Spider Reproduction

Female house spiders can produce as many as 250 eggs in each sac. The lifespan of a house spider can be up to 1 year.

Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse Appearance

Adult brown recluse spiders vary in color from a dark brown to a yellow. Adults can grow to 3 to 4 cm in length.

Brown Recluse Behavior and Diet

Brown recluse spiders are known to be a shy species of spider and do not bite unless provoked. They are typically found in dark, sheltered places such as barns, basements, etc. The brown recluse spider is a hunter; therefore, they do create webs to catch their prey.

Brown Recluse Reproduction

Female brown recluses can produce one to five egg sacs that contain upwards of 300 eggs. The eggs take about a month to hatch, and full development can take a year.

Cobweb Spiders

Cobweb Spider Appearance

The cobweb spider is a small to medium-sized spider (about 1/8- to 3/8-inch long) that has a rounded, globular abdomen, small cephalothorax (the term used to refer to the head and abdomen), and are brownish or gray color.

Cobweb Spider Behavior and Diet

Cobweb spiders are members of a large group, also called the comb-footed spiders, and are very common both outdoors and indoors.They are sedentary and construct tangled webs for which the group is named. Webs are built in undisturbed, out-of-the-way places such as wood and stone piles and quiet areas of buildings, such as basements. The cobweb spider tends to prey on other arthropods such as ants, pillbugs, ticks, and other spiders.

Cobweb Spider Reproduction

Female cobweb spiders mate in late spring to early fall. Each of their egg sacs can contain upwards of 30 eggs.

Cellar Spiders

Cellar Spider Appearance

Cellar spiders are 1/3 inch long, pale gray to light tan in color and have long delicate legs (resembling the daddy-longlegs).

Cellar Spider Behavior and Diet

Cellar spiders are common in dark, secluded places such as crawlspaces, basements, and cellars (as the name implies). Like the cobweb spiders, the cellar spiders build a loose, irregular web in corners near the ceiling or floor to catch its prey.

Cellar Spider Reproduction

Different from most other spiders, cellar spiders breed throughout the whole year. Due to always being the move, the female cellar spider carries its eggs wrapped in a silk net in between her jaws.

Orb Weaver Spiders

Orb Weaver Appearance

The orb weaver spider can range in size from small to large (1/8- to 1-inch long) and are found in a variety of colors, some being brightly colored. Orb spiders have large, swollen-looking abdomens, including some that are oddly shaped. Despite their large size and bright coloration, orb weaver spiders are not dangerous.

Orb Weaver Behavior and Diet

Orb weaver spiders are common spiders outdoors in gardens, fields, and landscapes. They are rarely found indoors. The orb weaver spiders make the familiar "typical" spider web of concentric circles and radiating lines.

Orb Weaver Reproduction

The female orb weaver is substantially larger than the male. That said, it is common for the male to be the female's first meal right after mating. The females will produce about one or more egg sacs with each sac containing upwards of several hundred eggs.

Funnel Weaver Spiders

Funnel Weaver Appearance

Funnel weaver spiders are generally brownish or grayish with stripes near the head and a pattern on the abdomen. They are moderate-sized (2/3-inch long).

Funnel Weaver Behavior and Diet

Funnel weaver spiders produce a flat, horizontal web with a small funnel-like retreat off to one side. Webs are commonly built on the ground, around steps, window wells, foundations, and low shrubs. The funnel weavers diet primarily consists of insects though they are known to eat other weaver spiders.

Funnel Weaver Reproduction

Female funnel weaver spiders live by their webs the majority of their life. Therefore, they wait for a male weaver to find them. Since most of the females time is spent catching its prey to have the strength to mate and produce eggs, the female will die shortly after reproducing.

Des Moines Pest Control

Does your home or business have spider infestation problems? Preferred Pest can help! As the leading Des Moines exterminator, our technicians will take care of your spider problems efficiently and effectively. Don't wait, schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (515) 415-5550 today!