Arachnophobia is, perhaps, one of the most common phobias along with claustrophobia and whatever the proper term is for having a fear of heights. As far as arachnophobes are concerned, there is not much on this planet more unsettling than a large and venomous spider species that commonly invades homes. Unless, of course, you take those features and add the ability to jump incredible distances from a stationary position. Unfortunately for arachnophobes living in Massachusetts, a spider species that fits this description to a T dwells within the state where they are often found pouncing toward people within indoor locations. This species is aptly known as the Putnam jumping spider, but another Massachusetts spider species, Trachelas sp, may be even more horrifying. This species, which is a sac spider that is commonly referred to as a running spider, is known for its amazingly fast movements and highly venomous bites, which sometimes lead to infection.

There exists numerous jumping spider species all around the world, but the Putnam jumping spider deserves its common name, as these arachnids are capable of jumping from stationary positions at a distance equal to five times their body length. In addition to being able to jump on a person at any time within their home, this species also possess significant amounts of hair and prominent eyes that reflect its unusual degree of visual acuity. This spider’s excellent vision is necessary in order to land on the insect prey that they ambush from faraway distances. The Putnam jumping spider is also known for its peculiar habit of staring at people before making sudden leaps toward their bodies. Although this spider species clearly enjoys scaring people, they are considered harmless and they only enter homes while hunting for prey.

Unlike the jumping spider, the common running spider in Massachusetts produces highly potent venom that has been known to cause excessive pain, and in some cases, infection at the sight of its bite wounds. These spiders are also blessed with the ability to catch just about any sort of prey they like, as they are among the fastest moving spider species known to humankind. To put it simply, don’t ever let anybody tell you that Massachusetts is free of hairy and venomous spider species.

Have you ever sustained a spider bite that became infected?