The C. bennetti spider species, commonly known as the hacklemesh weaver spider, is well distributed throughout the state of Massachusetts. Residents of the state often find these spiders within their homes, which can be alarming considering the hacklemesh spider’s resemblance to the notorious brown recluse species. Like the brown recluse, the hacklemesh spider is brown-colored, but they do not possess the “dark violin” design found on the cephalothorax of the brown recluse spider species. The hacklemesh spider species’ abdomen features a column of lines that are shaped like the letter “V”, which cannot be found on the brown recluse species. Although the hacklemesh spider may not be a welcome presence within Massachusetts homes, the spiders do not inflict medically significant bites, but their bites are known for causing a significant degree of pain.

Hacklemesh spiders naturally dwell within woodlands and grassy areas where they can be found under rocks, under logs, and beneath tree bark. These spiders can also appear in residential lawns in Massachusetts where they may wonder into homes. This species is known for building unsightly webs within houses that resemble cobwebs. Females plant their eggs on these webs, and the spiders often make a home in dark areas of residential structures, most notably basements and cellars. Unlike many spider species, hacklemesh spiders have been found gathering together around certain areas of a home during the spring, summer and fall in Massachusetts. For example, one couple from Sutton found eight hacklemesh spiders gathered together near the doorway of their home. When the homeowner approached the shy spiders they immediately scattered in order to find shelter beneath the doormat and door sweep. After a few months of living in the home, the couple managed to take several photos of the spiders due to their frequent indoor presence. However, the couple also claimed that caution should be exercised when playing around with these spiders, as they will inflict painful stings.

Do you think that you may have found a hacklemesh spider within your home in the past?