Luckily, big hairy tarantulas, potentially dangerous spiders, and venomous scorpions do not exist in the state of Massachusetts, which is a fact that is much appreciated by arachnophobes in the state. While the black widow is spotted on very rare occasions within Massachusetts, they are almost unheard of in homes. However, this does not mean that residents won’t ever find scary-looking spider species within their home on occasion. For example spiders like the parson spider, wolf spiders and even the common house spider can appear intimidating enough to send some residents running. Another group of spiders that can be found in Massachusetts are from the Anyphaenidae family, and they are commonly known as “ghost spiders.”

More than 500 ghost spider species have been documented around the world. Most species have been found in South America, but 37 ghost spider species have been found within the United States. Ghost spiders naturally dwell within areas rich in vegetation, as these spiders consume sugary plant nectar. This food source gives ghost spiders so much energy that during their active season, they literally never stop skittering around at their maximum speeds. This allows ghost spiders to cover large areas of ground during the spring and summer seasons, and this is partly why they find their way into homes often. The most commonly encountered ghost spider species in Massachusetts is H. gracilis, and like all ghost spider species, these spiders possess specialized hairs that give them significant traction on smooth surfaces. In other words, there are very few surfaces that ghost spiders cannot scale vertically, and they are commonly found skittering across walls and ceilings within homes. According to a survey in New England, ghost spiders were spotted 71 times indoors and 47 times outdoors, and the vast majority of outdoor sights occurred within residential yards. These spiders are tan or light brown in color and they are not considered dangerous to humans, but their presence within homes can be considered unpleasant or even a nuisance in some cases.

Have you ever found a spider on your home’s ceiling?