Arachnophobes may not find anything redeeming about jumping spiders, but some people find these spiders fascinating on account of their large eyes, furry exteriors and decorative bodily designs. Jumping spiders belong to the Salticidae family, and more than 4,000 species have been documented around the world, 300 of which can be found in the United States and Canada. Some of the most commonly encountered species include bold jumpers, zebra jumpers, bronze jumpers and emerald jumpers. Jumping spider infestations are not unheard of, and although these spiders are relatively small in body size, many species can be quite intimidating when encountered indoors. For example, the bold jumper, as its name suggests, is able to hop into the air, covering a distance that exceeds four times its body length. Unsurprisingly, these spiders often land on humans when they gain access into homes. Luckily, jumping spiders are not known to inflict medically significant bites to humans, but most species will not hesitate to bite if mishandled. These bites may induce a stinging sensation comparable to the pain caused by a bee sting, but this sensation often lasts for several seconds to no more than an hour.
A minority of jumping spider species are widely distributed across the US, one of these species, the bronze jumper, is often found in residential yards and occasionally within homes in the northeast. This species is usually found outdoors, but a survey of spider sightings report half of all bronze jumper encounters as occurring indoors. Females of this species rarely grow beyond .35 of an inch in body length, while males are slightly smaller, making these dark-colored spiders easy to miss. However, during the fall, these spiders often aggregate on the interior and exterior walls of homes. The emerald jumper is another widely distributed jumping spider species, as they can be found in a variety of environments, including arid southwest, the humid southeast, and the temperate northeast. These spiders are often found around homes, and during the fall, it is not uncommon to find them indoors. Unlike the bronze jumper, the emerald jumper is hard to miss, as their bodies are covered with iridescent scales that change color depending on the observer’s point of view. Females of this species rarely grow beyond a half inch in body length, and just like all jumping spiders, this species is considered harmless to humans.
Have you ever found a jumping spider within your home?