Crab Spiders

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Crab Spider Facts

  • Female crab spiders can be white, yellow or pale green and are much larger than their darker patterned, longer legged male counterparts.
  • Crab spiders prefer gardens, grassy areas and urban parks rather than indoor environments.
  • Crab spider bites leave two puncture wounds caused by the hollow fangs used to inject venom into their prey.

Spiders Photos

Crab Spider Bites & Treatment

Like any arachnid bite, crab spider bites leave two puncture wounds, produced by the hollow fangs used to inject venom into their prey. However, crab spiders are very timid, non-aggressive spiders that will flee from predators, if possible, rather than stand and fight. Crab spiders don’t build webs, but they do spin flat nests for their eggs on leaves of plants. The exception to this rule happens because female crab spiders will stand guard over their nests until their eggs hatch.

Crab spiders are equipped with venom powerful enough to kill prey much larger than themselves. While their venom isn’t dangerous to humans, as crab spiders are generally too small for their bites to break the skin, giant crab spider bites can be painful. Likened to striking your fingernail with a hammer, a bite on the fingernail can be excruciatingly painful, cause discoloration to the finger, with pain from the bite reaching the hand. The bite site may also swell but the bite symptoms subside after a few hours.

Manage crab spiders when found indoors. Due to the crab spider’s preferred habitat, it is very unlikely to find this type of spider inside. If you do happen to find one inside though, it is recommended that you gently capture the spider by scooting it into a cup, covering it, and releasing it outside. They are not harmful to humans and are a great way to control the population of other insects like bees, wasps, mosquitoes, and flies in your yard.

Some other tips for reducing the number of crab spiders in your home include:

  • Check all flowers and plants for crab spiders before you bring them inside, especially flowers recently cut from a garden.
  • Capture and discard or relocate individual spiders that have wandered inside because they reproduce rapidly.
  • Remove, or regularly inspect, any potted plants and flowers inside the home as this is the most likely spot a crab spider would reside in indoors.

Additional Information

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