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Common Arizona spiders

The climate and environment in Arizona are both generally favorable to spiders year-round, so spiders can often be found in yards and homes. There are many different species of spiders in Arizona, some of which can be poisonous, deliver a painful bite, and even cause adverse reactions. Knowing the defining characteristics of common Arizona spiders can help you understand the best way to deal with spiders and spider bites. Listed below are a few of the most common spiders found in Arizona.

If you have a spider infestation on your property, contact your local Western Exterminator. An infestation can indicate a different underlying pest issue that needs to be addressed in order to prevent spiders. Let us help you!

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Arizona brown spider

The Arizona brown spider is a relative of the more common brown recluse spider. This species is native to Arizona, but its symptoms are not as severe as those from the brown recluse. Brown recluse spiders are found in Arizona, but it is rare to see one. These types of spiders are known to be dangerous because of their venom. They like to hide in rocks and woodpiles, so Arizona home residents should be particularly careful when doing yard work.

  • Description: ⅓” in size with a leg span of one to one and a half inches; Brown in color with slightly darker brown markings on their head that resemble the shape of a violin.
  • Web: Mostly found in dark, dingy areas and are loosely constructed.
  • Habitat: Dry, dark, dingy areas near sheds, woodpiles, garages, and closets.
  • Aggression: Not aggressive and only bite when provoked or disturbed.
  • Bite risk: Potentially dangerous to humans; the most common reaction is a spreading sore at the site of the bite that can cause permanent tissue damage if left untreated.
Arizona brown spider

Black widow spider

Arizona provides the ideal climate for black widow spiders. Most homes in Arizona provide the food and shelter that black widows need and thrive on. Black widows love to hide in dark places, so they usually go unseen until a person accidentally steps on one or in a nesting area.

  • Description: Male black widows are about ½ inch to ¾ inch in size, with shiny black bodies; Female black widows are identifiable by the red hourglass shape on the abdomen and can grow to be five inches with a leg span between one and a half to two inches.
  • Web: Prefer hiding spots under stones and debris and may hide under clutter in garages and other areas of low traffic.
  • Habitat: Indoors, they prefer dark, dingy, and secluded areas like home foundations, plant bases, and corners. Outdoors, they are known to be terrestrial and can be found in children’s sandboxes, shrubs, and woodpiles.
  • Aggression: Females can be aggressive.
  • Bite risk: Females can cause serious illness and even death to humans. If bitten, there is an effective anti-venom available, so victims should seek medical assistance right away.
Black widow spider

Grass spiders

Grass spiders are often confused with wolf spiders and hobo spiders, but the three lighter lines on the head of the grass spider distinguish it from the other two species. The grass spider is a shy creature, so if you happen to spot one, don’t expect it to stay around for long.

  • Description: Light and dark brown with very thin legs and a narrow abdomen and torso; about ¾” in size.
  • Web: Make large sheet webs with a funnel for retreat; Build webs close to the ground in grass or shrubs.
  • Habitat: Live in grass and low-lying bushes; Are rarely found indoors.
  • Aggression: Not aggressive, but may bite when cornered.
  • Bite risk: Low risk to humans — not poisonous, but are venomous.
Grass spiders


One of the most well-known Arizona spiders is the tarantula, as they favor desert environments. Tarantulas are one of the largest spiders found in Arizona, measuring anywhere from five and a half to six inches in length with a leg span of approximately six inches. There are 30 species of tarantulas in Arizona, with the Desert tarantula being the most common.

  • Description: Black or brown body with distinctive hairy legs; can grow to six inches in size.
  • Web: Do not spin webs; have burrows that they guard and live in.
  • Habitat: Grasslands, burrows, deserts, and abandoned dens.
  • Aggression: Not aggressive, but will bite when provoked.
  • Bite risk: Will deliver a painful bite that is similar to a wasp sting if threatened. Tarantula venom is harmless to humans, but the venom and the urticating hairs can cause allergic reactions and irritation to humans.

Wolf spider

Also commonly found in Arizona are wolf spiders. While these hunter spiders have a terrifying appearance, they are relatively harmless to humans. Wolf spiders are famous for being able to camouflage themselves. They are nocturnal and will roam around at night in search of prey.

  • Description: Black, grey, tan, and white in color with thicker legs for walking rather than hanging in a web; ½” to 1” in size; have eight eyes arranged in three rows.
  • Web: Do not spin webs, but rather actively hunt prey.
  • Habitat: Live in and around homes, gardens, open grass fields, and places with a lot of insects.
  • Aggression: Not aggressive, but will bite freely if provoked.
  • Bite risk: Bites can cause pain and swelling; You can be allergic to a wolf spider’s venom, but they are not poisonous.
Wolf spider

What is the most dangerous spider in Arizona?

The Black widow is the most venomous spider in North America, making it the most dangerous spider in Arizona. Female black widows have a very aggressive, powerful bite and their venom is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. A lot of times, black widow spiders go unidentified, since, on average, they are only about a half of an inch long. If you can see the red hourglass on the back of a black widow, it probably means you are too close.

Western Exterminator can get rid of spiders

Spiders can be beneficial, but too many of them can be a problem. If you are seeing too many of the above common Arizona spiders, contact Western Exterminator today.

Our specialists will find out why spiders are choosing your home to build their webs and live there. We will eliminate the spiders that are already there and prevent spiders from returning. Contact us now!

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