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The Woodlouse Spider: Nature’s Tiny Predator in Your Home

February 09, 2024

By Rachel Maldonado

The Woodlouse Spider: Nature’s Tiny Predator in Your Home

Meet the woodlouse spider – nature’s tiny own gifted predator, right inside your home. These fascinating arachnids are some of the coolest creatures you’ll find. 

Aside from their unique, somewhat sci-fi-esque appearance, they’re also natural pest controllers. They do an incredibly efficient job of keeping pests in your home under control!

Without further ado, let’s explore the intriguing world of woodlouse spiders.

Appearance and Habits

At first glance, you might mistake the woodlouse spider (Dysdera crocata) for a brown recluse or other type of brown spider, but look closer, and you’ll see that they are uniquely different, namely in their color (which is noticeably lighter) and anatomy.

For starters, the woodlouse spider has a broad, rounded body and is typically rust-colored or deep red. They have long legs that are a tawny orange to dark red color. Their abdomens tend to be quite shiny. 

One of the most noticeable features of the woodlouse spider, however, is its extra-large chelicerae. These are its mouthparts, sometimes referred to as pincers, jaws, or fangs. Native to the Mediterranean region, they can now be found all over the world, including in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and of course, right here in North America. 

Woodlouse spiders are typically found in gardens and wooded areas where they hide under leaf litter and wood. Since they are nocturnal hunters, they are more commonly found in dark places like basements, crawl spaces, and shady corners of the garden. 

They prefer undisturbed areas away from humans, but if they do happen to wander indoors, they usually keep to themselves and do not pose a threat to humans. In fact, they offer several benefits – learn more about them below.

Role as a Natural Pest Controller

As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant advantages of having woodlouse spiders in your home is their ability to control pest populations. 

Woodlouse spiders are expert hunters, and they do an excellent job of preying on pests such as sowbugs, pillbugs, centipedes, and other small insects. 

They use their sharp, powerful jaws to stun and subdue their prey before feasting on them. Despite being referred to as woodlouse spiders, they don’t just go after woodlice (though they do often target them). They’ll eat invertebrates of all kidneys and often kill pests like beetles, crickets, and even other spiders. 

This makes them an essential member of the pest management team in your home.

How to Coexist with Woodlouse Spiders

If you’re a lover of spiders, then having woodlouse spiders in your home is a real treat to have. You get to witness their incredible hunting abilities and the amazing work they do controlling the pest population in your home. 

However, it’s understandable that not everyone is comfortable with having spiders, regardless of their benefits. Woodlouse spiders can and do bite humans, though they aren’t venomous and it’s uncommon for most people to have even an allergic reaction to a bite from a woodlouse spider.

So if you’d like to coexist with woodlouse spiders, there are a few things you can do to make sure that they are comfortable in your garden – but not necessarily in your home. That way, you can enjoy all the benefits of having them around without having to share your personal space!

First, make sure that your home is free of clutter and piles of debris since these are areas that woodlouse spiders love to call home. Keeping your home tidy can discourage them from moving in. 

Take some time to reduce the excess moisture in your home, too, since these arachnids thrive in moist environments. You can do this by running the air conditioner or dehumidifier and fixing any water leaks or pooling water areas. 

Finally, keep your home free of other pests since woodlouse spiders are dependent on them for survival. By keeping your home free of other pests, you are indirectly promoting woodlouse spiders’ population growth, which is great for you and your home.

Nothing Lousy About Woodlouse Spiders!

Woodlouse spiders are unique and fascinating creatures that are excellent pest controllers. They play a vital role in controlling pest populations in your home and garden. Though they’re typically non-aggressive and shy, it’s understandable that not everyone wants to share their home with these spiders!

So if you’d like to coexist peacefully with woodlouse spiders without necessarily beckoning them inside, take some extra care to keep your home free from other pests and to keep things nice and tidy. 

If you need help in managing your home’s pest population, Hawx Pest Control can help. Our expert team can provide you with safe, effective, and eco-friendly pest control services that can keep your home pest-free. Contact us today and join our family of satisfied customers!



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