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Ground Spider

Ground Spider

Family: Gnaphosidae

Ground Spider Facts

Because of where they hide out—mostly outside on the ground—the Ground spider is aptly named. Making up the seventh biggest family of spider species, this spider includes around 2,000 known species. Genra of the ground spider include Gnaphosa, Drassodes, Micaria, Zelotes, and Cesonia.

Ground Spider Identification

Ground spiders have characteristic barrel-shaped spinnerets and an indentation in the paired mouthparts anterior and lateral to the lip. They they all lack a prey-capture web. Ground spiders are normally black, gray, or brown in color with light markings and are one-third to half an inch long.

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Ground Spider Habitat and Food Source

The ground spider is found on every continent in the world besides Antarctica and resides in a variety of habitats. Ground spiders are most likely to be found outside beneath rocks, logs, and other objects on the ground (they are called ground spiders, after all.) Ground spiders are reclusive in nature and rarely leave their homes other than to hunt. These spiders may venture indoors, especially when temperatures drop, but in this case they will be few in number and not likely to be seen.

Ground spiders do not trap prey in a web. Ground Spiders hunt for insects during evening and night hours. During the day ground spiders conserve energy by hiding under rocks or logs or indoors in a dark place.

Ground Spider Life Cycle

After mating, the female lays her eggs in a silk-lined shelter on the surface of plants or under bark or stones. Females will guard her young until the eggs hatch and may become protective of their egg sacs. Ground spiders have a life span of two to three years with a reproduction cycle of one year.

Are Ground Spiders venomous?

No ground spiders are known to be venomous to humans or animals, and, for the most part, remain unnoticed by humans due to their reclusive nature. Ground spiders may occasionally bite if a female believes her egg sac is in danger or when the spider feels threatened.

How are Ground Spider bites treated?

Ground spider bites can be treated easily. Most ground spider bites exhibit no symptoms, but if they do there are some simple steps to take to reduce discomfort. To help with pain and swelling, one should apply an ice pack and avoid abrupt movements. The arm or leg should be elevated if this is where the bite occurred. An antibiotic lotion will help relieve swelling as well. If symptoms persist or systemic symptoms result, medical attention should be sought.

Ground Spider Control

If a large number of Ground spiders are seen indoors, one may desire help from a professional pest control company. Here are some steps they may take:

  1. A pest control company will correctly identify the spider species to be sure it’s not a more aggressive or venomous type of spider, then create a plan of attack to get rid of the infestation.
  2. Dust, liquid, and aerosol pesticides will be used depending on the scope and location of the infestation. Compounds containing silica gel or deltamethrin are commonly used. Pesticides may be used indoors or outdoors. Spot treatments around doors and windows are common only after all points of entry have been sealed and identified.

DIY and Green Solutions for Ground Spider Control

Not commonly found indoors, the Ground spider may occasionally wander in. The following methods are good starting places for getting the Ground spider out of the house:

  1. Spider-proof your home:  Get rid of clutter inside and out; keep clothes and shoes off the ground. Outside, remove collections of leaves, mulch, soil, rocks, or lumber from your landscape. Particularly clear piles of debris from your exterior walls and foundation.
  2. Use glue boards to trap and kill spiders once they come inside. Use the glue board to get a closer look at the spider species you’re dealing with.
  3. Natural repellents like essential oils, chestnuts, or store-bought concoctions can be very effective if you know where spiders are likely to collect indoors.
  4. Spot-treat infested areas with pesticides labeled for Ground spiders, but be careful in selection and application. Call a professional if in doubt. Some companies specialize in green solutions for spider eradication.

The Ground spider is not venomous and is not a serious pest indoors, but if you find numbers are growing, set to work spider-proofing your house. The best control method for any spider infestation is to seal all entrances using urethane foam, caulking, or natural repellents. Keep them out instead of incessantly trying to kill them once they’re in.


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