Help! Is this spider dangerous?
Location: Southwest United States (house in Albuquerque, NM)
September 27, 2011 8:46 pm
I am highly allergic (not deathly allergic, I don’t think) to spider bites. I am also pregnant. I’ve killed two of these spiders in the last week, and I’m worried they might pose a danger. Please let me know how I can get rid of them, if there might be a nest in the house, or any other safety advice. The attached photo is blown up. The spider itself measured barely 1 centimeter.
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and it is also classified in the genus Phidippus. We often have difficulty identifying Jumping Spiders to the species level because many species look similar and individuals within a species often have great variability. This individual looks similar to a photo posted to BugGuide of Phidippus princeps. Jumping Spiders do not build webs to snare prey. They have excellent eyesight and they hunt and pounce on prey. They are often found feeding on flies and they will help keep the House Fly population down in your yard. While we say that they are harmless, and we have never received a report of anyone being bitten by a Jumping Spider, the possibility does exist. They should be handled with caution, or better yet, not handled at all.