If you see a large, hairy spider with long and menacing legs running around in your room, your first instinct is always to run. But can the huntsman spider kill you? Let’s find out.
Infamous for its speed and ability to hunt, the giant huntsman spider is one of the largest spiders among long-legged arachnids, sometimes as big as a dinner plate.
This spider is also known by the name giant crab spider because of its size and appearance. But the real question is – how much can it harm you?
Let us talk a little more about these spiders and a few things you must look out for if you cross paths with one!
Can Huntsman Spiders Kill You?
Most spiders in the wild are venomous. But their bite does not contain enough poison to kill humans. Most venomous spiders don’t even try to attack you. Humans are simply not on their list of enemies.
Spider bites from a huntsman spider can be painful and cause localized swelling, but they won’t kill you. In fact, huntsman spiders typically won’t even attack a human unless it is protecting its eggs.
Will a Huntsman Spider Attack Humans?
The vicious appearance and ability to eat small animals is the main reason Huntsman spiders are feared. However, they are generally not very harmful to humans.
Unless you walk past a huntsman spider who has laid eggs and is protecting them from predators, they will generally let you be.
They prefer to munch on insects like cockroaches and mites. They also like to eat other smaller spiders, and the bigger huntsman spiders even eat frogs and lizards.
They do all this by waiting for their prey and pouncing on it in a surprise attack. They inject their venom with the bite, which causes the prey to die and become more easily edible at the same time.
The huntsman spider is a member of the Sparassidae family. Among them, the giant huntsman spiders have extremely long legs (up to a foot or even more), which is why they look threatening to humans.
It is abundant in Australia and parts of Africa. Another genus of this spider found in South America is called the Quemedice.
Is It Safe To Handle a Huntsman Spider?
Just because Huntsman spiders do not attack humans does not mean one should not be careful around them. These giant arachnids and one of the fastest and most dangerous spiders in the wild.
Huntsman spiders are likely to run away when confronted by larger creatures like humans. But if they think you are threatening them, they can also attack and bite.
Experts believe that most spider bites occur accidentally or if you disturb the creature without provocation. It is an instinctive self-defense mechanism.
What Happens if a Huntsman Spider Bites You?
If you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by a Huntsman spider, it is likely to be a painful and uncomfortable experience.
The main symptoms of the spider bite are redness and swelling around the wound, nausea, and in some cases, fever and heart palpitations.
Most cases do not require hospitalization, but you should take care of the wound with an ice pack at the earliest.
Can Huntsman Spiders Hurt Cats or Dogs?
Just like humans, Huntsman spiders are not harmful to cats and dogs. Despite their large size, these spiders are shy and try to avoid confrontation with larger creatures.
If your pets find these creatures in the wild, the spiders will most likely run away. If your cat or dog is bit by this spider, a little first aid is enough to keep them safe and healthy. These animals are too big to die from the venom of a huntsman spider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which spider kills most humans?
Phoneutria, or the Armed spider, is regarded as the most deadly spider for humans. Its bite is highly neurotoxic and can kill an adult human within minutes. The funnel-web spider comes a close second. Its bite can kill a human in about 15 minutes.
What’s the deadliest spider?
Funnel-web spiders are the most dangerous spiders in the world. These arachnids are found in Australia, and their venom is a complex concoction of 40 different toxins.
Some other spiders in this category are Banana spiders, Brown recluse spiders, and Mouse spiders.
Can I sleep with a huntsman in my room?
A Huntsman spider is mostly harmless if you do not try to harm it intentionally. If you find this spider in the corner of a room you are sleeping in, the safest option is to let it be. If you try to remove the spider or hurt it in any way, it is more likely to bite in self-defense.
What do huntsman spiders hate?
Huntsman spiders are very sensitive to strong citrus scents. If you are trying to get rid of these spiders, spraying a peppermint or lemon solution is the easiest way to keep them out.
Spiders are often misunderstood as dangerous due to their scary exterior and venomous bite. While it is true that many extremely dangerous spiders are out there in the wild, most of them will run away at the first sign of humans.
Keep your distance from them, and you will be out of harm’s way. Thank you for reading, and remember to watch your step while walking in the woods!
Over the years, our readers have sent us several emails on this topic. Please go through them below.
Letter 1 – Huntsman Spider from Australia
Subject: What’s this spider
Geographic location of the bug: Avondale Heights, Melbourne Australia
Time: 05:18 PM EDT
Can you identify this spider?
How you want your letter signed: Thankyou Suzana
This is one of the Huntsman Spiders in the family Sparassidae. There are some nice images of Huntsman Spiders on the Brisbane Insect site. We are postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of December when our editorial staff is away for the holidays.
Letter 2 – Huntsman Spider from Baja
Subject: My Baja Roomate
Location: La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico
December 11, 2013 9:47 pm
I’m guessing from your other photos that this may be a female Huntsman spider. The location is La Ventana, Baja California Sur. If she indeed kills cockroaches, maybe we should let her stay. Is she poisonous?
This is indeed a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider, probably in the genus Olios. Most all spiders have venom, but very few are considered dangerous to humans. This Huntsman Spider poses no threat to you. It is doubtful that you will be bitten if you allow the spider to cohabitate with you, but a bite may occur if you carelessly handle the spider. Female Spiders defending eggs can get aggressive.
Letter 3 – Huntsman Spider found glued to poster in Mount Washington
Caught with Adhesive
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 25, 2014 6:27 PM
We have numerous unanswered identification requests in our mailbox, yet we are indulging ourselves by posting this image of a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the genus Olios that was found dead under a poster that was adhered to a board with industrial strength adhesive. This is only the second time we have seen one on our grounds in Mount Washington, and the first one took refuge in the fence.
Letter 4 – Huntsman Spider from Australia
this was in the restroom after I came out of the shower in a home outside brisbane australia-was VERY large.Did not see a web and it just returned to its home in between the shower door and counter-lucky for me im not scared of spiders cause he was HUUUUUUUGE as far as just hangin out spiders go in my opinion-lol.was about the size of a tarantula
This is a Huntsman Spider. We google searched Huntsman Spider Australia and found a site that causes us to think this is probably a Banded Huntsman Spider in the genus Holconia. Despite the large size and terrifying appearance, Huntsman Spiders are shy harmless hunters. You are correct. They do not build webs.
Update: January 9, 2014
We just received a slew of comments from Leon regarding our Huntsman Spiders, and that included a correction on this posting. Leon identified this as a Bark Huntsman, but did not provide a link nor a scientific name. We are concluding that Leon meant Pediana regina which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.
Letter 5 – Huntsman Spider from Australia
Bugs Down Under
March 16, 2012 10:23 am
Hi Mr Bugman,
Please could you tell me what these are?
Signature: Many Thanks
Judging by the large pedipalps, we conclude that this Huntsman Spider is a male.