APPEARANCE & IDENTIFICATION
Jumping spiders are sometimes called the cutest spiders around. This is due to their bright coloring and large set of eyes that give the impression they are truly looking you in the eye.
Jumping spiders belong to Salticidae, a very large spider family that has more than 350 species in the United States. As you might expect, there is a lot of diversity in coloration, body shape, and behaviors within Salticidae. These spiders vary in size from about ⅛ – ½ inch, not including the length of their legs, and have a diverse body shape that can vary from long and lean to beetle-like. There is even a genus of jumping spiders that mimic the appearance of ants. However, their ability to jump is the behavior that best characterizes the jumping spiders.
Jumping spiders are active daytime hunters and can quickly move sideways and backwards. Of all spiders, the jumping spider may have the best vision. If inside a home, they will be active on windows, ceilings, walls, and other areas of exposed sunlight. Instead of using their webs to trap, jumping spiders rely on their jumping ability to pounce on whatever gets close enough to become their next meal. After dark, they seek refuge in small, silk chambers that are attached to vegetation. While longevity of jumping spiders will vary, most live for about a year.
Jumping spiders are not aggressive and normally try to get away from people. In the unlikely event that a jumping spider bites someone, the reaction is neither very painful nor categorized as being medically important unless the victim is allergic to the venom.
Jumping spiders eat small insects and other invertebrates. Some of their favorite food sources are flies, small grasshoppers, and almost any other insect or spider that is small enough for them to overpower.
Jumping spiders may, but normally do not, infest indoors. When they are found inside, they build their harborage sites under furniture, in the cracks of wood floors, and in the cracks of door and window molding. Outdoors, they are likely seen in vegetation, under piles of wood and rocks, and under the siding of buildings, especially on the sunny side.
REPRODUCTION & LIFECYCLE
The jumping spider life cycle involves three stages – eggs, immature spiderlings, and mature, full-grown adults.
SIGNS OF THEIR PRESENCE
Sightings of jumping spider adults and immatures are the most obvious indicator of their presence.
The most effective ways to prevent jumping spiders include:
- Sealing any potential entryway they can use to get inside the home.
- Using a vacuum or broom to remove spiders, egg cases, webs, and prey.
- Keeping the inside of a home clean to reduce insect populations inside.
- Removing jumping spider habitat sites outdoors.
HOW TO CONTROL
Using preventive measures is the most effective and beneficial way to control jumping spiders. If control using a product is needed, it is usually best to use a direct contact aerosol formulation to directly spray jumping spiders. Indoors, a homeowner could also put a jumping spider into a container and then release the spider outside. Contact your pest management professional and request assistance for further jumping spider prevention and control.