Large spider climbs into ND woman's home, turns out it's common for our area

Published: Jun. 9, 2017 at 4:05 PM CDT
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A Horace woman found a large spider on her living room floor and it turned out to be North Dakota's largest spider species. Your windows and doors may be open because of the warm weather, but you may be letting in other things besides the sunshine.

"That spider in particular we do commonly get, it's called A Dark Fishing Spider and it is the largest spider we have in North Dakota and I think that is why people get freaked out about it," said NDSU Extension Entomology Specialist, Pat Beauzay.

Beauzay says they're harmless and found across most of the U.S. and Canada. The Dark Fishing Spider is mostly seen in the spring and fall. They typically hunt above the water for minnows and aquatic insects.

"When the water dries up they do wander around and can get into people's homes," explained Beauzay.

The Dark Fishing Spider can bite if it's mishandled.

Other spiders you may run into can be the wolf spider or jumping spider, seen on the side of your house. Eastern North Dakota doesn't have venomous spiders but in Lakes Country there's the cousin to the black widow.

"We do get the occasional Northern Widow which is a sub-species of the black widow but they are very rare," stated Beauzay.

Beauzay says it's best for people to just collect the bug in a cup and release it in your yard.

"Unless its really a pest most insects are very beneficial, they're pollinators or predators of pest insects," said Beauzay.

The best way to avoid insects coming into your home is making sure your windows and doors have screens and that there are no holes.

The most common call a local exterminator says he is getting is calls for ants because of the dry weather. If you find a unknown insect, the NDSU Entomology department does insect identification. We've put a link to their website in this story.