Cell spiders and tube spiders are often found around homes in the eastern United States. A small number of cell spider species, and six tube spider species can be found in North America. The woodlouse hunter (D. crocata) and the brown tube spider (A. bicolor) are the two most frequently encountered species belonging to these groups. The woodlouse hunter is spotted far more often than the brown tube spider around homes in the northeast. Two thirds of all woodlouse hunter sightings occur indoors, making this species a common indoor spider pest. Half of all brown tube spider sightings occur indoors, but very few sightings have been reported. When it comes to indoor spider pests, the woodlouse hunter is much more significant than the brown tube spider, but both species are capable of inflicting a very painful bite. These bites have been documented as leaving wounds that sometimes develop secondary infections, but bites from these two species are not considered medically significant.
Most Woodlouse hunter and brown tube spider sightings occur during the months of May and June in the northeast, and while the brown tube spider maintains a habitat that is largely limited to residential areas, the woodlouse hunter spider can be found in just about any type of environment, most notably within and around homes and even urban buildings. Woodlouse hunter spiders are also known as “sowbug killers”, as they hunt primarily for sowbug insects. Sowbugs live on lawns and within gardens in order to maintain quick access to plant sustenance. This explains why woodlouse hunters also maintain a largely residential habitat. Woodlouse hunters are often found within basements, crawlspaces and beneath landscaping ornaments. Although woodlouse hunter venom is not usually dangerous, bites sometimes require medical intervention. Woodlouse hunter spiders can be recognized for their reddish-brown exterior and either red or purple-colored abdomens. These spiders are also fairly large, as females are twice the size of males.
Do you think that you may have found a woodlouse hunter spider within your home?