When is Spider Season in Arizona?

Did you know that Arizona’s climate is hospitable to spiders all year round? While Tucson and Phoenix homeowners don’t really have a spider “off-season” to look forward to, there are times in the year when our spider population is more active. As you look around and start seeing spider webs and spider decorations start to pop up for Halloween you may be wondering why these types are decorations are connected to fall. That may lead you to ask, “When is spider season in Arizona”?

When is Spider Season in Arizona?

Throughout the country, and in Arizona, spider season is during the early days of autumn. While Arizona residents are likely to see spiders throughout the entire year, some of our largest spider populations are much more active in the fall, due to mating season, making them more likely to be seen at this time of the year.

According to School of Bugs, female spiders are known to stay in one place all their lives. Their elaborate webs provide food and shelter for them. Many times they make their homes inside of our homes. Males, on the other hand, are generally always wandering. During the mating season, they go searching for females to mate with. This can bring them straight into your home, where the females are waiting. That’s why you see many more spiders during the fall months and why it is considered spider season in Arizona.

What Spiders May You Find in Your Arizona Home?

Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, chelicerae with fangs generally able to inject venom, and spinnerets that extrude silk. There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders, found in environments all over the world. There are thousands of different types of spiders, so spider habitats vary depending on species. Regardless of where a spider lives or what type it is, its basic needs are the same: food, water, and shelter.

During spider season in Arizona, as mentioned above, you are much more likely to notice spiders around your home as they are in search of a mate. Below we review some of the spiders that are most commonly found in Arizona homes.

  • House Spider: House spiders earned their name because they are typically found in people’s homes. These spiders usually vary in color, from grey and tan, yellowish, to black and red. They are known to be window dwellers that produce teardrop-shaped egg cases. If you have noticed dirty cobwebs in the corners of your walls, they very well could have been left by a common house spider. These spiders are harmless to humans.
  • Black Widow: Black widow spiders are usually found in dark undisturbed areas, such as: barns, other wooden buildings, logs, shaded areas of woods, corners around your home, in boxes, closets, crawl spaces, under rocks, and in rock beds. Male widow spiders are not known to bite; however, female widow spiders do bite and are larger than their male counterparts. Female widow spiders are usually shiny and black, with a red hourglass symbol on their abdomen. Black widow spiders are dangerous. The bite of a widow spider isn’t exceptionally painful when it happens, but within hours, the venom can cause the victim to suffer from muscle spasms and cramps.
  • Arizona Brown Spider: Arizona Brown Spider is a species of brown recluse spiders found specifically in Arizona. The Arizona Brown Spider is a small, inconspicuous brown spider, with slightly darker brown markings on the head region. These markings vaguely resemble the shape of a violin, hence the common names “violin” or “fiddle” spider. The brown recluse spider is one of the most feared spiders in the US. As the name “recluse” suggests, these are relatively shy spiders. The Arizona Brown Spider often resides in cinder block wall crevices, scraps of dead wood, wall voids, attics, dead cactus, pack-rat nests, wood piles, in clothing that has been left on the floor, and in other areas of the home with piles of trash or debris. The bite of this spider is potentially dangerous to humans. The most common reaction is a spreading sore at the site of the bite, which, if untreated, may result in permanent tissue damage or necrosis.
  • Wolf Spider: Wolf spiders are another Arizona spider that is dangerous. Frequently confused with tarantulas, wolf spiders are large, hairy hunting spiders that do not construct webs but instead spend their lives running from place to place seeking out food sources. Rather than spinning a web for its prey to get caught in, the wolf spider patiently waits for its prey to pass by before lunging on it. Colored brown, grey, and black to perfectly camouflage into the leaf litter where it likes to hide, the wolf spider can be incredibly hard to spot. Wolf spiders aren’t deadly to humans, but they can still bite and cause uncomfortable symptoms and are dangerous.
  • Tarantulas: It is common for Tucson and Phoenix residents to notice more of these large creepy crawling critters during spider season in Arizona. During this mating season for tarantulas, the males leave their hidden homes, usually underground, in search of females to mate with. A female tarantula has a more stocky body than a male and is covered in a light brown or tan hair (thus it is sometimes called the Arizona Blond Tarantula). The male is thinner and “lankier”, with black hair covering most of the body and reddish hairs on its abdomen (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum). Tarantulas, while they look big and scary, only bite when they feel threatened. Although tarantulas do have venom, they’re not considered dangerous to humans. Their bites leave behind an impressive puncture mark but aren’t particularly painful. If you see a big hairy spider around your Arizona home, it is likely a tarantula.

We will stop here for now, as you are probably lifting your feet off the ground at this point and looking in all of the corners around you. While spiders and webs are cool decorations for fall, most homeowners don’t want to encounter the real things during spider season in Arizona or throughout the year.

If you want to keep spiders out of your Phoenix or Tucson home, Bucksworth Home Services can help. With our pest control options we can help you protect your home. Contact us and we can answer any question you may have regarding your pest control needs.