We have a variety of spiders in Kansas, but not many of them are particularly dangerous. There are 2 spiders that are dangerous and must be carefully controlled. The Black Widow and the Brown Recluse are the areas most dangerous. We do have many more types of spiders that aren’t that scary. Below we will list out the different spiders, show pictures of what they look like and provide some interesting information about them.  The one thing most homeowners struggle to wrap their head around is that no matter what anyone does, there will always be spiders. Also, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The thing to focus on is that they are an outdoor pet.  The idea is to keep them outside by creating a protective perimeter around your home. We recommend vacuuming the baseboards closely, knockdown any webbing, and trim back any foliage near doors and windows and of course professionally spraying around the property several times a year.


Black widow spider in Kansas City

Black Widow

Female widow spiders are typically dark brown or a shiny black in color when they are full grown, usually exhibiting a red or orange hourglass on the ventral surface (underside) of the abdomen; some may have a pair of red spots or have no marking at all. The male widow spiders often exhibit various red or red and white markings on the dorsal surface (upper side) of the abdomen, ranging from a single stripe to bars or spots. Females of a few species are paler brown and some have no bright markings. The bodies of black widow spiders range from 3–10 millimeters (0.12–0.39 in) in size; some females can measure 13 millimeters (0.51 in) in their body length.


Brown Recluse spider in Kansas


The violin pattern is not diagnostic, as other spiders can have similar markings (e.g. cellar spiders and pirate spiders). For definitive identification, it is imperative to examine the eyes. While most spiders have eight eyes, recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in pairs (dyads) with one medial pair and two lateral pairs. Only a few other spiders have three pairs of eyes arranged in this way (e.g., scytodids). Recluses have no obvious coloration patterns on the abdomen or legs, and the legs lack spines. The abdomen is covered with fine short hairs that, when viewed without magnification, give the appearance of soft fur. The leg joints may appear to be a slightly lighter color.


Orb spider in Kansas

Orb Spiders

V very common around buildings and homes. They are more nocturnal hiding in the day and hunting at night with their webs.   Orb spiders vary greatly in color but generally are gray or brown with banded legs.


Wolf spider in Kansas

Wolf Spiders

There are many genera of wolf spider, ranging in body size (legs not included) from less than 10 to 35 mm (0.4 to 1.38 in). They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes (which distinguishes them from the Pisauridae), and the top row has two medium-sized eyes. They depend on their excellent eyesight to hunt. They also possess an acute sense of touch. Flashing a beam of light over the spider will produce eyeshine. The light from the flashlight has been reflected from the spider’s eyes directly back toward its source, producing a “glow” that is easily noticed. This is also especially helpful because the wolf spiders are nocturnal and will be out hunting for food, making it easier to find them. Wolf spiders possess the third best eyesight of all spider groups, bested only by jumping spiders of the family Salticidae (who can distinguish colors) as well as the huntsman spiders.

Golden Garden Spider in Kansas

Golden Garden Spiders

The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, corn spider, or McKinley spider. It is common to the contiguous United States, Hawaii, southern Canada, Mexico, and Central America. It has distinctive yellow and black markings on the abdomen and a mostly white cephalothorax. Its scientific Latin name translates to “gilded silver-face” (the genus name Argiope meaning “silver-face”, while the specific epithet aurantia means “gilded”). Males range from 5–9 mm (0.20–0.35 in); females range from 19–28 mm (0.75–1.10 in). These spiders may bite if disturbed or harassed, but the venom is seemingly harmless to humans.

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