Annoying And Dangerous Spiders Of Hawaii

termite and termite larva

It is no secret that there are plenty of spiders here in our beautiful state of Hawaii. In fact, we have an impressive collection of them. To name them all here would be impressive indeed. But instead, we are simply going to focus on the most common types of spiders that come into contact with people. These spiders are: the garden spider, the American house spider, the brown violin spider, and black and brown widows. 


A female garden spider measures around 19-28 mm in length and has a black abdomen with symmetrical patches of bright yellow. Her legs are reddish brown at the base and black toward the tips. Males are three times smaller and have brownish legs and less coloration on their abdomens. While female garden spiders will die after a frost, where temperatures are more mild, these spiders can live for several years. The males, however, usually die after mating. Garden spiders produce a venom that is harmless to humans (unless there is an allergic reaction) but it works to immobilize their prey such as flies, bees, moths and other flying insects. 

To catch their dinner, garden spiders weave circular, highly-visible, zigzagging webs in an X pattern called a stabilimentum. Most spiders have 2 claws, but garden spiders actually have 3. The additional claw helps them to spin these complex webs. No one is certain why garden spiders spin these highly-visible webs, but it is theorized that they do this in order to alert birds to their presence, so they do not fly into them and destroy them. However, as visible as they are, it is still easy (and no fun) to accidentally walk through one. And although these spiders aren't medically important if they bite, it is still unpleasant to be bitten by any spider. 


The American house spider is a comb-footed spider with long, skinny legs and comb-like hairs on the back tarsi (or ankles). They have a bulbous abdomen and their venom is not lethal to humans. To catch their prey of flying insects, they will fling their spider silk at them, trying to entangle them in their webs, which are your classic Halloween-type webs, which are tangled messes in corners or windows. Also referred to as cobwebs, these webs are what make old abandoned houses look haunted. Once a victim is caught in the web, the American house spider will inject its prey with venom, so that it can be eaten at a later time. But the spider will remove the insect to make room to catch more. 

Females lay eggs in a pear-shaped, brownish egg case that hangs from the web. They guard this sack until the eggs hatch. These spiders can live for longer than one year. Although they are not medically important to humans, they are a hassle to have around, since they constantly build webs that are unsightly and unpleasant to run into. The presence of these spiders in a home also indicates a larger problem of many other pests inside your home and in your wall voids. And these spiders may bite if they come into contact with you which, although not dangerous, is unpleasant. 


Cousin to the brown recluse, this spider, scientifically known as Loxosceles reclusa, Is nocturnal and is unlikely to attack unless it is provoked. We include it here, not because it is most common in Hawaii, but because it will most often send people to the hospital if bitten. A brown violin spider bite will cause a red, blister-like wound and it is known for causing necrosis in the tissue of a bite wound. These spiders are typically found underneath loose boards or in piles of bark. 


These are another spider that commonly sends people to the ER. These are hard-shelled spiders that are black or brown in coloring with a red hourglass shape on the bottom of its abdomen. 

If you are experiencing these, or other spiders, in your Hawaii home, take note that there are possibly hundreds more just like them inside your wall voids. Not only this, but spiders, as mentioned above, indicate the presence of other bugs. If you need assistance eradicating or excluding these and other household pests from your Hawaii home, reach out to Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions today.