Most black spiders with white spots are a type of jumping spiders. It’s not surprising that a lot of people react with fear and aversion to seeing a spider. Although hard to believe, most don’t pose any danger to humans. However, some spiders like a juvenile black widow which has white spots are very dangerous. There are over 3000 species of spiders in the United States and many are black with white spots. m
Most of them are harmless to humans. It’s useful to know how to tell them apart.
White-backed garden spider
The white-backed garden spider has white spots on its black back. These spots range from white to yellow to cream. The abdomen is oval shaped and there are strips of black and white on the legs. This spider is a beneficial because it eats other insects in your garden. That means it is a natural pest controller in your garden.
Wolf spiders have white spots on the back. They have eight eyes placed in a very unique order, two very small eyes at the very top, two big eyes below those and right at the bottom in a row are four small eyes. Most species patterns of color are not pure black and white but shades of gray. They have a hairy body measuring about an inch excluding the legs. The Wolf spider does bite people and though their venom is not fatal you will need a doctor to take care of that bite. The wolf spider digs a burrow and hides in it and waits for prey to pass by.
The bold jumping spider is black with white markings on its abdomen this includes an upside down smiley face looking pattern. The bold jumping spider moves in quick jerky movements and quick jumps. Females are bigger than males. Males have tufts of hair that appear like eyebrows. These creatures I sound mostly in open fields and have white or cream spots on their backs. While most spiders span a web to trap their prey, the jumping spider does not. Instead these spiders use their jumping prowess to take down their prey by catching them unawares. Bold jumping spiders can take leaps 50 times their body length. These spiders make a tent like web to protect themselves from harsh weather, store eggs and shelter when molting.
Male jumping spiders will attempt to copulate with any female they come into contact with. The indiscriminate mating habits of the males can sometimes turn fatal resulting in being eaten by the females which are more aggressive and bigger. There are even instances where male jumping spiders attempt to mate with spiders of different species often with deadly results. The male jumping spider, uses a specialized appendage to inject its semen directly into the female’s ova as females don’t have an opening for insemination. Jumping spiders live for about a year.
Purse web spider
The purse web spider is black and has white spots right behind its big fangs. Owing to their size and shape they can be mistaken for the black widow but they don’t have the widow’s red hourglass pattern.
While most of these spiders are harmless to humans they can be a nuisance and downright scary when they get into our homes. Call your local pest controller to determine what type of spiders you have and the best course of action to get rid of them.