Everyone is familiar with black widow spiders, as they are the most venomous spiders in the United States. While the black widow’s prevalence within Massachusetts is debated among experts, there is no doubt that the species exists within the state. This fact can be a source of worry for Massachusetts residents, but luckily, black widows do not normally enter homes. However, there exists other venomous spider species in the state that are well known for gravitating into homes where they sometimes inflict painful and medically significant bites to residents. Although these venomous spiders are commonly spotted indoors in Massachusetts, their names are not well known to the public.

Only eight sac spider species are native to north America, and at least two are commonly spotted within Massachusetts homes. These spiders were long considered to be harmless house spiders in New England, but recent envenomation cases in the northeast region have forced experts to reconsider the threat these spiders may pose to a home’s occupants. According to one case report, sac spiders are the most commonly spotted spiders within homes and buildings in the Boston area. The two species that are found within homes in the state are known as the broad-faced sac spider and the long-legged sac spider. The latter species often appears on ceilings, walls, beneath beds and within piles of laundry. Most bites occur indoors when people unknowingly apply pressure to the spider as it hides within bedding and clothing. Sac spider bites can be serious, and bite wounds are slow to heal. In rare cases, bite wounds can cause tissue death (necrosis). If one sac spider is spotted indoors, then it is highly probable that several more specimens are hiding in the same structure. Long-legged sac spiders are known for base-jumping off of tables, walls and ceilings when they become startled. Simply surprising a sac spider is enough to make it bite, and bites are reportedly quite painful. Sac spiders are pale yellow or light brown and if a specimen is spotted indoors, it may be wise to have an inspection carried out in order to avoid the possibility of sustaining a painful and potentially dangerous bite within your home in the future.

Do you believe that you have spotted a sac spider within your home?