Of the 5,000 jumping spiders in the world, there are approximately 100 species capable of surviving in Canada’s cold climate. The most common jumping spider in Canada is the bold jumper.
Jumping spiders are identified by their speed, excellent eyesight and ability to leap as much as 25 times their own height. They are excellent predators, and can be compared to a cat, who spots their prey from a distance, sneaks up on the unsuspecting victim, and strikes. Jumping spiders feed on flies, mosquitoes and bees. They will also cannibalise other spiders.
Jumping spiders are typically 4 to 20 millimeters in length. They are hairy, with black, grey, tan or brown coloured compact bodies. They have four large front-facing eyes, and vibrant colourful markings. The bold jumper spider has 8 white-striped legs and fuzzy neon blue or green jaws.
In Canada, jumping spiders flourish in gardens, yards, fields and woodland areas. They end up indoors accidently, by travelling inside on clothing and plants. Once inside a home, jumping spiders seek shelter under furniture, behind baseboards, mouldings and inside cracks of wood flooring. They construct tunnel-like webs and live in ‘retreat’s (loosely built silk envelopes).
The life span of jumping spiders ranges from 2 to 3 years. Female jumping spiders lay between 50 and 200 eggs inside crevices in late spring or early summer. Immature bold jumper spiders are identified by red or orange markings. As they mature into adult spiders, these markings fade to white colouring.
Jumping spiders prey on household insects, and most often startle homeowners by their leaps and speed. Homeowners are most likely to spot jumping spiders indoors during the day, which is when they are the most effective hunters. They are commonly found around windows and doors.
Jumping spiders can bite humans, but bites are uncommon, as these spiders often flee and hide. Bites have been described as causing minimal pain, swelling and itching.
To prevent a jumping spider infestation, entry prevention of the spiders themselves, as well as the insects and other spiders they feed on is the best approach. Here are some tips:
If you think you have a jumping spider infestation, contact a licensed pest control company.
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