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Extension > Garden > Insects > Fishing spiders

Fishing spiders

Jeff Hahn, Extension entomologist

Published in Yard and Garden News, July 15, 2008

fishing spider next to ruler

Photo: Jeff Hahn

Fishing spider

Many people have been commonly encountering large spiders in and around their homes lately. In nearly all cases they have turned out to be fishing spiders. Fishing spiders have a body length up to one inch and a legspan of several inches long. They are brownish with banded legs and have eight eyes like most spiders. They are the biggest spider in Minnesota.

Although they are an imposing-look spider, they are essentially harmless to people. They are not aggressive to people and will only bite under duress or if they feel threatened. Even then, a bite is no more painful than a mild bee sting. As the name suggests, they are associated with water but they can range away from this environment. When they enter homes, it is by accident - they would much rather be outside. The only necessary control is to capture a fishing spider (put a jar or similar container over it and slide a piece of paper underneath of it, trapping the spider inside) and release it outdoors.

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