Spiders in Michigan: 7 Amazing Spiders You Can Spot

spiders in Michigan

Spiders in Michigan are usually not deadly and mean you no harm. They may look scary but they’re really kind and timid creatures. If you want to learn more about these incredible arachnids, then this guide is for you. Below, you’ll discover seven of the most common and interesting spiders that can be found in the state of Michigan.

During the fall, Michigan transforms into a stunning autumnal landscape. During this season, the spiders will often make their way into people’s homes. They’re not there to disturb you but merely to keep warm as we edge towards the cold Michigan winter. It’s important to be able to identify spiders when you spot them so that you know whether they pose a threat.

If you’ve never been to Michigan before, then you might not know what to expect. That’s why you should read this list of the seven most amazing spiders in Michigan. Keep an eye out for your favorites.

Brown Recluse

brown recluse spider
Photo by Unsplash

There aren’t many harmful spiders in Michigan but one that you absolutely need to be on the lookout for is the brown recluse. Now, this spider doesn’t want to harm you. It’s a timid spider and bites are rare. However, if it does bite you, then you should seek medical attention as soon as you can. First, though, you need to learn how to identify this creature.

The brown recluse spider is, confusingly, not always brown. It’s more of a tan color but can also be gray. It has a dark marking on its back in the shape of a violin and a dark patch on the front, which are six eyes lined up in pairs. The body is relatively small but the legs stretch out a long way.

If this spider bites you, it starts as a red itch, which can turn into intense pain several hours after the bite. The skin will blister and you’ll know this is something serious. If this happens, contact a doctor. You’ll live if you act quickly.

House Spider

spider on a web
Photo by Envato Elements

One of the more harmless spiders that you’ll come across in Michigan includes the humble house spider. These are small brown spiders with legs that have dark and light stripes. If you find one in your Michigan home, then there’s no need to worry. They’re entirely non-threatening and can’t harm humans.

Many people fear spiders and instantly want to kill them in case they cause harm. This has led to a decline in spider numbers, including among house spiders. Instead, you should aim to protect the habitat of this small arachnid. They place a crucial role in ensuring the continued harmony of the environment.

There are many dangerous animals in the USA but spiders are rarely one of them. If you see a spider that causes you no harm, then just leave it alone. They’ll leave you in peace if you leave them in peace.

Black Widow

black widow spider
Photo by Unsplash

There are many harmless spiders in Michigan but there’s one that you definitely need to be wary of: the black widow. This spider is infamous for being deadly and many people are understandably scared of them. However, this fear is overblown. Out of 300 million people in the United States, just 4-8 are killed by black widow spiders.

The simple fact is that they have no reason to kill people. Their venom is there to hunt their prey and they don’t view humans are prey. We’re far too big. They will only bite humans if they feel threatened so just leave them alone. If they do bite, then seek medical attention immediately and you should be fine.

To identify the black widow spider, check whether it is black and shiny. Next, check if it’s between 3cm and 10cm since this is the body size range of most black widows. Finally, check the marking on its abdomen, underneath the body. It should be an hourglass shape and bright red. If the spider meets all these criteria, get away from it.

Hobo Spider

hobo spider
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

A more friendly spider than the black widow is the hobo spider. This poses no threat whatsoever. While it does contain venom, this isn’t potent enough to be considered toxic to humans. If you or your pet gets bitten, then it shouldn’t cause any problems. The venom is just there for small insects.

These spiders can be quite big, with a body of around 1-1.4cm and a total size of almost 5cm. For this reason, many people fear them. However, to do so is irrational. They can’t cause you any harm.

If you spot a hobo spider, try not to disturb it. Leave its web alone and let it get on with its business. They’re working hard to maintain the ecosystem so let them get on with their jobs.

Wolf Spider

wolf spider
Photo by Envato Elements

The wolf spider has one of the coolest names out of any American animal. It’s also a pretty awesome spider. Their body can grow up to 3.5cm, making them among the largest spiders in Michigan. Generally, though, this isn’t a spider that you need to be scared of.

The wolf spider – so called because of its hairy gray, brown, and black appearance – is venomous. However, this venom won’t cause you any major problems unless you’re allergic to spider bites. Being large spiders, they can leave a decent-sized bite. This could be red and itchy but won’t be any worse than a wasp sting.

They don’t want to bite you. They’ll only do it if they feel that you’re threatening their life. If they do bite you, then just manage it carefully with bite-relief cream. You’ll be fine in a day or two.

Jumping Spider

jumping spider
Photo by Envato Elements

The jumping spider is one of the coolest spiders in Michigan. They’re hairy and, as a result, a little scary. Many people freak out when they see this kind of spider. However, they’re nothing more than badly misunderstood creatures. They don’t want to cause any pain to humans and rarely ever do.

The jumping spider does have fangs that contain venom. This is why many people think that they pose a threat to them or their pets. However, this isn’t the case. This venom is not powerful enough to kill anything bigger than the prey of the jumping spider. Humans, cats, and dogs are not a spider’s prey.

If you bother a jumping spider, then you can expect a bite. However, this will cause a mild itch and clear up in no time. The lesson in the future is not to disturb spiders. If this spider approaches you, it’s being curious and friendly, rather than wanting to cause you any harm.

Cellar Spider

Cellar Spider
Photo by Envato Elements

While in Michigan, you’re bound to come across the cellar spider. This is one of the most common spiders around, especially as the weather gets colder and they make their way into your home. This spider is also called the daddy long legs, which gives you an idea of what it looks like.

The cellar spider has incredibly thin and long legs. They’re not considered medically significant since they haven’t been known to bite humans and aren’t venomous. If you spot one, then there’s absolutely no need to worry. You might want to get rid of them but this isn’t advisable.

A cellar spider actually cleans up your home by eating other insects and even eating spiders larger than itself. Therefore, by letting them live in your home, they’re reducing the number of annoying insects that you have to cohabit with.

Are there venomous spiders in Michigan?

The vast majority of spiders in Michigan aren’t a cause for concern. However, there are two venomous spiders to worry about: the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. Make sure you’re able to identify these spiders so you can avoid them and, more importantly, avoid a nasty and potentially deadly bite.

What is the biggest spider in Michigan?

There are several large spiders in Michigan but the biggest is the wolf spider. Its body is an impressive 4cm wide and its legs stretch out further to make this a rather imposing looking spider. A wolf spider bite can cause painful swelling and itching but its venom isn’t dangerous unless you suffer from a severe allergy.

What is the most common spider in Michigan?

There are many common spiders in Michigan and these mostly include small house spiders. Perhaps the most commonly-found spider in Michigan is the dark fishing spider. It may look intimidating but a dark fishing spider’s bite is generally harmless and they’d rather run from you than bite you, anyway.

How common are spiders in Michigan?

Spiders love the cold, which is why you’ll find plenty of them in Michigan, especially during fall and winter. Of the 3800 species of spider that are native to North America, around 500 live in Michigan. Mostly, these are small, harmless spiders.


For more than 11 years, Joe has worked as a freelance travel writer. His writing and explorations have brought him to various locations, including the colonial towns of Mexico, the bustling chowks of Mumbai, and the majestic Southern Alps of New Zealand. When he's not crafting his next epic blog post on the top Greek islands or French ski resorts, he can often be found engaging in his top two hobbies of surfing and hiking.

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