Fishing Spiders

Fishing Spider Control: Protect Your Home


Scientific Classification: Various scientific names

Class Order Family
Arachnida Araneae Pisauridae


Fishing spiders are named for their tendency to catch and eat small fish and aquatic insects. While other types of spiders detect the presence of prey by way of vibrations in their silken webs, fishing spiders use ripples in the water. Covered in tiny hydrophobic hairs, fishing spiders are able to walk on the surface of the water and even dive below in order to catch meals. Some types of fishing spiders dwell in trees and often make their way inside homes where they become nuisances.


What Do They Look Like?

Size: Fishing spiders can grow up to one inch long and have legs that span more than three inches lengthwise.

Color: They are typically dark brown or black and may sport stripes or spots in light or dark hues.

Characteristics: These spiders have long legs compared to their bodies and are covered in tiny hairs.

Geographic Range

Fishing spiders are most often found near bodies of water in temperate areas throughout the United States. They are commonly spotted in small lakes, ponds, streams, and marshy bogs. When not close to the water, fishing spiders often wait motionless on walls or trees.


What Do They Eat?

As is the case with most arachnids, fishing spiders primarily prey upon insects, especially those that live near the water’s edge. They also hunt down small fish and aquatic animals, such as frogs.


Female fishing spiders care for their eggs by weaving them together in a protective silken sac. Some species construct nursery webs and some carry the eggs around with them. Young hatchlings grow and develop by molting several times before achieving maturity.


  • Look for adult spiders.
  • May notice discarded molts inside.
  • Be mindful of activity on the surface of ponds or streams on private properties.

Problems Caused by Fishing Spiders

Although the arachnids are large and intimidating, fishing spiders are harmless to humans. They may deliver a painful bite if grabbed or trapped against the skin, but fishing spiders are shy and would rather flee than fight. Their venom is not poisonous to humans.

Signs of Infestation

It is extremely rare for a large number or fishing spiders to infest a home. If many of the creatures are spotted over a short period of time, it may be a symptom of a successful reproductive year which may make it appear as larger and more invasive pest infestation.

Prevention Tips

Taking certain precautions such as sealing cracks in walls, doors, and windows helps reduce the risk of fishing spiders finding their way inside homes. Maintaining good landscape sanitation practices and limiting the use of exterior lighting may help reduce the presence of other insects that draw fishing spiders towards your home in the first place.

Tips for Removal from Home

The shy spiders can be caught and released outside away from the home or vacuumed up. Individuals suffering from arachnophobia or those with unusually large infestations of fishing spiders should contact pest management professional to help combat these problems. Using up-to-date methods of integrated pest management, professionals are able to severely spider activity and help guard against future infestations.