Information about Long-legged Sac Spiders

Long-legged sac spiders are fascinating creatures that can be seen mostly indoors and are a concern mainly because of their bites. So, are they poisonous? Find out here in this AnimalSake write-up that brings you more information and facts about long-legged sac spiders.
AnimalSake Staff
Did You Know?
Long-legged sac spiders are very useful to farmers or gardeners as they help in controlling pests.

Do you run away like a mile at least on spotting a spider? We're sure most of you might be! Hold on, and know that only a few are poisonous enough, and most of them are harmless. One such is the long-legged sac spider.

Long-legged sac spiders belong to the Miturgidae family and Cheiracanthium genus. Cheiracanthium is a Greek combination, meaning "hand spinneret." There are about 400 species within this family found all over the world. They are often found dwelling indoors in homes or offices rather than outdoors and can be seen on ceilings, in corners, under the beds, window sills, dark spaces etc. They are often responsible for most of the indoor spider bites to humans. No, you won't turn into a Spiderman on being bitten by one. Okay, jokes apart, usually the bites are harmless, but may sometimes cause severe reactions on some people, leading to many symptoms.

Read further to know more about the long-legged sac spider.

Long-legged Sac Spider Description
Common Name: Long-legged Sac Spider
Family: Miturgidae
Genus: Cheiracanthium
Size (excluding legs): Body length of adult female: 7-10 mm, adult males: 5-9 mm
Color: Tan, Yellow to Beige
Distribution: North America, Southern Europe to Japan
Venomous: Mildly

✧ The long-legged sac spider has a total of eight eyes in two horizontal rows of four. The bottom row is almost straight, and the top row is a bit curved.

✧ The legs are long in proportion to the size of the body and of the same color. The legs of the adult females are longer as compared to the male spiders. The toes appear to be black because of the hair beneath their claws.

✧ The males and females have the same coloration of pale yellow, beige, cream, or tan.

✧ The spinnerets can be seen from above.

✧ The abdomen is oval in shape, and wide and thick in the middle. The females have a large abdomen in comparison to the males.

Long-legged Sac Spider Facts
✧ These spiders are native to Southern Europe, but now they have spread across the Northern Hemisphere. It is mostly found indoors in North America, often prowling ceilings and walls at night. The hair beneath their claws help them navigate easily on surfaces. They can also be seen on vegetation in farms or gardens.

✧ They are fast, aggressive, nocturnal, and active hunters who hunt for their prey at night. Unlike other species of spiders, they hunt 'on foot' rather than capturing their prey by spinning a web.

✧ During daytime, they usually rest by spinning a silk 'sleeping bag' in clothing, corners, curtains, under the leaves, etc. Hence, the name 'sac spiders.' You may often spot these retreats every day. They can create their intricate sacs in just about 15 minutes as compared to others, which take hours.

✧ They usually feed on other insects, which they can easily overpower. The females often kill and consume the males after mating, and sometimes even their own eggs. Their front legs are longer than other legs that help them while hunting.

Life Cycle
The females mate only once and lays 1-5 sacs of eggs usually during the months of June to July. She lays her eggs in a loose sac and again covers them up by creating another silk sac. She herself stays inside the loose sac and guards the eggs until they hatch and spiderlings emerge. Each brood consists of about 30-40 eggs and are light yellow in color. They are around 0.5 mm in diameter. The spiderlings then enter into the adult phase during late spring.

Long-legged Sac Spider Bite
✧ When darkness prevails, the spider creates a silky thread to use it as a kind-of bridge to travel across the room. If it falls down on your bed, it might bite you in the hurry to escape from the bed sheets or your clothing. This spider doesn't actively look for people to bite, but will bite if it feels a potential threat by humans. In such a case, you might feel a sharp, stinging pain that will continue to remain for 30-60 minutes. You might even notice a slight swelling and redness for a day or two.

✧ The bite usually heals on its own without any major problems. The reaction is usually mild and not that poisonous. Some may just experience an itch, while some may experience severe reactions to the bite and may have the symptoms of an ulceration, lesion, fever, nausea, muscle cramps, and malaise. However, they do not cause necrotic lesion.

✧ Some people tend to confuse the bite to that of a Brown Recluse, another species of spider. The symptoms are very much the same, but less severe. When bitten by a brown recluse, it injects cytotoxins resulting in tissue death or necrosis of that area. It may take a few months for the lesions to heal.

Care
  • Shake your clothes well before getting dressed.
  • Wear gloves while handling plants in the garden.
  • Move the bed away from the walls and install tight-fitting screens on doors and windows.
  • Remove all the debris or wood piles from the corners or attics that may attract the spider, and vacuum the furniture frequently.
  • Remove all the heavy vegetation or leaves and prune your garden regularly.
  • There are special pesticides and spider sticky traps that you can put to use.

The long-legged sac spiders do not bite unless provoked or trapped inside the clothing against the skin. Taking proper care and preventive measures will ensure your home is protected from infestation by spiders. So next time you spot a spider sac, know that it may be of a long-legged sac spider or a sac of eggs, and remove it as soon as possible. We're sure you wouldn't want baby long-legged sac spiders playing around on the walls or corners of your room.