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It’s Spider Season on Cape Cod

~A note from Larry Dapsis, Extension’s County Entomologist

Now that it’s getting colder, you’re going to see an influx of spiders in your home. But no need to burn the place down! A lot of these fellas are Wolf Spiders, and these creatures are harmless.

I do get frequent calls about spiders…brown recluse in particular.  Yes, they are one of three venomous spiders found in North America.  Their distribution is confined to Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and the south.  In every case these sightings turn out to be wolf spiders.  They are large, fast and look somewhat menacing.  Brown recluse spiders have a unique marking on their back shaped like a violin.  I used to live in a very old house with many wolf spiders in the cellar.  They were feeding on the many cave crickets that lived there.  We do have one venomous spider in Massachusetts…the black widow.  Occasionally found in houses but more often in garden sheds and wood piles.  I had one in a light fixture over my sink.  I used to greet her, Olivia, in the morning as I was pouring my coffee.

Common house spiders found on Cape Cod.

Spiders are beneficial predators and serve a significant role in keeping populations of many insect pests in check. They are oftentimes the most important biological control of pests in and around homes, yards, gardens and crops.

If you have any questions about what’s crawling around your yard or home, feel free to reach out to me at or submit your questions at my website, Feel free to attach a video or picture file!