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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What kind of spider is this


My daughter woke up with a sore itchy spot on her foot. I did not see any puncture marks, but still thought it might be a spider. Sent her off to school because she was fine otherwise, stripped her bed and washed everything and vacuumed her room. Then I was making her bed, shook out her comforter and then noticed this spider crawling across her floor. I'm wondering what kind of spider this is and should I be concerned. She seemed fine last night after school and the area looked better. We live in Georgia about 45 minutes north of Atlanta and this was on September 9, 2013.

Dear Marcie - I do not believe that you need worry about this spider. It is Steatoda triangulosa, a cobweb/comb-footed spider; I know of no cases being reported of this species ever envenoming a human. Also, it is a valuable pest controller in its own right, as it has been known to prey on many kinds of arthropods, including ants, spiders (including the brown recluse), ticks, and pillbugs.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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