There are many types of spiders found in Utah thanks to a diverse ecosystem. Across the state, there is suitable habitat for a wide variety of both poisonous and non-poisonous spiders species. However, there are a few that anyone who is planning on spending time outdoors in Utah should be aware.
Tarantulas are the stuff from which horror movies are made. These spiders have been found in Utah measuring up to four inches in length. Their hair-covered bodies, large jaws and formidable legs can be quite a sight to behold especially in low-lighting conditions. It is important to remember that a surprised or startled tarantula will typically prove to be more aggressive. These spiders often times display aggression by raising their bodies off the ground on two legs and emitting a hissing noise. While the bite of a tarantula is seldom life threatening, there is the possibility of anaphylactic shock or infection.
The hobo spider is usually of about one half inch in length, brown in color and is very common to most areas of Utah. Closely resembling a common brown house spider, the hobo is often confused with or incorrectly identified. The bite of a house spider is non-poisonous, but the hobo packs a venomous bite. The hobo may be recognized, especially outdoors, by the tunnel-like web nest it builds. If bitten by a hobo, seek medical attention immediately to help prevent potentially serious complications.
Few spiders have the ability to instill fear and respect as does the black widow. The easily recognized hourglass shape on the body of the widow is a warning of the potential danger associated with this spider. Found both indoors and out, the nest of a black widow is not a typical web but is more tangled and will usually have pieces of grass, twigs and other debris--creating a very ugly web. The black widow's bite is very poisonous and may cause associated medical problems including death. Seek medical attention immediately.