Crab Spiders; Fact, Identification, Behavior & Control

Crab spiders? well, the thing is we’ve constantly heard about the black widow spider, daddy long legs, etc but never have I heard about “the crab spiders”. This topic has drawn us at Pestclue to carry out various research to know more about this spider and give our viewers a satisfying content.

As we all know, spiders are invertebrates that belong to a class of joint-legged arachnids known as arthropods (which also include scorpions, ticks, mites, etc). The spider is the largest order in the class and is described to have 8 long/short legs depending on the specie of spider involved.

Have you considered asking yourself why these guys are called crab spiders? no, you didn’t (smiles). Well, these spiders are called these because they have crab-like bodies and have the ability to walk sideways and backward just like crabs do.

The above information is just the tip of the iceberg. Want to know more? join us in this effort-written, mind thrilling article as we unravel the mysteries surrounding the crab spider.

We @Pestclue normally get calls and complaints from people concerning pests infestation & animals, and Pestclue as an organization is set up to assist these individuals to identify these pests, know more about them, and help get rid of them, just like the crab spiders.

What do these spiders look like? where do they live? what are they? what brings these uninvited guests to my home? (yes your home, they do not live in beaches) these and many more questions are what this exciting article is set to answer.

We hope to give satisfying facts to our readers and ensure you leave with satisfaction in mind, and peradventure your friends ask: “hey, what is this?” you’ll confidently answer: Alas! don’t you know? it’s a crab spider. All thanks to Pestclue!

Now lets venture into the world of that rusty old crab spider (smiles).


Read also: What is a Group of Monkeys Called? Facts About Monkey Group


What are spiders?

Before getting to know about these amazing spiders, you should be made aware of spiders. Now, what are spiders?:

Spiders are invertebrates that belong to a class of joint-legged arachnids known as arthropods (which also include scorpions, ticks, mites, etc). The spider is the largest order in the class and is described to have 8 long/short legs depending on the specie of spider involved.

On earth, there are over 45, 000 discovered species of spiders in the world, some of which have chosen to live in human dwellings (obviously, you wouldn’t want to have these guys in your home) (so creepy!) (well, not all spiders are dangerous though).

One amazing fact you probably don’t know is that spiders can be found in almost every habitat & continent except 1? yeah you’re right, of course, it’s Antarctica! You guessed right (smiles)

Below is a table showing a brief detail about these creatures:

Spider Facts Spider Facts Explanation
1.       Spider Bites Yes, spiders bite and release their venom into your body causing serious health complications. But luckily, not all spiders bite at least a majority of them don’t and even if they do, they may not even inflict damage, as their venom will only be capable of causing harm to their fellow spiders or insects.
2.       Spider Population In the World As freaky as this may sound, research has shown that spiders are just everywhere, at any time and in any place, at least not 12 feet away from you. But not to worry as they won’t bother you if you’re minding your business.

Presently there are over 45, 000 species of spiders in the world and still more to be discovered.


3.       Spider Blood Did you know that a spider’s blood is blue in coloration, unlike humans and animals that have red blood coloration?

And why is this?

In Humans In Spider
Oxygen is bound to a molecule containing iron and this gives our blood that red color the molecule that oxygen is bound to contain copper, giving their blood a blue color.
4.       The Strength of a Spider’s Web It is believed that a spider web as thick as a pencil can stop a flying plane. Amazing right! Well, it’s true.

Isn’t that amazing?

5.       Spiders Go Out On Dates It’s weird but true! You didn’t expect to have all the fun.

Most spiders do not only dance with their partners, but they also offer wrapped gifts to their loved ones to try and sweet talk their way into a date.

Most spiders act cheap sometimes by stooping so low to offer scraps of leaves or less valuable gifts to their females instead of offering gifts such as flies and other insects. Imagine doing that to a human female (smiles) that would demand a slap wouldn’t it?


Additional Info Just For You!
6.       Spiders Dance.
7.       Spiders have 8 eyes. Obviously knew this, didn’t you? (giggles)
8.       Spiders are Muscular.


Read also: Common House Spider; Facts, Identification & Control


What do I Need to Know About Crab Spiders?


Crab Spiders
What are Crab Spiders?

The crab spider also referred to as “the Thomisidae” is a family of spiders that constitute 2,100 species and 175 genera. As mentioned earlier, these spiders are called these because of their resemblance to crabs, and their ability to hold their two front pairs of legs walk sideways or backward.

Unlike other spiders, these guys do not spin webs but wait in ambush for their prey. They are usually found in leaf litter, on the surface of the soil, tree barks, and around flowers while they await their prey. Out of the 2,100 species, about 124 species are in the United States of America.

The crab spider lives in gardens, woodlands, tropical rainforests, grasslands, scrublands, and meadows, in fact, they can be found in all kinds of habitats except in very dry deserts and extremely cold mountains.


Read also: Is a Crab a Spider? Facts, Similarities, and Differences


Did You Know?

  • Period of Activity: These spiders are only active during the day time.
  • Color: The females are usually white, green, or yellow in color while males are darker in color.
  • Hunting Abilities: The hunting skills of this spider is different from that of other spiders. Yes, they do produce silk but not for the construction of webs. They are ambush predators that silently wait in flowers until their prey shows up. It seizes the prey with its front legs and delivers deadly venom using its fangs.
  • Favorite Food: Want to woo these guys? then serve them a good meal of honeybees, flies, and butterflies. They feed mostly on insects that travel around flowers in search of nectar.
  • Mind-thrilling Abilities: You think you’re the only one with superpowers? well, think again, as these guys have the ability to change their body color to that of their environment within a few days of staying there.
  • Predators: Well, every creature on earth has its predator (other species of insects or animals that would want to feed on them) and the crab spider is no exception. Below is a list of some of the animal species that may want to feed on the crab spiders:
  1. Lizards
  2. Huge spiders
  3. Birds
  4. Wasps
  5. Ants
  6. Shrews
  • Method of Mating: Mating in these creatures is kinda weird though. The males follow silk threads that have been left by females and deposit packages of sperm on the ground. The females collect these packages called and fertilize the eggs.
  • Cruel Death of the Females: The female protects her eggs until they hatch, 3 weeks later. Sadly, she does not eat during this period. Shortly after the eggs hatch, the female dies from exhaustion.


The Behavior of Crab Spider

We stated earlier that these pests do not build webs to trap their prey, but instead lay in ambush for them. They only produce silk for reproductive purposes, and other purposes not pertaining to hunting. They are sometimes referred to as “the wandering hunters”.

They are usually seen lurking beside flowers or fruits, waiting for visiting insects such as the butterflies, flies, honeybees, etc to come and feed on nectar. They are also able to do this due to their ability to blend with the color of their environments within some days.

While some species hunt on flowers, some species of crab spiders with flattened bodies either hunt in the crevices of tree trunks or under loose bark or shelter under such crevices by day and come out at night to hunt. They use their powerful front legs to grab and hold on to prey while paralyzing it with a venomous bite.

These spiders are not known to be harmful to humans though.


How do crab Spiders Reproduce?

As stated earlier, mating in this spider is different from that of other spiders, as the males follow silk threads that have been left by females and deposit packages of sperm on the ground. The female produces eggs within a few weeks of mating.

She deposits the eggs in an egg sac remains with the eggs to protect them from predators. The female protects her eggs until they hatch (depending on environmental condition). Sadly, she does not eat during this period. Shortly after the eggs hatch, the female dies from exhaustion.

The spiderlings (as they are called) emerge from the sac looking like young adults. They still have to go through a series of molting before becoming fully grown adults.


Read also: Golden Orb Spiders; Facts, Behavior, Identification & Control


What do Crab Spiders Feed On?

Crab spiders feed on a range of insects, especially insects that lurk around flowers (They are carnivores). They feed on:

So you see, their diet is not as much as yours, is it? (smiles)


Where do Crab Spiders Live?

Crab spiders do not live in nests or on webs as some insects do. These arachnids live in areas close to a food source (insects). You may find these guys hanging around:

  • Leaf litter.
  • on the surface of the soil.
  • Tree barks.
  • Beside flowers.
  • crevices of tree trunks.
  • under loose tree bark.

These are habitats where you can find the crab spiders.


How do I Identify Crab Spiders?

You obviously wouldn’t just know about these pests without knowing what they look like, your research wouldn’t be complete, would it? what do they look like? how do I identify one when I see it?

People also tend to mistake these guys for another similar species of spiders, “the golden orb weaver”, but there are lots of features that you can use to identify these pests and differentiate them from their look-alikes “golden orb weaver”.

Listed below in a tabular form are differences in identification between the crab spiders and the orb weavers:

Crab Spiders Golden Orb Weaver
1. The females are usually white, green, or yellow in color while males are darker in color. 1. The color of the golden orb-weaver varies from red to yellowish-green, with a notable whiteness on its head and thorax.
2. They have the ability to hold their two front pairs of legs and walk sideways or backward. 2. They have long, striped legs specialized for weaving golden orbs.
3. The Crab spider can reach a length of 0.16 inches to 0.3 inches. As expected, females are larger than males. 3. These spiders could measure from 4.8 cm to 5.1 cm in females while males could measure less than 2.5 cm (females are larger than the males).
4. The most startling fact about this spider is: that they are said to resemble crabs. 4. The most startling fact about this spider is: that they live on bananas. At least that’s what most people say. But you can clear these doubts by reading one of our previous articles: Are Banana Spiders Poisonous? Banana Spider Behavior


How Do I Control Crab Spiders In my Home?

As mentioned earlier, these spiders are not in any way harmful to humans as you suppose them to be, but they do bite (only if they feel threatened). Before you are given control measures pertaining to the orb spider, let’s look at certain reasons why you would/wouldn’t want to harm these creatures.


Are Crab Spiders Poisonous to Humans?

The simple answer to this question is yes, but not as deadly as that of a black widow or wolf spider’s venom. Although this spider is poisonous, it’s venom is not so strong to cause fatal circumstances. Its bite may cause allergies such as blisters, redness, and swelling around the bitten area but this sometimes applies to those who are allergic to them.

Allergic reactions to the poison are rare and If any of these after-effects (listed above) are noticed, then medical advice should be sought immediately. One thing you should know is that this spider is very beneficial to humans, especially as it helps prevent the spread of insects, such as fruit flies, mosquitoes, etc

Is a crab spider poisonous? well, now you know. Do you still want to kill them? Well, your choice.


How do I Treat a Crab spider’s bite?

A bite from these guys is not always serious, and not everyone is seriously affected by a bite from them, but sadly, some people are allergic to them, and serious measures need to be taken to reduce the effect of this poison. Below are ways of treating a crab spider’s poison:

  • Matter of fact is, you don’t need to treat a bite from these guys (smiles) as the pain will quickly subside within a few hours of the bite. But you can apply ice to the affected area to ease the pain (not so painful though).


Read also: Are Spiders Insects? Webbing the Spider Verse


How Did I get Crab spiders In my Home/Garden?

Another thing you should know is that these guys do not have any business inside your house, but will be seen lurking close by.

As we stated earlier, these spiders don’t build webs or nests and don’t even go out to hunt either. Instead, they blend (camouflage) with the color of their environment and lay in wait for their prey to come to them.

So now you probably know why this guys are in your gardens: its because pests that attract them also lurk around these areas in abundance (especially, the flower-loving insects).

An infestation of these pests is not really a serious issue as it sounds, as they are very beneficial to man in getting rid of disturbing pests such as the flies and mosquitoes.


How do I Get Rid Of a Crab Spider Infestation?

In case you still want to stop these guys from wandering about your environment, below are ways of getting rid of them:

  • Keep your house and environment tidy to avoid some nasty insects from coming into your home, as this will attract these pests to your home.
  • Cut surrounding grasses short.
  • If you spot any of this spider’s nest, use water from your garden hose or a broom to clear it off.
  • Get rid of mulch.

These steps aren’t really necessary though, as these spiders are only there to feed which serves as an advantage to you.



There are a lot of mistakes people make when it comes to nature such as the case of the crab spider. People often mistake them to be orb weavers, they are sometimes confused if these spiders are dangerous. But luckily this article has been able to answer one of these many questions, Are those crab spiders? Alas! it is.

We @pestclue are always glad to be of help to our viewers, and ensure you leave with a satisfying mindset. For more info, concerning pests, pets, and animals, do well to contact us and make your contributions or queries. Thank you!

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