Don't freak out Northeast Ohio, but these giant spiders are probably in your yard, and maybe even your house
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Dr. Gavin Svenson, with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said it is pretty common for him to get a phone call from someone in Northeast Ohio claiming they have a hairy tarantula in their backyard.
He knows pretty immediately it's not a tarantula.
"Maybe if we were in Florida," Svenson said.
So what are people freaking out about?
"Some of the biggest spiders in Ohio are either a wolf spider or like this guy here which is a fishing spider," Svenson said as he handled a spider about the size of his entire hand.
"People generally don't like spiders, and holding it like you are here. Why isn't it biting you?" Cleveland 19 reporter Dan DeRoos asked.
"They really don't go out of their way to bite people. If I grabbed on to it, stuck my finger where it's mouth parts were, it would probably clamp on and it would not be comfortable. But if you leave it alone, it will leave you alone," Svenson said.
It's called a fishing spider because it lives around water, and can even walk on water because of the little hairs on its body, and they have been known to eat small fish.
As for seeing one in your yard, or worse yet in your house, Svenson suggests not killing it and finding a way to shoo it out.
"The best thing about these things is they are a predator, they're eating a lot of other insects. So if you want a natural based pest control spiders are a great way to do that," Svenson said.
What's crawling in your house? Prowling in your backyard? What am I seeing through my backyard telescope? Did I really just see a bald eagle during my drive home? Are coyotes dangerous? Experts from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History join us to set the record straight on Cleveland Natural – helping you better understand Northeast Ohio nature and providing tips on how to best share our region with our wild neighbors. Explore the wonders of science and nature at cmnh.org.
Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.