It's been about two years since we started being on the look out for brown recluse spiders. I mean, once you see SIX of them in a week, it's time to do something. I think I may have even gotten bitten by one of them, as the mark on the top of my foot looked nothing like a mosquito bite and was there for a very long time. Yeah, brown recluse spiders are not welcome in my home. I bet they're not welcome in yours either.

The Largest Spiders in Kentucky

And as we approach a time of the year when we'll be seeing more and more of them, let's take a look at ones that AREN'T so difficult to spot. That's because these are some of the largest spiders in the Commonwealth. If you have arachnophobia, turn away now; it gets bumpy from here on in. has done the heavy lifting with its examination of five of Kentucky's biggest spiders, two of which I have never seen before.

The Southeastern Wandering Spider

Brazil has a wandering spider, but its bite is tremendously bad news. Not so the southeastern wandering spider. It can grow up to 1.6 inches in diameter and CAN bite you if agitated enough. But all you'll get is a little pain and redness.

The Striped Fishing Spider

If you like to fish, chances are you've seen this little fellow. Well, "little" is relative as he/she measures between 1 and 2.4 inches wide. It's the striped fishing spider, and, as you may have guessed, it can be found near bodies of water. The bite feels like a bee sting, but it's not likely to happen; striped fishing spiders want no part of you and will flee to avoid contact with humans. I like how this one thinks. Keep in mind that while these ARE the biggest spiders you'll find in Kentucky, they can also be found elsewhere. This guy was caught on camera in the Niagara Falls area.

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The Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Do you have a garden? If not, did you have one in your yard growing up? Well I did, and I'll never forget seeing one of those enormous black and yellow garden spiders hanging out in its admittedly beautiful web over my mother's tomatoes. Those are the kinds of webs that make you do the spider dance when you walk through them because those things WILL make a web across a walkway if it isn't used enough. So, by all means, USE YOUR WALKWAYS in order to avoid the possibility of a run-in with a spider that CAN be up to 3 inches wide. The good news is they rarely bite us, but if they do, the pain is mild and there may be some swelling.

The Rabid Wolf Spider

What a lovely name, right? Rabid wolf spider. On the list of things I'd like to avoid, anything named "rabid wolf spider" immediately jumps on the list. Actually, while I wouldn't go out of my way to put one of these things ON me, they're not as bad as they sound. Like any bite, there might be some pain and swelling, but these spiders are generally not harmful. Plus, their diet is beneficial. Rabid wolf spiders hunt at night and will kill insects and other spiders, like the aforementioned brown recluse. By the way, they're in this story because they grow up to 3 inches wide.

The Carolina Wolf Spider

And how about this guy? Its name evokes another state, but we still have to deal with the Carolina wolf spider here in Kentucky. But that's no big deal. Like other wolf spiders, this sometimes 4-inch-wide spider hunts and eats the insects and other spiders we DON'T want in our homes. For that, we can be thankful for this admittedly unattractive creature.

You know, I'm not afraid of spiders, but I'm also not letting that thing crawl on me, either. I'll leave it to do its good work while I'm asleep. Just don't crawl across my face, okay?

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