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Fishing Spider

Summary: A fishing spider is not the most common spider, but you do run into them when water is nearby. That water doesn't have to come from a stream or a lake. Unfortunately, your swimming pool can be a good living environment for fishing spiders, too.

Bill W; West Branch, MI asks: I'm not sure what kind of spider infestation I have. Is there anything I can do or any product I can use to get rid of the spiders in the swimming pool? They even seem to jump on the water.

Dear Bill: So many people ask about different bugs they find and without a picture I can only make an educated guess. The thing that helped me identify this one was your comment that "they even seem to jump on the water."

My educated guess would be that the spiders you are finding in your pool are Fishing spiders. These spiders are common in forests and meadows, especially near streams and creeks where they wait for passing prey on rocks and pebbles at the water's edge. Fishing Spiders will always be found where there


are lots of plants, both in the water and on the shore where they hide from predators and ambush prey. They can even hunt for prey on the water's surface.

Fishing spiders are able to walk on water because of the fine hairs on their tarsi which wrap air and act like small buoys. They are land dwellers and are unable to climb on glass and very smooth surfaces. They normally are not found on vegetation and branches. Their meals are often land insects that have fallen in the water and can't escape, but they eat aquatic insects too. They are not web builders.

People who live close to a wooded habitat may see fishing spiders that wander into their homes from time to time.  This can be frightening, especially since the spiders are sometimes very large.  Although fishing spiders are big enough to give a painful bite, they are not considered dangerous.

My best suggestion for control would be to cut back nearby vegetation and try applying an insecticide such as Suspend SC around the perimeter of your property. These spiders are hunting for small prey so try altering any habitat that might attract insects. Night lights directly around the pool, compost piles and stacks of wood should be eliminated.

Ask Rick A Question


31 May 2010, 10:53
How do I keep the fishing spider OUT of the swimming pool?
Ask the Exterminator
01 Jun 2010, 15:04
You keep fishing spiders OUT of the pool by cutting down on the insect population that falls INTO the pool. Turn off the in-pool light at night if you are not enteraining. Turn off other perimeter lighting to eliminate the attraction of the lights. Apply a granular pesticide product around the perimeter of your property to create a preventative border, but do not apply said product nearby the pool where the product can fall into the water. I like the EcoExempt G granular product because it is all natural. You can buy it at tml.
07 Jul 2011, 16:32
We live in Las Vegas and have a large pool in a rather small yard making the vegetation rather close to the you can imagine, we have a few and they are totally gross. One chased me yesterday running across the top of the water! I'm not sure what to do as we don't want to rip out our plants...but I haven't been swimming because the darn things are right there at the edge waiting to jump in again....ugg.
18 Mar 2012, 22:21
I was in a creek the other day and i saw a furry big spider with black stripes running towards me out of nowhere.... I was scared who knew a spider as big as that could walk/run on water????
Bill Miller
12 Jun 2012, 18:47
I found a way to get rid of the water spiders. Spray them with a mixture of water and liquid detergent. They loose the ability to stay on surface and sink and die. Vacuum picks them up.
08 Jul 2012, 16:19
rid pools of spiders
14 May 2013, 22:34
For Bill Miller, what is the ratio of detergent to water, and is that liquid laundry detergent, like Tide, or liquid dish detergent like Dawn? Thank you, these are all over our pool in South Carolina.
13 Aug 2013, 20:11
I just smack them with my hand while I'm in the pool. Only takes a few minutes to kill them off. Just gotta be careful they don't latch onto your hand. Had that happen a couple times. Just shook the spider off then smacked it with my palm.
Tisa Johnson
19 Jun 2015, 20:39
I got bit by a spider in my pool, it stung & I noticed swelling around the hole, I have a pic but can't post, I put ice & took an anti inflammatory & it went down, any idea what kind of spider it is
Ask the Exterminator
25 Jun 2015, 11:30
I would not be able to tell you the type of spider based upon the bite.
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