A yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium) is a genus of araneomorph spiders in the family Cheiracanthiidae. They are also called “yellow sac spiders.” Carl Ludwig Koch first wrote about them in 1839. Their bodies are usually pale, and their bellies can be yellow or beige. Both sexes are between 5 and 10 millimeters (0.20 and 0.39 in) long.
Furthermore, they differ from other common house spiders because their tarsi don’t point outward or inward like Tegenaria or Araneus. This makes them easy to spot. The name comes from the way the process on the cymbium of the male palp goes backward. There are other species, too, that include the black footed yellow sac spider.
There are species like the American one in many places around the world, like Germany and Australia. These spiders are active hunters who don’t sit in their webs and wait for their food to come to them. Instead, they go out and find food. They are active at night, so during the day, they build small webs or nests to rest in. You should look for a yellow sac spider nest in your house.
People are afraid of Yellow Sac Spiders because they have been known to bite people. However, there isn’t much to worry about if you see or get bitten by a Yellow Sac Spider. Even though Yellow Sac Spiders are somewhat poisonous and mildly aggressive when provoked.
Moreover, their bites can sometimes cause necrotic tissue, their venom is nowhere near as strong as that of a Brown Recluse. Thus, this is not even close to strong enough to kill a human. Only one case of a Yellow Sac bite causing dead tissue has been recorded.
Yellow Sac Spider Species
In the United States, there are two kinds of Yellow Sac Spiders. The scientific name for the most common species of Yellow Sac Spider is Cheiracanthium inclusum, but this wasn’t always the case. At first, they were put in the family Clubionidae. Later, they were put in the family Miturgidae. Finally, they were put in the family Cheiracanthiidae. Yellow Sacs come in two types: C. mildei, which lives in the U.S., and C. punctorium, which lives in Europe.
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Yellow Sac Spider Habitat
C. mildei comes from Europe, North Africa, and all the way to Central Asia. It is brought to the U.S. and some parts of South America. Moreover, it can be found outside or, more often, inside houses in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. It is thought that English colonists brought it from Europe to the United States.
How Do Yellow Sac Spiders Look Like?
The color of these spiders can be so different that it is not a good way to tell if you have found a Yellow Sac Spider or not. You will have to use other parts to do that. First of all, a Yellow Sac’s legs are much longer than its body, which is only a quarter of an inch long.
The two legs in front will be longer than the others. Most of the time, they are very pale, almost clear, and the tips of their legs are much darker than the rest of their legs.
Most likely, you won’t find them on their web, but if you do, they will be very small and look like a tunnel or a sac. Moreover, they have two rows of eyes, with four eyes in each row that are the same size and shape. They usually have a stripe that goes from the middle of their body to the back, but this is hard to see in some colors. Most of the time, they are seen at night.
What Do Yellow Sac Spiders Eat?
Sac Jaune Spiders eat meat, but sometimes they will also drink nectar. They like to hunt bugs that we usually think of as pests, like cockroaches and insect eggs. They will also eat smaller spiders; if they don’t have enough food, they will even eat their own egg sacs.
Getting Rid of Yellow Sac Spider
You should first identify the Yellow Sack Spider. Spiders will bite if they feel threatened, so don’t get close enough for them to do so. Check the property for spiders, paying special attention to gardens, wood piles, basements, and closets. Find tunnel webs that have egg sacs.
While wearing safety gear like gloves, a mask, and long sleeves, clean up the area where spiders were found by getting rid of any trash or clutter. Take any kids or pets out of the house or put them in a safe room away from the area being treated. Use insecticides that contain Bifenthrin to treat gardens, foundations, baseboards, and other places where spiders are found. For bigger problems, set out glue traps to see if there is any more activity.
To keep them from coming back, fix torn window screens, seal cracks and holes, and get rid of clutter around the house. This will make it harder for them to get back in and take away places where they might want to hide.
What Eats Yellow Sac Spiders
Moth species S. littoralis is mostly eaten by C. mildei in Africa and the Middle East. Predation works by directly killing the larvae by eating them and indirectly killing them by moving them away from their host plants.
What If Yellow Sac Spider Bites You
So, what does a yellow sac spider bite look like? If you get bitten by a Yellow Sac Spider, the bite will probably be red and swollen. Sometimes you can see marks on the teeth, but this doesn’t happen often. Moreover, Yellow Sac Spider bites don’t kill people.
If you get bit, the bite may hurt a lot for about 90 minutes. Furthermore, redness, itching, and swelling will be the most common signs. In very rare cases, the person might feel sick. Only one of these bites has been shown to cause an ulcer, which is also called dead tissue.
As with any wound, the most important thing to do if bitten by a Yellow Sac is to keep the bite area clean and dry. You can do this with a bandage and some over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Most people get better in just a few hours. Moreover, if the symptoms last longer than that, get worse, or the person who was bitten shows signs of anaphylactic shock, they should go to the hospital immediately.
If you live in an area where Yellow Sac Spiders are common, the easiest thing to do is to avoid getting bitten. To do this, you should always wear gloves when gardening or picking up firewood or yard waste, especially in the winter. Thus, give clothes that haven’t been worn in a long time a good shake. Keep your home as free of stuff as you can.
Parvaiz Yousuf is a senior SEO writer and editor with an experience of over 6 years, who also doubles up as a researcher. With an MSc zoology degree under his belt and possessing complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge, he works as a science journalist for a US-based website and Asian Scientist (A Singapore-based magazine). He also works as Director of Wetland Research Centre, Wildlife Conservation Fund YPJK since 2018. Besides, he has several publications to his name on cancer biology and biochemistry in some reputed journals such as Nature & International Journal of Molecular Sciences, & magazines such as Science Reporter, BUCEROS BNHS, and has an abiding interest in ornithology. He also worked as a Research Associate for JK Policy Institute.