Woodlouse Spider

Dysdera crocata

Woodlouse Spider

Adult woodlouse spider (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

Woodlouse Spider

Adult woodlouse spider (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

Woodlouse spider

Adult woodlouse spider with food source (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)


  • reddish head area with cream- to gray-colored abdomen
  • mouthparts and fangs protrude directly in front of the head, giving a menacing appearance
  • six eyes

Nesting Habits

  • under rocks, bark, trashcans, mulch, plants, wood piles, etc.
  • prefer moist areas where isopods live



  • appear menacing because of their large, forward projecting mouthparts and fangs
  • not known to be a health hazard
  • beneficial

IPM Recommendations

  • Minimize nesting habitat around property.
  • Seal exterior cracks and crevices.
  • Install tight-fitting door sweeps at the base of all exterior doors.
  • Vacuum individuals that enter buildings.
  • Step on or smash individual spiders that enter.
  • Catch and release (with a glass jar) spiders found indoors.
  • Change exterior lighting to sodium vapor bulbs.
  • Use pest monitors to capture invading spiders, especially between August and October.
  • Reduce moisture issues around buildings.
  • Follow control methods for isopods to reduce or eliminate this spider’s primary food source.

Additional Resources:

IPM for Spiders: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)