When you see a spider in your home, it's understandable to assume that it's already bitten you, and that its poison is about to bring you to death's eternal slumber.
But don't give away all of your possessions just yet. Some spiders are completely harmless. Here's a handy guide to figuring out which house spiders are dangerous, and which ones are taking advantage of your cowardice.
Common house spider: slightly dangerous
Although they are dull in appearance and in name, these spiders do have a poisonous bite, even if it's not fatal. This is the spider most often encountered in the typical North American household. These guys like to hang out in damp laundry rooms.
Barn funnel weaver: harmless
This spider is about as dangerous as its other nickname sounds. The "domestic house spider" doesn't inspire fear in the hearts of mortals, nor should it. Usually found in dark basements, these bugs are completely harmless and don't deserve to be crushed.
Hobo spider: slightly dangerous
It won't be hard to spot this spider, since it can grow up to three inches in length. It's characterized by its unique back pattern, and it can pack a nasty punch with its poisonous bite.
Southern house spider: harmless
Males of this species resemble brown recluse spiders, but they're generally larger. The females are darker and smaller. Either way, this southern house spider is completely harmless, unless you confuse it with its poisonous doppelgänger.
Yellow sac spider: slightly dangerous
Although they're usually quite small, these yellow spiders have a bite that's venomous, but not fatal. You can usually find them hiding in garages and behind picture frames.
Jumping spider: harmless
Being the largest family of spiders on the planet, it's often hard to recognize a jumping spider by color alone. The best way to tell is to look at the eye pattern. Every jumping spider has four pairs of eyes. In any case, should you come across one, know that they are completely harmless to humans.
Black widow spider: dangerous
These black monsters have characteristic red hour glasses on their thoraxes and can be found in sheds, garages, and basements. Black widows also have a penchant for hanging out in shoes. Their bite can be lethal.
Brown recluse: dangerous
Look for the violin shape on its back, but don't look too hard. This brown spider's bite is extremely poisonous. It usually stays outdoors, but it also likes to visit basements and crawlspaces every now and then.
Cellar spider: harmless
Commonly known as "daddy long legs," these guys are characterized by their...well...long legs. You have nothing to worry about if you cross paths with one of them.
The next time you see a spider in your home, pull out this handy-dandy guide and see what you're dealing with. Some of the harmless spiders can actually provide you with some mosquito-killing company. As for the other ones, however, you might want to leave them alone.