Now that you’ve decided to make a trip to Maui and plan on staying in your luxury vacation rental there, you might be wondering if there are spiders in Maui or what to do when you encounter one.
It is completely understandable as nobody likes an unwelcome guest, especially one of a creepy-crawly sort, when you’re alone in your holiday home.
Here’s what you should know before you travel to Maui.
What Kinds Of Spiders Are In Maui?
The Pacific Islands are home to over 3,000 species of arachnids (spiders, scorpions, and mites). Of those, about 25 are known to live on Maui.
The Orb Spider
The most common type of spider in Maui is the orb weaver. These spiders have a round body with a large abdomen and eight legs. This type of spider makes thick, sticky webs that hang from tree branches and shrubs.
An orb weaver’s web can be up to one foot across.
The Hawaiian Happy-Face Spider
Another one is the Hawaiian happy-face spider is a small, light-colored spider with a black or dark brown pattern on its back. It’s often found in banana trees and other warm spots around the house.
It’s not considered dangerous, but you might want to wear gloves if you plan to handle it.
The Black Widow Spider
The most dangerous spider in Maui is the black widow spider. The female black widow has an hourglass-shaped red mark on its underside.
Although these spiders are not aggressive, they should be avoided at all costs.
They tend to live in dark places like woodpiles, rock piles, or unused closets. Black widows produce venom which can cause muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting if you’re bitten by one.
Other types of spiders in Maui include jumping spiders, wolf spiders, and sac spiders. Jumping spiders are usually small with large eyes and long front legs which they use to make jumps as they hunt for food.
Are Spiders In Maui Dangerous To Humans?
Most of native species of spiders on Maui are tiny little guys that feed on the insects in homes and gardens.
Hawaii’s most pervasive spider is the Common House Spider. These spiders don’t produce venom or build webs for trapping prey. Instead, they roam about looking for food by biting into soft-bodied insects like mosquitoes, flies, and caterpillars.
One of the most common types of spiders found on Maui is called the jumping spider. These spiders are relatively harmless but can jump up to several feet when disturbed. If they land on you, they will bite.
There have been several reported cases of people being bitten by jumping spiders on Maui, but most bites have only caused redness and minor pain, but some people have experienced discomfort for longer periods as a result of these bites.
House Spiders never grow larger than a quarter-inch long, so unless you’re a mosquito or fly larva, you don’t have to worry about being their next meal.
What Can I Do To Avoid Spiders In Maui?
Most spiders in Maui are not dangerous and they are not interested in biting you. Most spiders don’t even want to get close to humans so the chances of one coming across you on purpose are slim.
However, if you’re concerned about spiders in Maui, here are some tips for avoiding them:
- Check your shoes before putting them on. Not only do sand fleas live there, but so do many other creepy crawlies that can bite or sting.
- Tarantulas, black widows, and other spiders might be hiding in your luggage as you travel from the mainland, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them. One way to do so is to pack your bags carefully and make sure that you have zippered all of your luggage shut before traveling.
- Inspecting your bedding before going to sleep is also very important in avoiding spider bites on Maui. Pay special attention to the corners of beds and any cracks or holes in the sheets where a spider could hide. Be sure to look for spiders early in the morning when they might be resting on your bed during the night instead of scurrying away from you in search of prey.
If you discover a spider in your room, avoid handling it yourself and contact housekeeping immediately. Some of these creatures can be very dangerous if provoked, so leave it to professionals who know how to handle them safely.
Other precautions to take include:
- Stay in a resort with screened windows & doors
- Avoid open areas during the early morning and evening hours
- Keep shoes on inside the house and don’t leave shoes outside overnight
The most effective way to avoid potentially dangerous encounters with spiders is to simply be aware of the environment around you. That includes paying attention to your surroundings at all times when exploring Maui’s trails and beaches.
Know Your Enemy, Keep Your Eyes Open
In the end, avoiding spiders in Maui and the surrounding area will come down to a few things: knowing what you’re dealing with, keeping your eyes open while you’re traveling and exploring, and taking precautions to prevent getting bitten when necessary.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to enjoy your visit without fear of an unfriendly encounter with a spider.