You might be surprised to know that Ohio is home to nearly 300 insects, arachnids and other creepy crawlers–and if you’re like me, you’re definitely not OK with the fact that there are spiders in Ohio that can grow beyond the size of an adult’s palm. According to InsectIndentification.org, the following 15 straight up creepy bugs can be found in Ohio. (Meaning, I will be indoors more than I planned to be this summer.)
1) American Cockroach
Though not actually native to the United States and originally from Africa, this reddish brown pest can be hard to get rid of since it eats the same foods as humans and pets. (Side Note: If I found one of these in my home, I'd probably run out screaming and just give it my house...I'd find somewhere else to live.)
2) Masked Hunter
This type of Assassin Bug is a predator to small insects and is capable of inflicting painful bites on people. Its sticky body causes dust, lint and dirt to stick to the body, masking its insect appearance.
3) Black Widow
Female black windows are infamous for their toxic venom, which males and immature females lack. These wicked spiders tend to spin their webs in places that may be disturbed or visited by humans, however--so keep your eyes peeled.
Even though these look like miniature scorpions, they (thankfully) lack a tail or stinger.
5) Fishing Spider
With a leg span that can stretch more than 3 inches (larger than an adult's palm) I'm not convinced that this spider's venom is harmless. These giant spiders are found near bodies of water, and can stay submerged under water for as long as 30 minutes when hunting in water. (Lesson learned: Stay out of lakes, creeks, ponds and rivers. This is NOT how I'm going to go...)
6) Stag Beetle
These primarily night dwellers (surprisingly) stick to a diet of sap in spite of their terrifying mandibles.
7) Buffalo Tree Hopper
These leaflike, easily recognizable bugs get their name from their large heads that resemble those of a buffalo.
8) Banded Garden Spider
This large spider builds its orb-shaped web low to the ground between plants in garden beds.
9) Eastern Velvet Ant ("Cow Killer")
More commonly known as "Cow Killer," the Eastern Velvet Ant actually isn't an ant at all. It is actually a wasp with a severe sting that's strong enough to kill cattle. (Never trust a bug that's not what it says it is...)
10) House Centipede
These creepy crawlers have 15 legs, and are surprisingly helpful to a home as they eat other insects and keep cockroaches and moths at bay. (But I'm not buying it.)
11) Orb Weaver
Although these creepy spiders come in a variety of shapes and colors, they are easily recognizable by their rounded abdomen. These spiders are also known to re-spin a new web every night.
12) Leaf-footed Bug
Leaf-footed bugs make loud noises when they fly and as a means of defense. They (thankfully) only eat plants.
13) American Pelecinid Wasp
Surprisingly, the terrify long abdomen (which appears to be a tail) of this female wasp isn't used for stinging--it is actually used to deposit her eggs.
14) Long-legged Sac Spider
This pale, fast spider is often found in homes and offices, particularly on ceilings, in wall corners and under the bed. (So, yeah, there's a reason the "monster under the bed" concept exists...)
15) Eastern Harvestman
This arachnid--but not spider--does not have fangs and (thankfully) cannot bite. Their second pair of legs serve as an antenna.
Have you ever encountered any of these terrifying species? If so, share your experiences and photos with us. (Also, know that you are a truly brave soul to have walked away from the encounter alive, and you have my utmost respect.)