guide to house spiders

A Guide to House Spiders

Spiders, depending on the species, live in a variety of habitats. Some spiders, however, can end up in a house. It’s not uncommon to see one or two spiders in a house, but do know there is a variety of house spiders you can discover? In this guide to house spiders, we explore the different types of house spiders you can find and how to deal with them.

guide to house spiders

What is a House Spider?

Before we dive into the types of house spiders, let’s understand what exactly they are. The house spider is a common indoor pest known for its webs. Found worldwide, especially in the United States and Canada, these spiders adapt well to indoor environments. Female house spiders lay about 250 eggs in round, brown sacs, with the possibility of multiple sacs in one web.

Over their lifetime, a female can produce up to 17 sacs, totaling over 3,760 eggs. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days, and adults may live for a year or more. For those looking to control house spiders, additional information is available to help manage and reduce their impact.

How to Identify a House Spider

Identifying common house spiders involves observing several key features. These arachnids, commonly found in homes, share characteristics such as eight legs, body shape, distinctive markings, color, and the presence of hairs. Most house spiders are brown and lack hair, except for exceptions like the black widow, recognized by its red hourglass marking.

Another distinguishing factor is their webs – common house spiders and black widows create cobwebs or tangled structures, while outdoor spiders like orb weavers may venture indoors, spinning intricate, spoked webs to trap insects. Understanding these features can help in recognizing and differentiating common house spiders.

General House Spider Categories

Common house spiders fall into two main categories: hunter spiders and web-building spiders. Hunter spiders, including wolf spiders, sac spiders, and more usually prefer the outdoors. This type of house spider may accidentally enter homes while trying to find their way back outside.

On the other hand, web-building spiders, commonly found indoors, include cobweb spiders. Examples of this include the American house spider, cellar spiders known as “Daddy Longlegs” found in damp places, and orb weaver spiders that create intricate outdoor webs, to name a few. Understanding these distinctions can help recognize and manage common house spiders.

Guide to House Spiders: Common Types

American House Spider

The American house spider is common in the United States, recognized by its tan color and spotted abdomen. Found in dark spaces like closets and basements, these spiders create cobweb-like webs. They are small, about the size of a nickel, with a round grey abdomen and white markings. Despite their prevalence, they are non-aggressive and only bite when provoked.

Wolf Spider

The wolf spider, ranging from under 1/2 inch to over 1.4 inches, can be gray, black, or brown. Unlike spiders that make webs, they live in burrows and are often found near doors, windows, garages, basements, and houseplants in homes. Common throughout the U.S., especially in California, Missouri, and Texas, wolf spiders rarely bite. When threatened, they usually back up or stand on their hind legs to show their fangs.

Black Widow

The black widow spider has a sleek black body, and the females have a distinctive hourglass marking with red, orange, or yellow spots. They are among the most venomous spiders in North America. While they are found throughout the U.S., black widows prefer the American Southwest. To prevent infestation, it’s recommended to declutter homes, as they like small, dark spaces. If a black widow is seen, contacting a pest control specialist is advised.

Hobo Spider

The hobo spider, around 1/2 inch long, is brown with subtle markings. Like other house spiders, they make funnel-shaped webs and like places such as basements or woodpile crevices. Common in the Pacific Northwest, they have a tannish-brown appearance with mottled patterns on top and spiny hairs on their legs. Their slightly venomous bite usually causes mild irritation. Though mostly outdoors, hobo spiders may come indoors. If there’s an infestation, it’s best to get help from a pest control professional.

Jumping Spiders

Jumping spiders, around an inch in size, are known for leaping up to 25 times their length. They have long, hairy front legs and come in colors like brown, gray, black, or tan. With over 300 species, they differ in appearance, but a key feature is their large, front-middle eyes.

These spiders don’t make webs; instead, they are active daytime hunters found both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, they climb walls, and ceilings, or hang out in attics, while outdoors, they scale buildings and trees. Jumping spiders are not aggressive but may bite when approached. The bite is mildly venomous, similar to a bee sting. Preferring grassy areas, they are commonly found outside or in barns.

Sac Spider

The sac spider, measuring about 1/4″ in length, is yellow or beige and constructs a tent-like silk structure. These spiders follow a nocturnal hunting pattern, hiding in their sacs during the day and actively seeking prey at night. As temperatures decrease, sac spiders often venture indoors to find warmth. Indoors, they create protective sacs in room corners and along the ceiling where it meets the wall.

Guide to House Spiders: Removing Them

Spiders generally don’t prefer residing in homes unless they find a good source of food. To keep unwanted spiders away, consider the following tips:

  1. Relocate vegetation: Move plants away from your house to reduce hiding spots for spiders.
  2. Maintain a clean house: A tidy home decreases the number of potential spider habitats.
  3. Turn off lights: While spiders aren’t attracted to light, turning off lights reduces the presence of insects that spiders feed on.
  4. Seal gaps: Check your house for openings and seal them with mesh screen or duct tape.
  5. Inspect for rotten wood: Spiders favor damp, dark places, so remove any decaying wood near your home.
  6. Natural repellent: Explore DIY methods, like the one described in the video below, to create a natural spider repellent.


There are a variety of spiders you can find in your home. While the majority of house spiders are harmless, they can still get startled and cause harm. Among the different spiders you can spot in your home, the black widow is one of the most dangerous. If you want to keep away house spiders, it is best to seal any gaps and watch for the cleanliness of your house. By knowing the different house spiders you can find in a house, you can get a better idea on dealing with them.

Guide to House Spiders: FAQs

How long do house spiders live?
Common house spiders typically live up to one year.

Do spiders found in houses bite?
Spiders are generally shy and only bite when threatened; they don’t rush out to attack people.

What do house spiders eat?
Most house spiders consume household insects such as flies, ants, and moths. Some may even eat other spiders.

Which is the most aggressive house spider?
The hobo spider is considered the most aggressive, but it only bites when feeling threatened and is not toxic to humans.

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