Common House Spiders That Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Spiders are everywhere, doing their thing—catching bugs with their webs or just sprinting to nab their lunch.

There are about 45,000 types, but they all share those iconic eight legs and web-spinning skills.

Some webs are neat spirals; others look like they’ve been through a tornado. And get this, not all spiders are into web design; some are like little ninjas, stealthily hunting down their prey.

Wonder what else they’ve got? Dive deeper and lose the creeps about these eight-legged wonders.

Key Takeaways

  • Common house spiders in North America can be identified by their size, color, distinctive markings, and web habits.
  • Among the most common home-dwelling spiders are the cellar spider, American house spider, jumping spider, and wolf spider.
  • Spider behaviors include building various web types in strategic locations for hunting and employing techniques.
  • You may employ strategies like sealing entry points, maintaining cleanliness, and reducing clutter to prevent spider infestations.
  • If infestations persist or pose a health risk, you are advised to contact a professional pest control.

Identifying Common House Spiders

In entomology, common house spiders in North America occupy a fascinating niche as arthropods. They are distinguished by their eight legs and unique silk-spinning abilities.

Characteristics of House Spiders

Here’s how you can identify the different types of spiders from other household pests, such as tarantulas and scorpions:

SizeTypically small to medium; 3-10mm in body length
ColorVaries; commonly brown, grey, or tan
Distinctive MarkingsIncludes stripes, spots, or patterns, often with a darker mark on the cephalothorax
Body StructureTwo main body parts: cephalothorax and abdomen; eight legs
SpinneretsVisible at the rear of the abdomen; used to spin webs

Most Common Spider Species at Home

Spider identification often hinges on small details. Here’s a list of common spider species you might find around your home:

Cellar Spider

female cellar spider with her spiderlings

Known for their long legs and preference for damp, secluded areas, cellar spiders or daddy-long legs belong to the Pholcidae family and are frequently found in basements, garages, and attics.

American House Spider

American House Spider

Parasteatoda tepidariorum tends to have a round abdomen and often creates cobwebs in corners, window frames, and less-disturbed areas of homes, like garages and sheds.

Jumping Spider

jumping spider

With their compact shape and notable jumping ability, jumping spiders of the Salticidae family are commonly seen on windowsills, walls, and indoors, where they hunt during the day.

Wolf Spider

wolf spider

These ground-dwelling spiders in the Lycosidae family don’t spin webs to catch prey and are often seen running on the floor inside homes and in gardens.

Other Spider Species at Home

As you familiarize yourself with the various spider species that might share your home environment, here’s a detailed look at other common spiders:

Species of SpidersDescriptionHabitat Note
Orb Weaver Spider
(Araneidae family)
Various colors; build circular webs in gardens or homesNon-venomous, typically found on the exterior of homes
Yellow Sac Spider
(Cheiracanthium spp.)
Pale yellow to green; nocturnal huntersCan bite, but venom is not medically significant
Crab Spiders(Thomisidae family)Named for their crab-like appearance and behaviorOften found on flowers or leaves
Garden Spider or Orb Weaver (Argiope spp.)Colorful, large webs, harmless to humansFound in gardens but sometimes enter homes
Grass Spiders(Agelenidae family)Funnel-shaped webs; fast moversCommon in grassy areas, less so indoors
Hobo Spider
(Eratigena agrestis)
Brown spiders with a herringbone pattern on the abdomenFound in ground-level hiding spots, venomous

Spider Behaviors

Spiders exhibit various behaviors, often closely related to their survival strategies, and include intricate web construction and methodical feeding and hunting patterns.

Common Spider Web Construction 

Spiders are renowned for their web-building abilities. They create various types of webs tailored to their hunting methods and habitats.

Here’s where to find different web types and their usual locations within a house:

Web TypeCommon SpeciesLikely LocationImplications
Orb WebsGarden SpidersGardens, near lightsIndicator of insect-heavy areas
Funnel WebsFunnel-web SpidersCorners, eavesSuggests less-disturbed areas
CobwebsCobweb Spiders (House Spiders)Corners, window framesIndicative of ongoing insect presence

Health Risks of Venomous Spiders

Venomous spiders can cause serious health issues, such as necrotic lesions.

To minimize the risks, it’s crucial to identify these species and know the correct first aid measures.

Recognizing Venomous Species

Knowing which spiders in your home might be venomous is essential. Below are two common venomous spiders requiring your attention:

Spider SpeciesDistinguishing FeaturesHabitat
Theridiidae family(e.g., Black Widow Spider)Shiny black body with a red hourglass-shaped on its underside and white markings on its backOften found in undisturbed, cluttered areas like garages, woodpiles, and sheds
Loxosceles reclusa(Brown Recluse Spider)Uniform brown color, violin-shaped mark on its cephalothoraxPrefers dark, secluded indoor spaces such as closets, attics, and basements

What to Do If You Get Bitten by a Spider

Knowing how to react to spider bites can significantly affect the outcome.

Follow these first-aid steps if bitten by Latrodectus spp. or other spiders:

  1. Clean the bite: Wash the area with soap and water to prevent infection.
  2. Reduce swelling: Apply a cold compress to the bite site to ease pain and inflammation.
  3. Elevate: If bitten on a limb, raise it to reduce venom spread.
  4. Monitor: Watch for symptoms like severe pain, muscle cramps, or a spreading lesion.
  5. Seek medical attention: If symptoms worsen or the bitten individual has difficulty breathing, consult a doctor immediately.

Signs of Spider Infestations

Detecting spiders in your home can be worrying.

Recognizing the signs of an infestation and addressing the issue before it escalates is essential.

  • Increased Sightings: Spiders are often solitary, but frequent encounters could indicate a large population.
  • Egg Sacs: Small, silken sacs typically found in secluded areas suggest a new generation on the way.
  • Webs in Specific Areas: A common sign is an abundance of webs, especially in attics, basements, and garages.
  • Seasonal Patterns: Certain species become more active and visible during specific times of the year.

How to Prevent a House Spider Infestation

Addressing environmental factors and adopting specific habits can significantly reduce the likelihood of spider infestations. Here’s how you can do so:

StrategyRecommended Action
Seal Entry PointsSeal any potential entry points and crevices with caulk.
Regular CleaningVacuum and dust regularly, including closets and crawl spaces, to keep your home clean.
Less ClutterReduce clutter, especially in storage areas like basements and attics.
Proper StorageStore items in airtight containers rather than cardboard boxes.
Outdoor LightingModify outdoor lighting to reduce insect attractants.
Outdoor ManagementMaintain a tidy garden, trimming shrubbery and branches back from the exterior of your home.
Use of PesticidesApply a pesticide around the perimeter of your home. Choose a product specifically labeled for spiders.

When to Call a Professional

Identifying when to bring in pest control professionals can save folks heaps of time and hassle. Here’s when it’s definitely time to ring up the experts:

  • Scary Size or Numbers: If you’re dealing with arachnids that could be mistaken for a small pet or their numbers rival the audience at a rock concert, it’s high time to call a pro.
  • Frequent Sightings: Spiders are typically loners. Frequent run-ins with these eight-legged critters suggest an infestation.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may have allergic reactions to spider bites. A professional can confirm the species and danger level if you suspect spiders are more than creepy critters in your home.
  • Pesky Web Builders: Spiders love to spin webs where they please. When people clear webs daily, an expert should take over eviction.