A Guide to Common House Spiders: Identification and Behavior

A Guide to Common House Spiders: Identification and Behavior

Spiders are fascinating creatures that are found worldwide. While many people fear them, they play an essential role in maintaining the balance of nature by controlling insect populations. In this guide, we will explore the most common house spiders, their identification features, and their behavior. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about these eight-legged arachnids.


1. Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides):
Also known as the daddy long-legs spider, this species has long, thin legs and a small body. They are pale yellow or gray in color and have a characteristic tangled web in corners or dark areas of the house.

2. House Spider (Tegenaria domestica):
These spiders are usually brown or gray with long, hairy legs. They build funnel-shaped webs in corners and near windows. They are commonly found in basements, garages, and crawl spaces.

3. Cobweb Spider (Steatoda spp.):
These spiders are small and have a bulbous abdomen. They are typically black or dark brown with markings resembling a violin shape. Cobweb spiders build irregular, tangled webs in corners and other undisturbed areas.

4. Jumping Spider (Salticidae):
Jumping spiders are small and have a compact body. They are known for their impressive jumping ability and have excellent eyesight. Their colors vary greatly, often featuring bright patterns.


1. Web Building:
Most house spiders are web builders. They create intricate webs to catch prey such as flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects. The design and placement of the web depend on the species.

2. Hunting:
Jumping spiders do not build webs but actively hunt their prey. With their keen eyesight and agility, they stalk and pounce on insects. They are known for their curious behavior and may approach humans out of curiosity.

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3. Venom:
While most house spiders possess venom, their bites are generally harmless to humans. However, some individuals may experience mild allergic reactions, so caution is advised.

4. Mating and Reproduction:
Male spiders often perform elaborate courtship rituals to attract females. After mating, females lay eggs in silk sacs, which they guard until they hatch. Spiderlings undergo several molts before reaching adulthood.


1. Are house spiders dangerous?
In general, house spiders are not dangerous to humans. Their venom is not potent enough to cause significant harm, but individuals with allergies should exercise caution.

2. How do I prevent spider infestations?
Regularly cleaning and decluttering your home can reduce spider populations. Sealing cracks and gaps can also help prevent their entry.

3. Can I keep house spiders as pets?
Yes, many people keep spiders as pets. Species like jumping spiders are popular due to their curious nature and fascinating behaviors.

4. How do I get rid of spiders without harming them?
If you prefer not to kill spiders, you can gently capture them using a glass and paper and release them outdoors.

5. Why do spiders build webs indoors?
Spiders build webs indoors to catch prey. Houses provide shelter and a consistent food supply, making them attractive locations for spiders.

6. Can spiders jump on humans?
Jumping spiders have excellent jumping abilities but do not typically jump on humans. They are more likely to jump away if startled.

7. How long do house spiders live?
The lifespan of house spiders varies depending on the species. Commonly, they live for one to two years, although some may live longer.

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8. Are house spiders beneficial?
Yes, house spiders play a crucial role in controlling insect populations. By capturing and feeding on insects, they help maintain ecological balance.

9. Can I get diseases from house spiders?
While spiders can carry bacteria, the risk of contracting diseases from them is minimal. Proper hygiene practices and regular cleaning can further reduce any potential risk.

10. How can I differentiate between venomous and non-venomous spiders?
In general, venomous spiders have specific characteristics like fangs, unique body patterns, or other identifiable features. It is advisable to consult a professional if you encounter a spider and are unsure of its venomous nature.

In conclusion, understanding the identification and behavior of common house spiders can help alleviate fear and foster a better appreciation for these beneficial creatures. By coexisting with spiders, we can enjoy a pest-free environment while contributing to the delicate balance of nature.

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