The Most Common House Spiders and How to Know if They’re in Your Home

The Most Common House Spiders and How to Know if They’re in Your Home

Like it or not, your home is a temporary refuge to at least a few uninvited 8-legged guests. Some of these spiders are shy and non-aggressive, some build massive, messy cobwebs, and others may bite. Read on to get the lowdown on some of the most common house spiders in the U.S., and see which ones might be in your home.

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Comb-Footed Spiders

Comb-footed spiders are a very large group of spiders that live both indoors and outdoors. They’re also called cobweb spiders because they build stereotypical irregular webs in visible places. Comb-footed spiders build cobwebs in out-of-the-way places in your home where they won’t be disturbed, such as in corners, up by the ceiling, in closets, and in basements or crawlspaces. They are small to medium-sized with globe-shaped abdomens and small bodies, and are usually brownish-gray in color with chevron-type markings on their abdomens. They are harmless, but their cobwebs can make a mess in your home. The common house spider is a member of the comb-footed spider family. The first sign of having comb-footed spiders in your home is visible cobwebs, or seeing one of the spiders themselves.

Cellar Spiders

Cellar spiders (Pholcus phalangioides) are slender, long-bodied spiders with long, spindly legs. They like to live in dark places such as basements, crawl places and cellars, and build masses of sheet-like cobwebs that can look like the decorative cobwebs you buy for Halloween. Cellar spiders keep adding to their webs their whole lives, so a population of these 8-legged critters can make a massive mess. These spiders are harmless; their ability to fill your basement with sticky webs is their real menace. When they feel threatened, cellar spiders “dance” by vibrating their bodies up and down very quickly in an effort to be less visible to their foe—check out their dance routine and other fun spider facts here!

Wolf Spiders
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Wolf spider (Hogna spp)

Wolf spiders are medium-sized hunting spiders that generally live outdoors. Some species of wolf spider, however, such as Hogna aspersa, will come into your home just before winter arrives and pass the cold weather inside. Wolf spiders like to hide in places such as houseplants, behind doors, in closets, in bathtubs behind shower curtains, or behind furniture. They are non-aggressive and harmless, but their size and their speedy movements when surprised make them scary to a lot of people. The first sign of wolf spiders in your home is seeing one scurry out from behind a piece of furniture.

Funnel Weaver Spiders

Funnel weaver spiders build a flat, horizontal web with a funnel-like opening at one end. They build their webs in places such as window wells, around steps, in corners, and in closets. Funnel weavers are usually grayish or brownish in color, with a pattern on the abdomen and stripes near the head. One common funnel weaver spider is the barn funnel weaver, which has a pair of dark stripes behind its head and is known for coming into homes and other structures. Funnel weavers are harmless. The first sign of these spiders in your home is usually seeing one of the spiders itself.

Jumping Spiders

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Jumping spiders get their name from their ability to jump several times their own body length to catch prey. Superman has nothing on these tiny arachnids! Jumping spiders make quick, irregular movements and sometimes scurry sideways. Jumping spiders are small to medium-sized and have occasionally been known to bite. Jumping spider bites can cause pain and swelling, but these spiders aren’t considered dangerous. They are active during the day, when they go hunting for prey. The first sign of jumping spiders in your home is seeing the spiders themselves—you are most likely to see jumping spiders hunting in sunny areas such as windowsills. Click here to see a video of an amazing jumping spider leap, and more fun spider facts.

Sac Spiders

 

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Yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum)

The common sac spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum) is a small spider that is pale beige to yellow in color. It weaves itself a sac that it rests in during the day, and roams around hunting for prey during the night. Sac spiders often build their sacs up high, such as where the wall meets the ceiling, and these sacs are the first sign of their presence. Experts believe that common sac spiders are to blame for most spider bites in the U.S., and their bites are often mistaken for the bite of the brown recluse because the sac spider’s bite contains a cytotoxin that can lead to pain and swelling that can last up to 2 or 3 days.

Parson Spiders

Parson spiders are medium-sized spiders that hide in cracks and crevices or under objects during the day and roam around hunting for prey at night. Parson spiders have brownish bodies, gray abdomens, and a white band that runs down half the length of the abdomen.

Keep Spiders Away with Miss Muffet’s Revenge

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Had enough of spiders filling your home with messy cobwebs, scurrying out when you least expect it, or even leaving painful bites? Show them the door with Miss Muffet’s Revenge. For more information on how toxic spider bites may be, check out our blog post here.

Miss Muffet’s Revenge keeps spiders away with just one spray. It not only kills spiders—it also forms a barrier that keeps spiders from returning to that spot inside your home for up to 12 months. Instead of killing spiders one by one or spraying again and again, simply apply Miss Muffet’s Revenge in areas in your home where spiders have been a problem, and let Miss Muffet’s Revenge do all the work. The easy-to-use, high-efficiency sprayer makes it a cinch to apply Miss Muffet’s Revenge, even to high-up areas such as the sac spider’s favorite nesting areas. You’ll be back to enjoying life in no time! No more worrying about spiders.

Photos courtesy of Martin Cooper, Robert Benner, Gido, and Don Loarie.

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