Common House Spider

Spider

Genus: Achaearanea
Species: tepidariorum

As its name suggests, the common house spider is the most often seen spider in homes in the United States. They like to build webs in hidden areas of the home, such as attics, basements, sheds and barns. Most of the webs are in the corners of rooms and very easy to miss.

Description:  The common house spider is small, less than a ¼ of an inch long. Females tend to be a little larger than the males. House spiders are brown and some individuals may have brown or white spotting on the abdomen. 

The legs of males have an orange tint, while the legs of female common house spiders look yellow. One of the most noticeable characteristics of the common house spider is the dark rings on the legs. Each leg has several darker rings, especially at the joints.   

Common house spiders spin webs that are made from thin spider silk strands. There are several ways to tell a common house spider web from other species' webs: 

  • Common house spiders usually spin one part of the web to be thicker,
  • The spider sits on this thicker portion of the web,
  • And common house spiders also add a leaf or two to the web so they can hide.

When looking for common house spider webs, you might see multiple webs close together or a web with more than one spider. If house spiders find a good spot with plenty of food, they do not mind if another spider produces a web nearby. However, if the webs are too close, spiders might attack each other. For a short period of time, males and females can live on the same web during the breeding season. 

When people find common house spiders, they oftentimes destroy the web and kill the spider. This is misguided. Remember: Spiders eat insects including flies and mosquitoes. Before you kill a common house spider ask yourself this question – Would you rather have one spider in your home or a lot of flies and mosquitoes?

Range:  Everywhere! They can be seen in gardens, backyards, basements, attics, barns, sheds and any other type of man-made structure.

  • Fun Fact
    A female common house spider can produce several egg sacs in a year. The best time to spot an egg sac is in the summer. They are very small, papery, brown sacs that hang from the web and can have over 400 spider eggs inside.

Get Our E-Newsletter 
Help Wildlife. Symbolically adopt an animal today!
Connecting...
Join today and get a 1 year subscription to National Wildlife magazine