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Common House Spider

Common House Spider

Achaearanea tepidariorum

Status: Not Listed

Classification: Invertebrate

Description

As its name suggests, the common house spider is the spider most often seen 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.

The common house spider is small, less than a quarter of an inch (0.6 centimeters) 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.

Range

Common house spiders will live just about anywhere. They can be seen in gardens, backyards, basements, attics, barns, sheds, and any other type of man-made structure.

Diet

When people find common house spiders, they often destroy the web and kill the spider. However, it's important to remember that spiders eat insects, including flies and mosquitoes, and they could be keeping these out of the homes they're inhabiting.

Behavior

Common house spiders spin webs that are made from thin silk strands. There are several ways to tell a common house spider's web from other species' webs. For one, common house spiders usually spin one part of the web to be thicker than the rest. The spider sits on this thicker portion of the web. In addition, common house spiders like to add a leaf or two to the web so they can hide.

Common house spiders might be seen on 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, the spiders might attack each other.

Life History

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 more than 400 spider eggs inside.

Conservation

Common house spider populations are not considered threatened.

Fun Fact

For a short period of time during the breeding season, males and females can live on the same web.

Sources

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

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