7 Questions About Spiders in Your Home

It’s perfectly normal to cringe when you find a spider in your personal space, especially if it looks particularly threatening. Luckily, very few spiders in the US are dangerous to humans or even want anything to do with us in the first place. And unlike other pests in your home, one spider is not often a sign that you have a full-blown infestation. 

On the other hand, it is just as important to address a spider in your home—especially if a spider is setting up a web or when you spot more than one in a short period of time. One of the most common reasons you’ll find a new web in your kitchen is actually the presence of other bugs. Spiders feast on a variety of insects, and they will go where the food supply is high.

If a spider finds that your home is a safe and comfortable place to build a nest, they could end up multiplying there. In this case, a small nuisance—or even a helpful bug catcher—could swiftly turn into a frightening problem. 

We’ll outline all the commonly asked questions about spiders in your home as well as when and how a professional can step in with more assistance.

Quick Facts About Spiders

We have a lot of misconceptions about spiders, especially because their often-starling appearance can send many of us into a cold sweat. Despite their appearance, spiders are relatively safe—and often helpful—creatures. Here are some quick things to know about spiders.

  • Spiders are not technically insects. They fall into the Arachnid family along with ticks and scorpions.
  • Spiders have eight legs, two body regions, and up to eight eyes.
  • Spiders build a nest from silk to either catch their prey or protect their eggs once a nest is set up.
  • There are only two types of poisonous spiders in the US—the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow Spider. Hobo Spiders can also cause ulcerated wounds when bitten but are not venomous to humans.
  • Depending on the species, spiders can lay several hundred eggs in one sac. A common house spider can lay over a thousand eggs in her lifetime.

What Should I Do if I Find a Spider Inside my House?

Panic is a common reaction—even if just for a moment—when you spot a spider inside your home. But it is often easy to safely remove the spider without the risk of harm to yourself or to the spider itself.

However, we always recommend indemnifying the spider before handling it if you are remotely concerned that it could be a Brown Recluse or Black Widow. If you live in either of these two venomous spiders’ regions—which we’ll outline more below—call a professional before handling any questionable Arachnids.

How to Safely Remove a Spider

Spiders are important members of our ecosystem, so if there is a way to safely remove a single spider without harm, it is often the best option. Once you have a pathway to a door or window available, you can hook part of the spider’s web on a pencil, carrying the spider outside safely. Capturing them in a cup or bowl for the transfer is also an option. 

Though this is not the safest choice for the spider, you can also use a vacuum, but be sure to empty the container outside right afterward.

Check the Surrounding Area

After removing the spider, clean up the surrounding web or any leftover nests or eggs. Check behind furniture and around plumbing to make sure none of its friends followed the spider in as well. 

Spiders will often hide close to a water source, such as by your plumbing like under the sink or by the shower. They will also build nests where there is an abundance of other insects, such as under stairways, in corners, or behind furniture.

Look for an Entryway

There is a large chance that the spider simply slipped inside when you opened the door or when it hitched a ride on a pet, family member, or on your firewood pile. However, if you’ve spotted several spiders recently, check for cracks in your screens, the bottoms of walls, and unsealed thresholds in your doorways.

Are Spiders Dangerous in Your Home?

First off, it’s important to note that no infestation in your home should be left untreated, even the creature can be beneficial outside your home. However, spiders are important predators in the food chain of our ecosystem, especially if you are trying to control unwanted pests in your garden.

A random spider here or there is not a threat to your safety or health—again, unless they are one of the two venomous spiders listed below. Even if spiders eat disease-carrying bugs like mosquitoes, they can rarely pass bacteria on to humans.

If you spot more than one spider in your home—or a web filled with other insects—spiders can act as a signal that you need professional help to manage another pest problem.

Why are There Spiders in My House?

This brings us to the important question as to why there are spiders hovering in your house in the first place. There is always the chance that the spider ended up there by accident, but if they build a web, it has probably found a reason to stick around. Here are a few of the top reasons there are suddenly more spiders in your home:

It’s the Right Season

In many areas, fall is the high season for spiders to start emerging inside people’s homes. In many cases, spiders will hideout over the summer and come out to build a nest if they make it to the fall. Your home may appear to be a predator-free zone to find a mate.

There are Many Places to Hide

Just like any other critter, spiders seek out safe places to hide to stay alive without threats. The more places a spider can hideaway, the more likely they are to stay for good. Be sure to clear away piles of clutter or occasionally dust areas with high numbers of books, decor, or dishes to catch spiders before they settle in.

You Have the Right Prey

Above all else, a house filled with flies, moths, and beetles will attract spiders to build a web. Even if you haven’t noticed your other pest problem, this could be the first sign that it’s time to check what is attracting bugs inside.

How Do I Identify a Spider?

When you find an unrecognizable spider in your home, your first question is probably: what am I looking at here? Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common spiders you’ll find in your home throughout the US.

Name Coloring Size Features
Cellar Spider Off-white or cream Up to three-quarters of an inch
  • Very thin legs and body
  • Prefer dark, damp areas
  • Can eat other spiders
Crab Spider Typically brown, but can adapt to the bright colors of flowers Less than a half of an inch
  • Larger bodies and bent legs, like a crab
  • Passively attack their prey after hiding in plants
Domestic House Spider Brown or gray with dark-brown markings Their body is up to one inch with an additional inch of leg span
  • Funnel-web builders
  • Females will stay with the web while males wander for food and better shelter
Funnel Web Spiders Brown with darker stripes Large bodies, typically one-half to one-inch long
  • Build a distinctly flat web with a funnel at the end for hiding
  • Often hide in the grass
Garden Spiders Typically black and yellow Very large spiders with one-inch bodies and legs up to three inches long
  • Typically makes a nest between shrubs and trees to catch flying prey
Ground Spiders Brown with orange or red markings Bodies are less than a half-inch long and they have shorter legs.
  • Encompass a wide number of different spiders
  • Hunting spiders that typically do not build nests
Hobo Spider Brown and gray, often with various markings Body measures three-quarters-of-an-inch with long legs
  • This spider can and will bite if trapped against the skin
  • Occasionally, the bite can be dangerous
House Spider Brown or tan with markings Round abdomen up to three-eighths of an inch
  • Typically build webs in corners of basements and cellars 
Jumping Spider Black or gray, often with markings One-half-of-an-inch or shorter
  • Active during the day
  • Great leapers
  • Rarely enter homes on purpose
Spiny-Backed Orb Weaver Spider Large white abdomen with bright markings and black legs Less than half-an-inch
  • Capture flying prey with flat webs
  • Only invade homes if brought in with potted plants
Tarantula Dark brown to black The body can be two-and-a-half inches with four-inch legs. The largest spider in the US.
  • Typically not threatening to humans and do not go indoors on purpose
  • Slow-moving, so they are easy to catch
Wolf Spider Dark brown One-quarter to one-and-a-half inches with long, thick legs.
  • Often mistaken for tarantulas
  • Thrive in outdoor landscapes around homes
Yellow Sac Spider Pale yellow to green A quarter-of-an-inch
  • Can bite humans, but the wounds are rarely harmful
  • Spend their days wrapped in a silken sac and come out at night
Black Widow Spider Range from black with red markings to brown with orange markings Between one-eighth and one-and-a-half inches
  • Very painful and dangerous bite, but rarely fatal
  • Do not handle without professionals help
  • Their webs are notoriously messy without structure
Brown Recluse Spider Tan to pale brown Half-and-inch long
  • Dangerous bite that may require medical attention
  • Hides in crawl spaces, cellars, and attics
  • Often mistaken with the wolf spider

How Can I Identify a Spider bite?

Though spiders rarely will or can bite humans, bites do happen, especially from the yellow sac spider. Any spider that feels significantly threatened may try to attack, but even if it does bite you, the small amount of venom used to kill their prey will unlikely affect your skin.

Still, some spiders can inflict painful, if not dangerous bites. The bites themselves will typically look a lot like other insect bites, featuring:

  • Pain and itching around the bite
  • Redness and swelling
  • Rash in the area
  • Skin blisters

Black widow and brown recluse spider bites may have additional symptoms, some of which are quite severe. Black Widow bites, for example, typically have two fang bites. You may have additional symptoms such as nausea, difficulty breathing, and tremors.

Brown Recluse bites are particularly notorious since they are not always easy to notice just after the bite has occurred. Soon after, a scab or area of blue, sunken skin may appear. Highly venomous spiders can cause large ulcers to form for weeks at a time.

Even the smallest spider bites should be kept clean and protected until they fully heal. If any other 

How Can I Naturally Prevent Spiders?

You can protect your home from invasive spiders with some simple tips mentioned throughout this article. These preventative measures do not require chemicals or even harming the spiders—it’s just about keeping them out in the first place.

  • Seal up common entryways such as window, screens, and door frames
  • Check attic vents and fans for entry points
  • Reduce outdoor lighting
  • Cut down on home clutter and dust regularly
  • Control the rest of your pest population to cut down on predators like spiders
  • Keep your home clean of food and debris so other pests stay outdoors
  • Check potted plants, packages, and firewood for spiders before bringing them indoors

What Are the Popular Store-Bought spider Repellents?

If you detect more spiders in your home than a few randomly lost intruders, there are many commons store-bought spider traps and repellents, including:

  • Sticky traps used for ants and cockroaches
  • Spidercide for areas where spiders frequently gather
  • Natural spider repellent sprays with peppermint oil
  • Ultrasonic sound-based pest repellents

Professional Spider Control

The expert team at Terminix has been treating homes for over 90 years, protecting living spaces from current infestations and the threat of their return. If you detect a spider infestation on your property—or are concerned about a specifically dangerous spider—call our team for a free consultation.

Terminix will remove the spiders, webs, and nests from your home with efficiency and care as well as protect your permanent from future visitors. Throughout the extent of your plan, we ensure that spiders never return, even at the peak of the season.

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