House Spiders

Facts, Identification & Control

Latin Name

Parasteatoda tepidariorum
House spiders occur throughout the world and have derived their name from their presence inside human dwellings. A number of species are classified as house spiders, although the common house spider is the most recognized. These arachnids are also sometimes referred to as American house spiders.


Female common house spiders measure 5 to 8 mm in length, while males measure only 4 mm. Common house spiders are typically brown or gray in color, with darker chevron markings along their bodies.

A house spider’s body is divided into the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Like scorpions, mites and ticks, house spiders are wingless. They are classified as arachnids rather than insects and have eight, single-lens eyes.

house spiders

House Spider IllustratorHouse Spider Illustration

Behavior, Diet & Habits

House spider webs are irregularly shaped and can be located in various places within a home, including windows, ceiling corners and above or beneath fixtures.

The presence of common house spiders is typically characterized by the formation of cobwebs. These silken thread structures can be found throughout infested homes. This abundance of empty webs is caused by the common house spider’s propensity to spin webs in various locations until it finds the most suitable place to catch prey.

Webs are designed as trapping mechanisms and are funnel-shaped, with the narrow end acting as a den for the arachnid. Any contact made with the web produces vibrations throughout the strand, signaling to the common house spider that prey is present. Although common house spiders feed primarily on insects, they may also consume larger spiders, scorpions, rodents and small reptiles.

Signs of a House Spider

Signs of house spider infestations include the spider and their webs.

House Spider Life Cycle
House Spider Bites
House Spider Prevention Tips

Types of House Spiders

Brown House Spiders (Steatoda grossa)

Red House Spiders (Nesticodes rufipes)

Black House Spiders (Badumna insignis)

Giant House Spiders (Eratigena atrica)

Southern House Spiders (Kukulcania hibernalis)

Domestic House Spiders (Tegenaria domestica)