Red House Spiders
What Do They Look Like?
Red house spider adult females are about 1/5 to 1/3 of an inch in length, not including their legspan, which is about twice the size of the males. This spider varies in color, but primarily is reddish-brown over its entire body, including the legs. The spider’s abdomen is rounded – more or less shaped like a globe. The body is spotted with the females having a red band and a marking that resembles the hour glass shape of the black widow spider on the underside of their abdomen.
Behavior, Diet & Habit
The red house spider’s name is appropriate since this spider often makes its web inside the home because it prefers cool, dark undisturbed locations such as cupboards and the corners of closets. Outside, they often make their webs under eaves, in doorframes and along the corners of siding and foundations. Insects and other spiders make up the major part of their diet, and they particularly like feeding on ants.
Red house spiders create webs that look like a tangled mess of webbing attached to the walls and floors at multiple points. Red house spiders are not aggressive, but if their web is disturbed they may bite someone who accidentally contacts the web.
Red house spiders breed throughout the year. The female spider creates a round egg sac that will be kept near the web, but not directly on it.
Signs Of An Infestation
The appearance of spiders, egg sacs and the remnants of insect prey are signs of an infestation.
The red house spider is worldwide in distribution, but is reported to occur primarily in the states of Texas, Florida and California.
Do They Bite?
The red house spider’s bite is painful, but since its venom is non-necrotic it should not cause death of skin cells and a lesion as does a brown recluse bite.
Prevention of red house spiders begins with making sure the population of insects that serve as food for spiders is kept to a minimum and that holes, cracks and gaps in the home’s doors, windows and foundation are properly sealed to help prevent entrance into the home’s living space. In addition, removing inside clutter that serves as harborage for spiders is also helpful. Should the homeowner need assistance in control of these or other spiders, contact your pest management professional and request an inspection. Your pest management professional can then use his or her inspection findings to prepare a comprehensive pest management plan that will effectively and efficiently deal with the specific pest problem.