Colored bodies. Eight legs. Beady eyes. You can instantly recognize a spider as soon as you see one. No matter where you live in the US, you’re bound to encounter spiders at some point or another. Some spiders, like the black widow or the brown recluse, are poisonous. If you notice these crawlers on your property, take caution and contact a pest control specialist immediately.
Other spiders, however, are completely harmless, and you’re more likely to find them in the nooks and crannies of your home. Below, we’ve provided you with a guide to some of the most common harmless spiders you may find in your home.
Read on to learn how to identify these critters and what you can do about their presence in your house.
This spider is known by several names, including woodlouse spider, slater spider, sowbug killer, sowbug hunter, pillbug hunter, and orange spider. Its scientific name, Dysdera crocata, roughly translates to “hard-to-fight, orange-colored spider.” This arachnid preys specifically on woodlice in, around, and near buildings, so if you see one on your property, you don’t need to fret.
Not including their legs, male woodlouse spiders range between 9 and 10 millimeters in size. The females measure between 11 and 15 millimeters. They have eight slender legs that are usually a bright orange color, and the tips of each leg have two claw tufts, or small hair clusters, that make climbing easier. Additionally, woodlouse spiders only have six eyes shaped like a tight semicircle.
Both male and female don a few different colors, such as red, orange, brown, and tan. Sometimes, they may look gray in color. Typically, though, the cephalothorax (or combined head and thorax) ranges from yellow-brown to deep red-brown, and the abdomen is a light tan or gray in color. Their bodies also appear shiny.
Unlike most spiders, the woodlouse hunter can be found year-round in gardens, forests, and fields. You may also find these spiders in your basement or cellar or under piles of wood or stone. Depending on the weather, you may find these spiders inside your home. Again, they’re harmless, so you don’t have to worry if you find one or two scattered in your house.
As the name suggests, the house spider is an arachnid you’ll primarily find indoors. They’re also found across the Northern Hemisphere, but one common species that you’re likely to encounter in the US is Tegenaria domestica.
Tegenaria domestica, or the domestic house spider, is also called the barn funnel weaver. The males range between 1/4 to 3/8 inches, while females measure 1/4 to 1/2 inches. Male domestic house spiders have longer banded legs than the females as well as a long abdomen. These spiders only feed on other small insects and aren’t venomous to humans.
Typically, domestic house spiders have two dark stripes on their cephalothorax, and the top of the abdomen is patterned with beige and brown speckles. You’ll often find these arachnids inside man-made buildings, usually in dark, cool places like basements and cellars. Some house spiders live beneath rocks and wood stacks.
Aside from the domestic house spider, you may encounter red house spiders, brown house spiders, southern house spiders, giant house spiders, and black house spiders, depending on where you live.
These spiders also go by a few different names, including cellar spiders, carpenter spiders, granddaddy spiders, and vibrating spiders. These arachnids are more delicate spiders. Their fused bodies size from 2 millimeters to 10 millimeters and their legs can measure up to 50 millimeters long. Interestingly, daddy long legs can have either six or eight eyes. These spiders also don’t produce venom, so they’re perfectly harmless.
Daddy longlegs are found everywhere in the world, excluding Antarctica. You’ll often find these spiders in damp, dark spaces indoors and outdoors. These creatures also thrive in various habitats such as basement corners, cellars, attics, and windows. They may also live below rocks or tree bark if they have access to a food source.
Surprisingly, daddy longlegs are closely related to scorpions. These arachnids have also been around for a long time-the oldest known daddy longlegs was found in a fossil in Scotland. Scientists determined that the spider in the fossil was at least 400 million years old.
What Should You Do if You Spot Spiders in Your Home?
If you spot one or two of these spiders in your home, don’t worry. They’re completely harmless to humans and actually benefit your home. As mentioned above, they eat small insects that could otherwise harm or damage your home or landscape.
However, if you notice several of these spiders in your home, they can become quite a nuisance. Contact Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management and schedule spider control services so you can remove small infestations in your home.
A pest control expert can also help you find entry points, food sources, or similar factors that could attract these spiders to your home. Use these professionals’ advice to prevent other spiders from coming into your home in the future.