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House spider

As with most spiders, the females of the species are bigger than the males. These girls can reach 9-10mm and the males 6-9mm and that’s not including those long brown hairy legs!

Male House Spider

Male House Spider (Photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties)

Brown, grey or pale often with sooty spots and quite hairy. The males have longer, spindlier legs than the females and a longer abdomen. Web: They weave a sheet web that can get quite large if they choose to make their home in a neglected basement or shed. They sit in wait of prey in a tubular retreat behind the web then pounce on any victim which strays onto the web before dragging them back into their retreat to gobble them down.


Most people will be familiar with this common species of spider that makes us yelp as they scuttle across the living room carpet. They live in houses, sheds, and in gardens, and feast on such tasty treats as flies, cockroaches, beetles and earwigs. They can live for a few years and are extremely resilient, sometimes lasting months without food or water! When you find a spider in your bath, it is most likely a poor male who has fallen in whilst looking for a lady friend. The luckier ones who manage to find a mate breed and then stick around with her for a few weeks. The story doesn’t end well for the poor old male though, he eventually dies, and leaves his hairy body as a tasty meal for his female mate. This isn’t as nasty as it first sounds however, as his body provides enough sustenance to the female give his spiderling offspring a fighting chance of life.

In the Garden

These spiders can be found in the shed or in log piles. Log piles are great for many different creatures, so it’s always useful to have one in a quiet area of the garden. You’ll notice these spiders most in the autumn, which is their mating season. They don’t live as long in the garden, as they are more susceptible to the cold, which is why they often chose to shack up with us in our nice centrally heated houses!

Fun Facts

  • Don’t be too quick to flush these amazing creatures down the toilet or squish them into hairy pancakes with a stamp of your foot – they really are quite harmless. It’s great to have these guys around, they keep less wholesome pests at bay by gobbling them up for breakfast.
  • Females do a little Elvis-style leg shake to let males know when they are ready to mate. They can then lay up to 250 eggs in one go!
  • If they feel very threatened, house spiders can deliver a bite. It can be painful but isn’t dangerous. You’d have to be pretty nasty to the spider for this to happen though – remember the spider is probably more scared of you than you are of it!
Male House Spider
As with most spiders, the females of the species are bigger than the males. These girls can reach…