American House Spider

The American House Spider is also known as the “Common House Spider.”   This is the spider that is usually responsible for the tangle-webs (theridiid webs) found in corners of a room.  The house spider has a marbled, gray with black and white abdomen, which is higher than it is long; the body (not including legs) is about ¼ to ½ inch in length.  Common now throughout the world, the American house spider is believed to have originated in South America.  It belongs to the same family (Theridiidae) as the black widow but is not considered dangerous to humans.  The house spider does bite out of self-defense however; its venom is not as strong as that of a black widow.

Habits and Habitat

Females create tangle webs in eaves and corners of ceilings, similar to that of the Daddy Long-legs, or “Cellar Spider.” Several females may reside in one area, resulting in a continuous cobweb designed for catching prey. Sometimes, however, when females encounter one another, they will fight over territorial rights. While lying in wait in anticipation of her meal, the female house spider positions herself in the middle of her tangle-web, where she remains, until the unsuspecting prey gets caught up in it. When resting, house spiders hang out nearer to the upper edge of the web. A single female can produce several egg sacs during the year. These egg sacs are pear-shape and light brown in color.
Common house spider with egg sac

Female Common House Spider with Egg Sac.

Male and female house spiders share the same web built by the female. When disturbed, the house spider retreats and if cornered, it feigns death. The American house spider is non-aggressive and only bites in self-defense when grabbed, otherwise it will run away.

Pest Control

While there are a few of us that tolerate spiders, going so far as to take them outdoors when found trapped in a bathtub, even the most patriotic of us do not like sharing our living space with the “American” house spider. Keeping doors closed and covering up gaps in windows helps keep spiders out, as well as eliminating insects, a spider’s food source; plus frequent web dusting helps keep them at bay. However, this particular spider is often beneficial; when indoors, it feeds on a variety of pests including German cockroaches…. and – scorpions!
House spider eating a scorpion

Common house spider eating a scorpion.

The question is……Just how many of these critters and the tangle webs they weave can one stand within the home? If you cannot, it’s ok, there is help; a traditional or organic pest service will rid your home of all types of spiders, including the Common American House Spider. Call today at 1-800-986-1006 for help with a spider infestation. You’re also welcome to complete the form below and a caring Hearts Pest Management representative will contact you shortly.
Call Now 1-800-986-1006 or complete the form below

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References Featured Creatures, Common House Spider – Entomology & Nematology, University of Florida Wikipedia – Common House Spider; American House Spider

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