As someone who has studied and worked with household spiders for years, I understand the mixed feelings they can evoke.

There’s an undeniable unease that many feel when encountering those eight-legged creatures lurking in the corners of garages, attics, closets, and crawl spaces. For some, the instinctive reaction is to immediately squash them, while others prefer the more merciful approach of catch and release.

However, when it comes to the common spiders found in most households, there are a few key considerations that are important to understand. These arthropods may be unsettling to some, but they play a crucial role in the household ecosystem and are generally harmless to humans.

In this guide, I’ll break down the essential facts about the most prevalent spider species you’re likely to encounter indoors. From distinguishing the dangerous from the beginning to understanding their habits and controlling unwanted infestations, I’ll cover everything you need to know to coexist peacefully with these eight-legged housemates.

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What are the Types of Common House Spiders?

According to an article published by University Of Minnesota, there are two main categories of indoor house spiders. The first are hunter spiders and the second are web-building spiders.

Hunting Spiders

Hunting spider consist of wolf spiders (big hairy creatures), sac spiders, fishing spiders, sowbug spiders, jumping spiders, parson spiders, and crab spiders. These guys like being outdoors more than inside your home. If you find one, it’s likely they came in by mistake and are actively trying to find a way outside.

Web-Building Spiders

Web-building spiders are the types you’re likely to find in your home. They are:

  • Cobweb Spiders: These spiders are mostly responsible for those random cobwebs strewn about your house. The most common type of cobweb spider you’re likely to find is the American house spider. They’re grayish/brownish with chevron markings on its abdomen.
  • Cellar Spiders: Better known as “Daddy Long legs” or the “Harvestman,” this guy likes to hang out in your basement and/or damp dark places also creating irregular and annoying random bits of web around your house (usually to catch mosquitoes and other prey).
  • Orb Weaver Spiders: Another web-building spider, but they are less likely to make their way into your home. Rather, the orb weavers like to hang out in your garden making those elaborate “spider webs” you’ve seen all your life. Orb Weaver Spiders come in all sorts and sizes, such as black and yellow, brightly marbled, and brown and yellow (think Charlotte’s Web).
  • Funnel Weaver Spiders: Also known as “Grass Spiders” Funnel weaver spiders are brown and love to build webs on the ground in and around the grass.

Do Common House Spiders Bite?

In the case of humans, no, common house spiders don’t bite. Some uncommon ones might (black widow, brown recluse).

Spiders aren’t blood suckers, thus they have no real reason to bite humans. Even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to piece your skin.

There are about 40,000 species of spiders, of which only about a dozen can hurt a human being and even less are life threatening if bitten. Unless you live in Australia or South America, your chances of coming into contact with a deadly spider and being bitten and dying are insignificantly small.

Here are a few of the top spiders to be aware of when it comes to bites:

  • Black Widow Spider (Can be found worldwide): If you live in the U.S.A., this is the first of two spiders to be aware of. These spiders are easily identifiable with their red hourglass backing and contribute to about 2,200 reported bites per year. If they do come inside your home, they’ll find safety in your shoes or other small spaces, and you’ll likely be looking for ways to get rid of black widows.
  • Brown Recluse (Can be found in North America): Mostly native to the western and southern parts of the U.S.A, this is the second most dangerous spider bite to be aware of. They like to hang out in wood piles, sheds, cardboard, and other dark damp places. They are timid spiders, so as long as you don’t threaten it, you’ll be ok. Once you are done reading about common spiders, check out our guide for getting rid of brown recluses.
  • Brazilian Wandering Spiders (Can be found in South America): Sometimes known as Banana Spiders hiding in packs of bananas, these little devils can be found in Costa Rica, Columbia, and other South American territories. This is one of the most deadly spider groups in the world. But unless you find yourself exploring the forests of the amazon, you can sleep knowing you’ll likely never see one of these suckers.

How Dangerous Are Common House Spiders?

Not very dangerous at all.

Like I mentioned above, the most common house spiders (Daddy Long Legs, American House Spider, etc) do not have the required teeth or venom to do any significance damage to you.

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Spiders pose no real “physical” threat to you or the safety of your family. I can’t speak for your emotional well being however, because spiders still look scary to most people.

One myth worth debunking is that a Daddy Long Legs venom is strong enough to kill a human, but their fangs are too weak to penetrate your skin. UCLA published an article on myths surrounding daddy long leg’s bites, debunking the theory as there is no verifiable evidence that if injected the venom from a daddy long legs could hurt a human.

The only spiders worth being aware of include the brown recluse and the black widow. Even then, it is extremely rare to come into contact with one of them (or any others I haven’t mentioned.)

Unless provoked, the dangerous spiders don’t want to bite you. The thing is, when you accidentally put your foot into a shoe that they were hiding in, then they’ll feel threatened and defend themselves.

How to Treat Common Spider Bites

Treating common spider bites is relatively straightforward in most cases. First, wash the bite area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. Apply a cold compress to help reduce swelling, redness, and pain. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also help alleviate discomfort and inflammation.

Most common spider bites will heal within a few days with basic care. However, if symptoms worsen or you experience severe pain, abdominal cramping, or trouble breathing, seek immediate medical attention as it could indicate a bite from a venomous species.

Monitor the site for signs of infection like oozing pus or red streaks, which may require antibiotic treatment. With proper care, the majority of non-venomous spider bites resolve without lasting effects.

How to Get Rid of Common House Spiders?

Spiders don’t want to be in your home, despite how great your home may be, it’s not their residence of choice. The only reason they would make their way inside is if they thought there was dinner to be had.

Here are few tips to get rid of some unwanted spiders from your house:

  1. Move vegetation away from your house: This will give spiders less incentive to hide near your house.
  2. Keep a clean house: Again, keeping a clean house, will reduce the number of potential homes a spider can live and lay eggs
  3. Turn off your lights: Spiders aren’t attracted to light, but other bugs are. Spiders will go where there food is, keep your lights off and that should help.
  4. Close up any gaps in your house: Check your house’s siding, eaves, and overhangs for any other openings in your house. Close them up with mesh screen or duct tape if you’re in a pinch.
  5. Check for rotten wood: Rotting wood is a damp dark place, perfect for spiders to hide out and look for prey. Move those pieces away from your house.
  6. Make A Natural Repellent: Another option is concocting your own spider repellent. Take a look at the below video which describes an easy DIY method to keeping spiders at bay.

Which States Have The Most Common House Spiders?

Now if you’re asking yourself, “Well which states have the biggest spider problem?” The answer may surprise you!

Or… maybe it won’t. Generally warmer climates will yield a larger bug population. Below, I’ve compiled data using Google’s Trends tool to see by what location, and how often people were searching for “pest control services”.

Granted this list might not be entirely about spiders, but it gives you an idea of where the bugs are in the United States.

What Else Should You Know About Common House Spiders?

One last piece of information I’ll leave you with is to full grasp how unlikely it is for a spider to harm you. There are 40,000+ spiders with only about 12 The vast majority of spiders are of no threat to humans.

Are they a nuisance? Sure.

I hate spiders but with a few precautionary measures taken, you can reduce the amount of spiders in your house significantly.

Final Thoughts

Let’s recap. The common household spiders you see aren’t dangerous, they aren’t deadly, and they aren’t interested in you. In fact, they are quite the opposite. They hate being around humans. Except for the Australian funnel-web spider, which is a more aggressive and deadly spider (although, not common), spiders are docile.

The two not-so-common household spiders you should be aware of are the black widow and brown recluse. Both of which might find their way into your house accidentally in search of shelter or prey, but are non-aggressive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are jumping spiders poisonous?

While jumping spiders are venomous, possessing venom to subdue their prey, they are not considered poisonous or dangerous to humans. Their venom is not potent enough to cause significant harm so you don’t have to worry too much about them.

Are brown recluse spiders poisonous?

Yes, the brown recluse spider is indeed one of the few species found indoors that can be considered poisonous to humans. Their venom contains a necrotic agent that can cause severe tissue damage and life-threatening complications if a bite goes untreated.

What is the most common indoor spider?

The most common spider found indoors across many regions is the yellow sac spider. These small, pale arachnids are frequent habitants of houses, apartments, and other buildings. While their bites can be mildly painful, they are not considered dangerous to humans.

What are the signs of a spider infestation in my home?

Some telltale signs that your home may be experiencing a spider infestation include an abundance of webs in multiple rooms, spotting several spiders of the same species, and finding egg sacs in corners or crevices. If you notice these indicators repeatedly over time, it could mean spiders have begun calling your home… their home.

By following the tips I laid out above, you’ll significantly reduce the chances you’ll come into contact with an unwelcome guest. I will say, if you can tolerate a spider or two, they do help control the mosquito population (and in some cases the spider population when spiders decide to eat other spiders) in and around your house.

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Reviewed for accuracy, cost data, industry best practices, and expert advice by Coty Perry.
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Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management.

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Coty Perry

Expert Writer & Reviewer

Coty Perry is a lawn and garden writer for Today’s Homeowner. He focuses on providing homeowners with actionable tips that relate to the “Average Joe” who is looking to achieve a healthier and greener lawn. When he isn’t writing he can almost always be found coaching youth football or on some trail in Pennsylvania in search of the next greatest fishing hole.

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