If you don’t like spiders, you’ll be unhappy to learn that there are more than 4,000 species of them in North America alone. Lucky for us a majority of them are harmless to humans, though there are a few that are venomous enough to do some damage. But it’s the common house spider (or the American house spider) that you’re most likely to find in and around your home. Knowing that you likely have at least a few house spiders sometimes nearby right now, you may be wondering – should you be worried? Are they dangerous? Keep reading to find out.
What Are House Spiders?
House spiders come in a wide array of rather drab colors. This ranges from yellow or tan, to darker shades of brown or gray with darker mottling. They have a round abdomen that’s higher than it is long and commonly seen with streaks on the sides, and usually splotched with white in its highest point. The house spider can be ⅛ to ⅜ inches (for females); or ⅛ inches (for males), in addition to long legs ringed with a dark color.
Where Do House Spiders Live?
You can find house spiders throughout the United States and in parts of southern Canada. They make their home just about anywhere, including:
- Gardens and yards
- Basements and attics
- Barns and sheds
Just to name a few. Essentially if you have a structure with moisture and food that is mainly left undisturbed, the odds are good of attracting a house spider. If you find them you can easily distinguish their webs from other spiders, as their’s tend to be messier and more asymmetrical. However, they’d probably prefer you didn’t look for them, as if they’re left on their own in your attic, basement or garage, house spiders can live up to seven years. Compare this to their lifespan outside, where female spiders are bound to die in the cold and males rarely last for more than a year.
Are House Spiders Dangerous?
Let’s put some fears to rest: a house spider is not likely to attack you. They’re traditionally shy around humans and are more likely to run, hide or play dead if confronted. And even if it does bite you, its bite and venom are not considered hazardous to humans. You may end up with some minor swelling and redness, but overall this is one more thing that renders the house spider more of a nuisance than a danger. In fact, house spiders actually play a valuable part in your home’s ecosystem by controlling the population of more aggressive household pests. If you want a natural method to get rid of flies, mosquitos and even wasps, you might want to consider making a friend of the American house spider.
Preventing House Spiders
All of that being said, it’s perfectly reasonable if you don’t want to share your home with a colony of spiders, harmless as they may be. Luckily there are a few easy steps you can take to make your space inhospitable to spiders and other pests.
- Keep the outside of your home clear of things like firewood, debris, shrubs and vines. These are all places where spiders like to gather, and if they’re touching your home, it gives them easy access to get inside.
- Seal any cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Keep your house clean with regular sweeping and vacuuming, which will help to remove spider webs, eggs, and insects that spiders feed on. This creates a space that’s less appealing for pests in general, which includes house spiders.
Effective and Eco-Friendly Spider Removal in Central Iowa
If you’ve done everything right and still find yourself constantly combating house spiders, it might be time to bring in the professionals. At Springer Professional Home Services, we’ve been providing the highest standards of pest removal services since we were founded in 1989. But unlike our competition, we work with the state of the environment in mind and consciously choose to utilize integrated pest management principles. That’s why when you work with us, you’re not only making the best choice for your home – you’re making the best choice for the ecosystem of your community. That’s the Springer promise for homes in and around Des Moines. Contact us today to learn more!
House Spiders: Friend or Foe? in Des Moines
Serving Central Iowa since 1989