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Common House Spiders In DC, MD & VA

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Miche Pest Control is a top rated, family owned and operated exterminating company that provides pest control services for common house spiders in the greater DC & Baltimore areas, including Washington DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia. Our expert technicians get rid of common house spider infestations fast, and use preventative methods to keep common house spiders from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - click the button below to get started, or give us a call today!

Common House Spider

Parasteatoda tepidariorum, the common house spider or American house spider, is the most commonly seen spider in North America. Most often encountered indoors, the house spider is a nuisance pest because of its webs more than the spider itself. Several species of the house spider exist, but the common house spider is the most recognized. It can be found throughout the greater DC-Baltimore metropolitan area, as well as the rest of the United States. Common house spiders are synanthropic, living in and near human dwellings. As it is a type of cobweb spider, the spider follows disturbances transmitted along the web to entangle and then paralyze prey that it has captured in its web. Its diet usually consists of household insects and other invertebrates (most of which are often considered pests).

What Do Common House Spiders Look Like?

Common house spiders are variable in color, ranging from gray-brown, to tan, to nearly black. They have patterns of differing shades (brown/light beige) on their body, two dark colored stripes on their head and thorax, and banded legs. Females are generally between 0.20 and 0.24 in long, and males are generally between 0.15 and 0.19 in long. They can be an inch or more across with their legs stretched out. P. tepidariorum is similar in body shape to widow spiders, with a relatively large, spherical abdomen, though males have a less bulbous abdomen than the females do. Common house spiders' size and coloration allow the spiders to blend into the background and escape notice.

Common House Spider Life Cycle

This species can live for more than a year after reaching maturity. Females suspend their egg sacs in their webs; the spherical egg sacs have a tan papery outer layer. Each egg sac contains from 150-200 eggs, and a single female will often produce 15-20 egg sacs in its lifetime. The baby spiderlings remain in the mother's web for several days after emerging from the egg sac.

What Do Common House Spiders Eat?

Common house spiders usually feed on small insects and household pests such as flies, mosquitoes, ants and wasps. They can randomly attack grasshoppers, butterflies, cockroaches or other spiders depending on their size. If the prey is too agile, the spider will try shooting web at it from a distance before pulling the thread toward itself. Bigger females can also attract baby skinks inside their web by leaving fly remains hanging in it. Once its food dries out, the spider usually drops it to the floor in order to free space in its web, instead of destroying and rebuilding it or changing its location.

Are Common House Spiders Dangerous?

As these spiders live in constant proximity to humans, they are not usually aggressive and will even let a human hand approach their web. Common house spiders will bite humans only in self-defense, when grabbed and squeezed. The species' synanthropic habits, however, increase the risk of human bites. Common house spiders possess poor vision and cannot detect any movement more than three to four inches away. If cornered, they will feign death as last resort. Common house spiders have neurotoxic venom. However, their bites are less severe than that of other theridiids and are not known to be dangerous to humans.

What Are The Habits Of The Common House Spider?

Common House Spiders move quickly, are not aggressive and will often retreat when confronted. If cornered with no possible escape, house spiders may bite, although documented cases of domestic spider bites are extremely rare. House spiders build their webs in random sites. If their webs do not yield prey, the webs will be abandoned in favor of a more productive location. The dirty webs that concern most homeowners are largely abandoned ones that have failed to yield prey. Survival of house spiders in homes is often low due to the typically low humidity inside homes, which causes a high mortality rate in spiders, as well as a scarcity of flying insects.

What Are The Stages Of The Common House Spider?

Shortly after mating, the female house spider produces up to 250 eggs in a flask-shaped silken sac, about 1/4 inch long and usually placed in the center of the web. Under favorable conditions, two or more egg sacs may be present in a web at the same time, and up to nine sacs may be produced in a season.

House spider eggs hatch in 7-10 days and once spiderlings (baby spiders) fully emerge, they usually settle close to the nest area for several weeks before moving on and staking out their own territory. If left undisturbed, house spiders can live as long as seven years in the same web in places like attics, basements, and garages. When outside, female spiders die in the cold and males rarely live longer than a year.

DIY Tips To Help Control Common House Spiders

Controlling house spiders starts with keeping a clean home and taking measures to make your home environment less attractive to spiders. Some things you can do to reduce your home's appeal to house spiders:

  • Pick up clutter. Old newspapers and piles of dirty clothes are ideal hiding places for spider species that thrive in darkness.
  • Sweep and vacuum behind and beneath sofas, chairs, and nightstands.
  • Clean up after meals. Food crumbs will attract other pests like ants, which, in turn, will attract spiders.
  • Patch up cracks and holes leading from the outside in to prevent spiders from finding their way inside the home.
  • For a more natural way to get rid of house spiders, you can try spraying windowsills and entryways with a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1+1/2 cups water, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Spiders don't like peppermint oil, or vinegar.

Be careful where you apply home remedies or over the counter products for spiders, as some can damage paint or other surfaces. The best way to get rid of common house spiders is to call Miche Pest Control today, or you can book online!

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