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7 of the Most Common House Spiders in the U.S.

There are various spider species across the United States, but you are more likely to see some in your house than others. These common house spiders can be found in multiple regions, and are able to thrive in residential environments.

There are actual house spiders like the first species on this list, and then there are “house spiders” in the sense that they are often found in people’s homes. The latter is what we’re really focusing on in this list. Let’s have a look at some examples of a few of the most common house spiders that people might see.

7 of the Most Common House Spiders

Many of the common house spiders featured in this list are harmless to people, despite how frequently they can be found in homes and yards.

1. Common House Spider

Common house spider
Common house spider | image by Christoph Zurnieden via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
  • Appearance: less than an inch big, yellowish/tan/brown
  • Are they dangerous: no

The common house spider gets its name because of how common they are across the United States. Nearly everyone has come across one of these insects at some point in time, most likely in their home or apartment.

They are often associated with cobwebs found in corners and can be brown, yellow, gray, or tan. Their webs are used to catch prey like flies, beetles, mosquitos, and roaches.

Common house spiders can usually only live for a year outside and die when it starts to get cold, but inside they may live a little longer.

2. Harvestmen

Harvestman on a leaf
Harvestman on a leaf | image by hedera.baltica via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: multiple
  • Appearance: small body with long legs
  • Are they dangerous: no

The Harvestmen, frequently called daddy long legs, are an easily recognizable site across the United States. There are thousands of different species of Harvestmen with different scientific names, but they all belong to the Opiliones family.

These insects look vastly different from many other common types of spiders. They have small bodies with long legs and are harmless to people. Even though Harvestmen are nocturnal spiders, they can also be found frequently throughout the day.

They can be found in leaf litter, on trees, in caves, or even in residential homes. They will forage for organic matter and hunt small insects for food.

3. Funnel Weavers

Funnel weaver spider
Funnel Weaver Spider | image by Renee Grayson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Tegenaria domestica
  • Appearance: brownish with yellow hairs
  • Are they dangerous: no

The Funnel weavers are common across the United States and are often referred to as grass spiders. This nickname comes from the fact that they are frequently found living in the grass of yards and fields.

Adults can be between 6 and 11 millimeters in size and are covered in yellowish hairs. These animals are commonly found in sheds and barns and have been known to live for seven years.

It is rare that a funnel weaver will bite, as these insects are fast and will run away if threatened or startled. However, in the rare case that this spider does bite, they are said to be mild, with no dangerous symptoms.

4. Jumping Spiders

Bold jumping spider
Bold jumping spider | image by David Hill via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Phidippus audax
  • Appearance: black with white marks
  • Are they dangerous: no
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Jumping spiders are one of the smallest spiders encountered throughout the United States, and they are commonly seen in various regions of the country. They are frequently found inside homes, as well as gardens and sheds.

Their ability to leap quickly is the main way these small spiders take down prey.  When they jump they leave behind a silk web. These spiders are typically seen with black bodies and patches of white.

While they are not likely to bite humans, the bite can be painful. Other than this, their bite is harmless, and these spiders pose no threat to people.

5. Cellar Spiders

Long bodied cellar spider
Long-bodied Cellar Spider | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Pholcus
  • Appearance: long fragile legs, small bodies
  • Are they dangerous: no

The cellar spider has an interesting appearance similar to the daddy long legs. They have small bodies with long legs that are quite fragile. These legs are also flexible, giving the spiders a wispy appearance.

They can easily camouflage near the ceilings of cellars and basements. Cellar spiders can bounce in their webs, which is a defense mechanism they display when threatened or scared.

Their webs look like cobwebs, and their bodies have a peanut shape. They can have a whitish, tan, or gray coloring on their legs and bodies. Cellar spiders can easily eat prey that is bigger than them, including wolf spiders, wasps, and flies.

6. Wolf Spiders

wolf spider close shot
Wolf spider | image by Jean and Fred Hort via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: multiple
  • Appearance: brown, black, or tan
  • Are they dangerous: no

There are a few hundred types of wolf spiders found across North America, and they all belong to the Lycosidae family and Araneae order. The state of Florida is home to 8 wolf spider species.

Wolf spiders do not spin webs like most other types of spiders, and will instead fiercely hunt down their prey. These are quick spiders, with tan, brown, or black colorings.

Wolf spiders are the most active at night, which is also when they prefer to hunt. These spiders can be confused with jumping spiders, as well as young tarantulas. Even though they look similar to tarantulas, tarantulas are much larger. As adults wolf spiders can reach an inch in size.

7. Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow sac spider
yellow sac spider | image by Mark Nenadov via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Chiracanthium spp.
  • Appearance: tan/brown body
  • Are they dangerous: sometimes

Despite the name, yellow sac spiders are more tan or brown than yellow. They can be easily identified by what looks like a large sack sitting on their back.

These spiders are defensive, and are more likely to bite people than other common house spiders in the United States. The bites can be confused with a brown recluse bite, but the symptoms will not be as bad.

Bites from these spiders can still lead to painful symptoms, and some people can have allergic reactions that need medical attention.

However, most symptoms don’t last longer than a few hours, with more severe bites causing symptoms to last up to three days.

Conclusion

Many of the common house spiders found in the United States pose little threat to people, but this doesn’t mean it is fun to run into them. However, being aware of how harmless these insects are can lead to a better understanding of them.