If you see a spider in your house, what do you do?
You might be the kind of person who becomes uncomfortable by how spiders look, their many eyes, and their eight legs. When you encounter one in your way, you could try to squish it, flush it down the toilet, spray it with pesticides, or take a nice way out and relocate it outside. You could also ignore it, thinking small creatures like spiders don’t live a long life anyways.
So, how long do house spiders live?
The average lifespan of a house spider is about 1 to 2 years – which is quite a long time for a spider to share a house with you. However, the lifespan of a ‘house spider’ depends on what region you live in, because different species of spiders are native to different places, and how the length of their lifespan depends on its species.
Life Cycle Stages of a Spider
All spider species, from the tiny jumping spider to a tarantula, have the same general life cycle. They mature in three stages: egg, spiderling, and adult spiders. Each species will be different at each stage, but they are also very similar.
House spiders usually mate in the fall. Once the mating is over, the male spider dies, and the female lays eggs in sacs made of silk that are strong enough to protect the baby spiders from the outside. A single sac could carry a few eggs or up to several hundred, depending on the species of spider. Contrary to what the rumors say, most female spiders do not eat the male after mating.
Usually, spider eggs take a few weeks to hatch. For house spiders, hatching usually takes place in spring, spending the colder wintertime within the sac itself. In many spider species, the mother guards the egg sac against predators until the babies hatch. Some will place the sac in a safe place and leave. Most house spiders usually carry the egg sac with them, and when the babies are ready to hatch, they bite the sac open to let them out.
When spiderlings hatch, they look like miniature versions of adult spiders, with as many legs, eyes, and a smaller abdomen. These young spiders are usually black, brown, or grey without any distinctive features.
Unique to house spiders is the fact that the young ones can spend up to ten days hanging onto their mother’s back. However, spiderlings are usually not dependent on their mothers and can start their life on their own. They leave their siblings and move off to search for a home of their own.
Adult Spider Lifespan
The spider life is a solitary life. Adult spiders are lone creatures who do not live in groups or colonies. House spiders are generally not territorial or aggressive, but living alone allows them to catch enough food without the need for sharing. They don’t have to eat daily and can survive for a long time without food, but if food is available in abundance, they will eat often. However, spiders do drink water often from dew drops, condensation, etc.
A major portion of a spider’s lifespan is spent waiting. They are content with waiting patiently in their webs for a meal. Spinning webs isn’t a huge task for house spiders, so they will abandon a web that doesn’t seem to be catching enough food. The ideal locations for spiders to make their webs are anywhere they’ll be able to catch insects to eat, such as close to a light or water source, etc.
So now you know the life cycle, but how long do house spiders live?
The lifespan of a spider also depends on how well the habitat is suited for its survival, but different types having different lifestyles will have different lifespans depending on this as well.
Barn Funnel Weaver
Also known as the ‘domestic house spider,’ the Barn Funnel Weaver is one of the most common species of spiders in the world. Though the species itself is native to Europe, it came to North America and Asia with merchants and voyagers during their travels hundreds of years ago. These are relatively small spiders with adults being less than an inch long, and hence, they are able to live with humans without being noticed.
Barn Funnel Weavers get their names from the webs they build, which are funnel-shaped, to trap their prey. These webs often show up in corners such as windowsills, and if the prey happens to stumble across the outside of the web, the spiders drag the prey into the narrower part of the funnel webs and eat them.
Usually, if these spiders are undisturbed, they can live for up to 5 or 7 years with you in your house.
Native to the southeastern region of the US, black widow spiders are a fairly common sight in states like Texas and Arizona. Black widows are famously known to be venomous, but a vast majority of black widow bites are not fatal. Black widow spiders cohabitate with humans easily without any issues since they are content with avoiding contact with them. These spiders tend to build their webs close to darker, undisturbed places such as attics and basements. It is not uncommon to share your house with black widow spiders without ever finding out.
The male is much smaller than the female, but both genders of these spiders grow up to only about an inch long. The females are black, with a characteristic red hourglass marking on their abdomens while males are usually a range of colors such as gray or dark purple. When left to their own devices, these spiders can live up to 3 years.
Wolf spiders are one of the most common species of spiders in the world because they live on every continent and even some islands. There are many different types of wolf spiders, and even scientists have trouble differentiating between them sometimes, due to their many similar traits. Their location is what helps in identifying their species.
Wolf spiders come in varying shades of brown, with prominent hair on their abdomens. These spiders are not web builders and hunt by running after their prey. When they live with humans in their homes, they tend to only be active at night and spend most of the day hiding in places that are difficult to reach, such as the area under counters.
Unlike most spider species, the babies of wolf spiders do not disperse immediately and stay close by — often on their mothers’ backs — until they are ready to search for food on their own. These spiders can be a few centimeters to an inch long, depending on what region they are found. Male wolf spiders can live for less than a year, while females live a little longer.
Are House Spiders Dangerous?
Most house spiders are not dangerous and will only live in your house because the environment suits them. Searching for food is easy for them since their prey is close by, and they get to avoid predators. When approached, they are not averse to abandoning their webs and will almost always choose running away over biting.
House spiders are also not fatally venomous, and most bites will produce, at most, a minor irritation on the area; hence, house spiders are usually harmless. Spiders that live with you in your house do more good than harm by eating other pests that could pose trouble and will stay out of your way for the most part.
How are spiders attracted to your house?
Different spiders are attracted to different things. Some want to live close to moisture in basements and crawlspaces, while others will look for drier environments around the vents and upper corners of your rooms. House spiders typically come in looking for food.
Do spiders come to unclean houses?
Spiders are not necessarily attracted to mess, though clutter can provide a place for them to hide. To an outsider, however, the webs they make, and spider nests could make your house look unappealing.
How to get rid of spiders?
You could use many things to get rid of spiders. This could include natural repellents to make your house an unappealing habitat, or you could opt for pesticides and insecticides that can be used to kill them. Keeping your house clutter-free can also take away from an optimal spider environment.