SIZE: May measure up to one inch in length with a leg span up to two inches.
COLOR: Brownish-gray with a number of various markings.
BEHAVIOR: Domestic house spiders are funnel-web spiders, meaning they construct flat webs that have a funnel-shaped retreat at one end. The females spend most of their lives in the webs, while the males and immature spiders may wander about in search of females or better nesting sites. It is usually these males or young spiders that are seen by homeowners. Unlike the hobo spider, which resembles this spider, the domestic house spider does not have a dangerous bite.
The domestic house spider is found from central and northern California up through the Pacific Northwest in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. This species prefers to build its webs where a hole or crack exists in which it can locate its funnel retreat. Such webs are usually found in basements, crawl spaces, garages and outdoors in vegetation.
The key for controlling the domestic house spider is to look for webs and remove them, making sure a treatment is applied into any crack associated with a web to be sure the spider has been killed. Steps that should be taken to prevent new spiders from entering include:
Removing or limiting heavy, ground-covering vegetation near the building.
Sealing cracks and holes in the building’s exterior.
Installing tight-fitting screens on all attic and foundation vents.
Sealing holes around pipes indoors to prevent spiders from entering the living spaces of the home by following plumbing lines in basements and crawl spaces.
Where numerous spiders are seen, a professional should be consulted to conduct a thorough inspection and recommend possible treatments.