brown widow spider

Whether crawling through the heat of the desert, floating from a silk balloon or hiding for months under water at the edge of a stream – spiders are everywhere. Their ability to adapt to different environments allows them to succeed in various habitats – including your home. But where do spiders live in and around the home? This answer depends on the type of species.

Thus far, more than 40,000 different species of spiders have been discovered around the world. About 3,700 of those species can be found in North America. Most of these spiders will never manage to put even one of their eight legs inside your home. But for some species, you may see more than just a few setting up camp. This is because spiders can be very good at establishing new populations.

Spider habitats vary greatly. Almost all spiders can be divided into two general groups: hunting spiders and web building spiders. Hunting spiders actively seek out their prey and have a tendency to move around. Because of these habits, you are unlikely to come across a population of hunting spiders in your home. Web building spiders, however, are far more likely to move indoors. And unlike hunting spiders, once web builders have settled inside, they may reproduce in large numbers.

Web building spiders often found in homes include the domestic house spider and the cellar spider. Spiders with toxic venom, such as black widows and brown recluses, may also make their way indoors at times.

For some, yards and gardens create the perfect spider habitat. Hunting spiders, such as jumping spiders or wolf spiders, are most commonly found outside. Orb weavers, which sometimes build webs between plants or bushes, are also common.

So, where do spiders live? Just about everywhere. But while your fear of these eight-legged creatures might make them seem like pests, most spiders are actually beneficial in yards and gardens because they eat other, harmful insects. Of course, if spiders are not your ideal form of pest control, you can always call a pest management professional.