These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (2023)

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (1)

North America is home to many types of arachnids. In fact, there are about 40,000 species of spiders in the world, and North America houses nearly 3,000 of them, according to With so many kinds of eight-legged bugs running around, house spiders are bound to pop up in your abode from time to time. And with different species come different levels of concern—which makes learning how to identify the critters important.

After all, spotting a spider in your immediate vicinity can be a little intense, especially if you have a major fear of the creepy crawlers. And, when one shows up in your home, it can be downright freaky. Unfortunately, you might start to notice more spiders inside your basement, attic, bathroom, and general living spaces when the weather changes.

Before you panic, know this: It can actually be a good thing to have spiders around. “The majority of the spiders cause us no harm and are predators of pests,” says entomologist Roberto M. Pereira, Ph.D., an insect research scientist with the University of Florida. Translation: They get rid of other bugs—like roaches, flies, and millipedes—that you also do not want to deal with.

Still, some can be a little more problematic than others—especially when considering potential spider bites (see: how to treat a spider bite). Here are some of the most common house spiders you might see, how to identify them, and whether they’re potentially harmful (heads up: most aren’t).


American house spider

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (3)

What they look like: These spiders are on the smaller side—about the size of a nickel—and have a round abdomen. They’re also usually grey and will have some white markings, says Marc Potzler, a board-certified entomologist and technical services manager with Ehrlich Pest Control. “Their web often looks very tangled or messy,” he adds.

Where you’ll find them: They like to hang out in dark, concealed areas. “They hide in corners, underneath cabinets, in basements, sometimes in garages around the windows where flies may be active,” Potzler says.

Can they harm you? Nope.


Wolf spider

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (4)

What they look like: With over 200 species of wolf spiders crawling around, it’s no wonder that they range in size and appearance. “The largest species can be up to an inch and a half long,” explains Potzler. Wolf spiders come in the following colors: gray, brown, or black. And, since they’re hairy they can sometimes be mistaken for tarantulas. Also worth noting: “These are nomadic spiders that don’t spin webs to catch their prey—they hunt them down,” says Howard Russell, an entomologist at Michigan State University.

Where you’ll find them: You can find wolf spiders where other insects reside—like garages, basements, sheds, and other dark, enclosed areas, according to Potzler. And since insects frequent the outdoors as well, you can also find wolf spiders outside in various locations: In our around debris, underneath boards, or in gaps around your home.

Can they harm you? No: Russell assures that these spiders “would prefer to hide than bite.”

(Video) How to Identify Dangerous Spiders | HomeTeam Pest Defense


Black widow

What they look like: The infamous black widow has a shiny black color along with their signature, red hourglass-shaped marking on their underside, explains Potzler. “They may also have red markings going up its back,” he adds.

Where you’ll find them: Black widows prefer to dwell in places containing edges and corners, as well as tall grass, Russell notes. You can also find them hiding in mailboxes or garages, he adds.

Can they harm you? “This is one of the few species of spider that can be dangerous to people,” says Potzler. “There are approximately 2,200 bites reported each year, but there has not been a death related to a widow spider in the U.S. since 1983.” Intense pain, muscle stiffness, possible nausea, and vomiting are the telltale signs of a black widow spider bite, and these symptoms will likely occur within a few hours after being bitten, Potzler explains. Head to the ER ASAP if you suspect you’ve been bitten to get immediate treatment.

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Brown recluse

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What they look like: The brown recluse is a brown spider with a distinct “violin-shaped marking” on the top of its head and down its back, Potzler says. Also, brown recluse spiders have six eyes, instead of the eight that many other spiders have.

Where you’ll find them: The brown recluse likes to hang out in undisturbed corners of homes, in sheds, and in basements or cellars. “Many bites occur because the spider is hiding in folded towels and sheets, underneath a pile of clothes on the floor, or in shoes in a closet,” Potzler says. “If you live in an area where brown recluse is common, it’s a good idea to shake out your clothes and shoes, or wear gloves if you are working in your shed or garage.”

Can they harm you? Yes. “The recluse can cause serious damage to people,” says Pereira. “Bite sites are a serious problem.” A brown recluse bite can cause necrotizing wounds (meaning, it kills the cells and tissues around it), so you’ll want to see a doctor immediately if you think you’ve been bitten by one, Russell says.


(Video) Top 10 MOST Venomous Spiders in the WORLD!

Daddy longlegs

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (7)

What they look like: You’re probably pretty familiar with this one, but just in case: It has one round body part and very thin, long legs coming off of it.

Where you’ll find them: They like to live outside, they can sometimes hide under siding or be found on and under decks. “For the most part, you’ll find them on the lawn or up in trees,” says Potzler.

Can they harm you? No. “Contrary to myths found on the Internet, daddy longlegs are not venomous enough to kill a horse,” says Potzler. “They do not have venom glands. They pose no harm to humans.”


Hobo spider

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What they look like: Hobo spiders are tannish-brown and the top of the spider may look mottled, with darker and lighter spots, Potzler says. They look pretty hairy and have spiny hairs coming off the legs.

Where you’ll find them: While they’re usually outside, they sometimes venture indoors. “It can hide in clothing, beds, and shoes,” Potzler says.

Can they harm you? Yes. “The hobo spider can inflict a painful bite that results in localized red swelling and some pain, but no necrotic lesion,” Potzler says. Usually, symptoms will get better within 24 hours with OTC painkillers and ice.

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Jumping spider

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What they look like: There are more than 300 species of these, and they all look a little different. “Their colors can vary from solid black with distinctive markings, to striped like a zebra, and some have iridescent markings,” Potzler says. “They are most easily distinguished by their very large, front middle set of eyes, although most people probably don’t want to get close enough to look at their eyes.”

Where you’ll find them: They can be just about anywhere in your house. They don’t build webs, but they’re what Potzler calls “active daytime hunters” so you can spot them at any time. “You may see them both inside climbing walls or ceilings, or hanging out in attics, or outside scaling buildings and trees,” he says.

Can they harm you? Not really. While Russell says these spiders “may bite in defense,” it shouldn’t cause any issues for you.

(Video) Top 10 Most Venomous Spiders On Earth


Yellow sac spider

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (10)

What they look like: The spider will build a tent-like structure out of silk. “They hide in the sac during the day and then hunt at night,” Potzler says. They’re usually a pale beige or yellowish color and have a dark V shape on its body.

Where you’ll find them: Their webs are usually found at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling or corner, Potzler says. He’s found them most often in living spaces, like living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens.

Can they harm you? It’s not common for these spiders to bite “but there have been some reports of hospitalizations for individuals who have compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions,” Potzler says.


Orb weaver spiders

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What they look like: These are the spiders that build huge webs that you can see in the morning covered in dew. “Orb weavers spin their web each day and then tear it down and rebuild the next day,” Potzler says. They can have spiny or smooth abdomens, and they’re usually brown or gray. However, there are tons of species and some can be difficult to distinguish from other spiders.

Where you’ll find them: They like to build their webs where they’re most likely to grab flying insects, Potzler says. They may build webs on decks or the exterior of your house, especially if you have outside lighting (which attracts the flying insects they like to eat).

Can they harm you? Not really. While they can bite, it won’t usually cause an issue for most people, Potzler says.

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Grass spiders

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What they look like: It’s a “very ordinary-looking” brown spider, Potzler says. It can be confused with the brown recluse, but grass spiders have long spinnerets (finger-like appendages at the end of the abdomen), which the brown recluse does not have, he says.

Where you’ll find them: They tend to like to hang out around the foundations of homes, but Potzler says that sometimes males will find their way inside while looking for a mate.

Can they harm you? They can bite but “there are no reported cases of medical significance,” Potzler says.


These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (13)

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (14)

Korin Miller

Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.

These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For (15)

Shannen Zitz

Assistant Editor


Shannen Zitz is an Assistant Editor at Prevention, where she covers all things lifestyle, wellness, beauty, and relationships. Previously the Editorial Assistant at Prevention, she graduated from the State University of New York at Cortland with a bachelor's degree in English. If she’s not reading or writing, you can probably find her frequenting the skincare and makeup forums on Reddit or hogging the squat rack at the gym.


These Are the 10 Most Common House Spiders to Look Out For? ›

Funnel web spiders are the most common spiders found in homes, particularly during late summer and early fall. They produce dense mats of silk in areas such as shrubs, thick grass, or corners of buildings.

What is the most common spider in a house? ›

Funnel web spiders are the most common spiders found in homes, particularly during late summer and early fall. They produce dense mats of silk in areas such as shrubs, thick grass, or corners of buildings.

What spiders to look out for? ›

Black widow and brown recluse spiders are the most common (and infamous) of these spider groups, respectively. Both of these spider species inhabit the midwestern and eastern US. If you're worried about spiders, these are the two species to watch out for.

What do common house spiders look like? ›

What they look like: These brown, tan, and grayish spiders have dark brown, v-shaped markings on their bodies. Their legs will appear orange or yellow and can have dark rings at the end of each one. Some American house spiders may also have a black triangular marking on the top of their abdomen.

Are common house spiders safe? ›

It is very unlikely that a common house spider will bite a human. They do not wander around as much as black widows and brown recluse spiders once they have found a place where the food is abundant. They prefer to sit in their webs and wait for prey to get trapped rather than hunting.

Can house spiders hurt you? ›

Most common house spiders pose little threat to humans. While they may bite if they feel threatened, most bites are typically either harmless or cause only minor irritation.

Where do common house spiders hide? ›

House spiders tend to live in quiet, hidden spaces where they can find food and water. Spots that are not fully visible or that have a lot of clutter make it easy for spiders to hide. This is why you will often find spiders in storage spaces, garages, eaves, sheds, light fixtures, and forested areas.

Do house spiders avoid you? ›

Spiders are not out to get you and actually prefer to avoid humans; we are much more dangerous to them than vice versa. Bites from spiders are extremely rare. Although there are a few medically important species like widow spiders and recluses, even their bites are uncommon and rarely cause serious issues.

Do common house spiders sleep? ›

Spiders do not sleep in the same way that humans do, but like us, they do have daily cycles of activity and rest. Spiders can't close their eyes because they don't have eyelids but they reduce their activity levels and lower their metabolic rate to conserve energy.

Can jumping spiders bite? ›

In some cases, jumping spiders will bite in defense, but their bite is not poisonous. As such, jumping spiders are not considered a large danger to humans, especially given that these spiders are more likely to run away from people than attack them.

Are wall spiders poisonous? ›

The Wall spider can cause toxic reactions with a wide range of severity. However, the toxins are typically targeted at their prey and predators. They are usually not fatal to humans. The Wall spider usually feeds on other arthropods and does not have a direct impact on plants.

Do hobo spiders bite? ›

They do not live inside buildings. A hobo spider is unlikely to bite except when catching prey or in self-defense, for example, if it becomes trapped against a person's skin.

What kills common house spiders? ›

In a spray bottle, mix white vinegar and water in equal parts. Then, get ready to spray whenever you see a spider—the acidic nature of the vinegar will kill the spider on contact.

How do I identify a spider I found? ›

"Before you can say anything about species, and evolution, you have to identify the spiders using diagnostic characteristics. You can often get a pretty good idea of which spider is which by looking at the shape of their abdomen, the type of web they spin or the way in which they walk.

What is the most harmless spider? ›

Here are some common house spider species that are harmless:
  • Cellar spiders.
  • Common house spiders.
  • Hobo spiders.
  • Jumping spiders.
  • Sac spiders.
  • Wolf spiders.
Oct 27, 2020

Is it normal to have a spider in your house? ›

Yes, having spiders in your house is expected, assuming it is not an infestation. Spiders are drawn to moisture and dampness and are often found in dark areas of a basement or attic. Spiders indeed provide natural pest control in small numbers to eliminate disease-carrying insects such as cockroaches, fleas, and ticks.


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