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How Long Do Spiders Live – Exploring the Spider Life Cycle

What do you do if you see a spider in your house? You may try to smash it with a shoe, flush it down the toilet, or kindly relocate the spider outside. Or you may simply ignore it, thinking the life of a spider doesn’t last that long anyway.

Below, we explore the lifespan of a common household spider. We discuss how long do spiders live, what spiderlings are and more. This information will help prepare you for the next time you see one in your home.

Life cycle stages of a spider

baby spiders spiderlings

Baby spiders hatch from a spider egg sac and are called spiderlings. An egg sac may contain as many as 1,000 spider eggs! Since spiders lay eggs, you will never see a pregnant spider, but you may see a spider carrying her egg sac on her back. In other instances, mama spiders will attach their egg sacs in crevices or sheltered areas.

Spider eggs can hatch in just a few weeks if conditions are favorable (such as during spring or summer, when temperatures are warm and moisture is plentiful). Spider egg sacs may also “overwinter” or wait out the cooler weather in a dormant state before hatching.

When spiderlings hatch, they look like miniature adult spiders with eight legs, a head and a body. They are usually black, brown, or grey and don’t have any distinctive colors or markings. Spiderlings are not dependent on their mothers and will often start life alone. As soon as they hatch, they leave their siblings, looking for a home to call their own.

Spider lifespan

Spider life is a solitary life. Adult spiders do not live in groups or colonies. House spiders are not territorial or aggressive, but living alone gives them better chances of catching enough food without needing to share. They don’t need to eat daily and can survive long periods of time without food, but they will eat often if food is abundant. Spiders do need to drink water from dew drops, condensation, or other sources like a dripping faucet, leaky appliance or pet bowl.

spider web light

Most of a spider’s time is spent waiting. Spiders wait patiently in their webs for a meal. Spinning a web does not take much time or effort for the common house spider, so they will abandon a web that isn’t catching many bugs, moving on to another location. Ideal locations for spider webs are areas where other insects may be found such as near a light, door, window, food or water source.

An average house spider may live for about a year. People are probably the biggest threat to a spider. Curious cats and dogs can also bring an abrupt end to the life of a spider.

You can take steps to prevent spiders in your home, but if you do find one, you may not want to try waiting to outlive it. Learn more about household spiders and how to get rid of them by clicking below.

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53 responses to “How Long Do Spiders Live – Exploring the Spider Life Cycle”

  1. We have been watching a spider outside our second story window for over a week. We were worried about “it” with Florence coming (we live in NC), but “it” survived and just tonight, we decided to call her Florence! Tonight she was working on her web and at one point quickly descended to the window ledge. She tried to climb back up but couldn’t, then tried to climb up the screen. When we checked on her a few minutes later, she had died (curled up and not moving). What could have happened? She was fine just a couple of minutes before! I feel silly asking this, but my kids and I are interested. Could she have just been old? Fatigued? Did we stress her by watching her? Thanks!

    • Hi JD & Kids!

      We are sorry to hear about Florence’s death. My kids and I have watched how spiders work on their web. Always amazed about their art and determination. Spiders usually die during fall after producing egg sacs; not getting the opportunity to see their babies. Others die of age. There can be so many different reasons, but I thought you and the kids may enjoy reading this article Common house spiders identification facts

      We hope that everything is fine in your area after the hurricane. Thank you for being kind to Florence the spider. Thank for you for reading and remember: keep it safe, keep it kind!

  2. I had a spider living in the corner of my living room ceiling for about 4 years. No food or water source that I could see. I never bothered him until I had to paint the wall. I caught him in a jar and put him right outside the front door which was about three feet away from the corner.
    About a month or two after I painted the wall, there appeared another spider in the same corner who looked just like the one I put out. Black and the body about the size of a quarter. Not very big. That was in early 2011 and the spider is still there. That makes this spider 7 years old.
    I have been feeding this spider mostly ants but I catch an occasional wasp or moth for my friend. And I now spray his web with water about once a month that he likes I think. Goes to the edge where I spay on drinks I think. He/she molts every couple of years but there is never any baby spiders.
    Is it the same spider that I put out a month earlier (which would make him/her about 11 years old) or a new spider?
    I didn’t think spiders lived this long. Every site on the internet says only one or two years for the life span of a spider. Not so as is proof in my living room.

    • Thank you for reaching out to us! One thing that we know about spiders is that they love high up corners, so it’s no surprise that your friend (or friends!) have taken a liking to that special place in your living room. And with you taking care of him, it’s no surprise that he’s stayed!
      There are many different kinds of spiders, but they all go through the same basic life cycle: egg, immature that grow (molt) through many stages, then finally reaching the reproductive adult stage. This process can take months to years depending on the spider. So identifying the spider first can help you figure out the expected lifespan.
      We suggest taking a look at this article that will help you identify spiders Identify Spiders or contacting your local Coop Extension Office (NPIC Home Page State Extension and Local Pest Fact Sheets) for additional help.

  3. I’m fairly tolerant of spiders and admire their industriousness but I will disrupt them if they start building webs where I know they are going to either have their web damaged by normal human activity or create an obstacle. I’m relieved to hear that building a web is not a huge effort for a spider as I have often feared that removing a web might mean death for its builder.

    • Hello Scordel,

      Not at all! Spiders are resilient. Many spiders build new webs each night or day, depending on when they hunt, and some even recycle by eating their old webs to replenish their silk supply in order to build a new one. Industrious is the perfect word to describe these little creatures!

      Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have a tiny spider living in my house. I read in your blog that they need water. Should I spray the web with water once in a while?

    • Hi Linford,

      That is so kind of you to want to make sure your friendly house spider has enough water! However, spiders generally are able to get enough water on their own, usually from the food they eat. It isn’t necessary for you to do anything to take care of your house spider except leave him or her alone. She’ll repay the favor by controlling the insect population in your home for you.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Thankyou for such an interesting site on spiders. I read it because we had a spider for about two years near a ceiling light. She was great at keeping the mosquietos down. She layed an eggsack that we watched with fasination as they develped. I put a “container” over the egg sack as it was coming to the time of the spiderlings hatching, to try and catch them to remove safetly elsewhere. The spider actually “liked” the container and stood guard in an enterance I made in its side for her. She even made a web in front of it. I “missed” the hatching event and noticed the spiderlings scattered all over the ceiling one evening. The mother stayed in the “doorway” of the container and caught a small fly a few days later. I eventually had to remove the container and the mother was not very happy and hid in her little nest by the light. I thought she would rebuild another web. The next day she was gone. I feel sad and guilty that I upset her when I removed the container and slightly messed up her web. After reading your site I am now worried she has died and I just didnt notice her body if it fell to the ground. She would have been about two/two and half years old. I cant see why she would have moved as she ate regularly there, only that I “upset her” maybe. What do you think? She didnt get a name but I did become attatched to her.

        • Hi there,

          The arrangement you came to with your house spider sounds lovely! I’m sorry to hear you haven’t seen her lately. Spiders are extremely stealthy, so it’s difficult to jump to any conclusions about what could have become of your house spider. I hope you continue to treat all of nature’s creatures so kindly, and look for natural solutions when you need to protect your space.

          Thanks for reading!

  5. I wish I had seen your website a few months ago! I moved a couple garden spider sacs to a plant in our back yard because the tall sedum in front by our mailbox needed to be cut down before winter. Also because snow is stacked up there which will contain salt from the street. I hope I did the right thing. I may never know. I plan to look for them in the spring. I was trying to find a website to help me back then. Now I know who to ask!

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