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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.

Shop Stay Away®

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

  1. So if i want to keep the spider from harm and the cold what do i do? Not wait? Im concerned for my little spider.

    • It’s so kind of you to be concerned about the spider! You can use an integrated pest management plan to keep spiders out of your living spaces without harming them. The spiders will relocate to a more suitable environment on their own. If you are tolerant of the spiders, you can avoid treating an area where you wouldn’t mind them living. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I saw a spider and it disappeared under my bed… So that spider will keep lingering in my room for a year?

    • Hi Kamelle,
      Although a spider could live that long, it won’t necessarily stay in your room that long. A spider wants to live somewhere with lots of food nearby, so they often build webs near water sources that attracts other bugs spiders can eat. If you’ve lost track of the spider, just tidy up around the room and make sure there’s no reason for the spider to stick around. And try placing a pouch of Stay Away Spiders wherever you saw him last.
      Thanks for commenting!

  3. So if I ran out instead of killing it and I lost it after a little while. Is there a good chance it will live for less than a year in my house??

    • Hi Rose,
      Although a spider could live that long, it won’t necessarily live in your house that long. A spider wants to live somewhere with lots of food nearby, so they often build a web near a water source that attracts other bugs the spider can eat. If you’ve lost track of the spider, just tidy up around the house and make sure there’s no reason for the spider to stick around. And try placing a pouch of Stay Away Spiders wherever you saw him last.
      Thanks for commenting!

  4. we have had the same spider living in the corner of our shop for the past 9 years. We have named him Fred. he is about 20mm across and has dark body. His web is very erratic not neat like a normal spider but incredible strong, enough to hold a wooden dowel rod 300mm long. He has no access to any water but catches lots of flies. Any idea what type of spider it is ?

    • Hi Jim,
      That is very interesting! We’d love to see a picture of Fred if you have one. Did you hear about the 43 year old spider who was in the news recently? They are fascinating creatures!
      Thanks for commenting!

  5. I saw a a spider crawling around my kitchen floor and lost track of it but I think it might have went behind the fridge with no bugs.so how song will the spider live for

    • Hi Braedon,
      House spiders can live up to two years on average, but it won’t necessarily live in your house that long. A spider wants to live somewhere with lots of food nearby, so they often build a web near a water source that attracts other bugs the spider can eat. If you’ve lost track of the spider, just tidy up around the house and make sure there’s no reason for the spider to stick around. And try placing a pouch of Stay Away Spiders wherever you saw him last.
      Thanks for commenting!

  6. We found several brown widow egg sacs under our pool slide and diving board. My husband squished them but hundreds of little pinhead size spiders were running all over. They were fast and hard to see. Hundreds of them all over the concrete. I’m wondering if they can survive outside the sac at that stage?

    • Hi Kelly,
      If the spiderlings were able to move freely, they are probably mature enough to survive. In the future, relocating or disposing of an egg sac may be a better solution than squishing it where it was found. However, it’s unlikely that many of the baby spiders survived for long, or stayed in the same area. Once spiders hatch, they face danger from predators and they try to quickly disperse so they are not competing over a limited food supply. For peace of mind, you may want to consider keeping a pouch of Stay Away Spiders near doors or windows that face your pool just to make sure no eight legged intruders try to come inside.
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. I host a guests in our guest cottage and, although we keep it clean and use an eco friendly products, two nights ago an egg sac must have hatched in the bathroom. Our guest alerted us to hundreds of baby spiders in a localized area. I am normally of the mindset to relocate, but in this situation given how hard we work to host our guests well I am mortified.

    Babies have emerged the last two nights and I’m trying to find out over how long a period they will continue to emerge from the egg sac. In other words, are we almost done with the babies? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Marykay,
      Your guest cottage sounds lovely! Baby spiders usually emerge and leave the area quickly, so I should think they’ll be on there way soon. The spiderlings are just looking for a place to call home, so make sure you keep the cottage free from other insects that could be a food source for the spiders and they should move along. For additional protection, you could keep a pouch of Stay Away Spiders spider repellent in each room.
      Thanks for reading!

  8. A beautiful little spider set up shop on my porch. I’ve named her Esmerelda (Ezzie for short) and I talk to her every day. I’m so glad I don’t freak out and kill spiders anymore ❤️

    • Hi Jacs,
      That sounds lovely! We’d love to see a photo if you can share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and tag us!
      Thanks for commenting!

  9. I always leave a few spiders for the summer to catch mosquitos and take them out in fall. They don’t make much of web and stick close to ceiling. If I see with egg sac, out she goes.

  10. I have faced accidents twice because of my fear from spiders. Once I(10yrs) was climbing a ladder and saw a big(house) spider on the wall and fell down f
    rom a floor and broke my arm. This arouse my dear from spiders. I am scared of their speed of moving and their legs. Another time I was to burn myself up in the gas stove for I saw a 6 cm spider hanging and coming down from a thread-like web. And now another one a 4 legged big house spider is in my bathroom and is taking my breath while I’m in, my eyes can’t stop watching its movement. In general spider never harmed me, but it is my fear that I harmed myself. So what should I do to overcome this fear? In my hostel my friends take advantage of my weakness and scare me.

    • Hi Abhishek,
      Personally, I think that the more you learn about spiders, and understand them, the less reason you’ll have to fear them. There are lots of really entertaining and informative resources to learn about spiders. Try searching for “cute spider pictures” and you will find some very neat pictures of spiders, or watch Lucas the Spider videos on YouTube (Lucas is so adorable!). Also, keep in mind that spiders eat bugs like mosquitoes that actually can hurt people, so its really like spiders are helping us out by providing the most natural kind of pest control! Of course, you can always keep a pouch of spider repellent with you for added peace of mind.
      Thanks for reading!

  11. Hi I’m Gary i was wondering can you feed a house spider as i have been feeding my eight legged friend wood lice he seems to love them and the odd fly or two but for some reason I found his dead on kitchen sink & I’m a bit pissed off as we had quite a great bond he would always come out for food every time i would go near kitchen sink to make cup of tea ? so i insisted on finding him some woodlice from in the garden? I fill sorry for the little fella now he has past on to spider heaven,but i was wondering why he died on me he was black in colour with orange legs but i also know he had shredded his xoskelton maybe that’s the reason why he died on me he most probably was meant to i had him above my window sill for 4months

    • Hi Gary,
      What a lovely story! I’m sorry your spider friend passed away. It is difficult to speculate what the cause may have been since there are many unexplained variables. For more information, you may want to try your local county Ag Extension office.
      Thanks for reading!

  12. I have a spider that hangs out in front of my door. I have named him Hector and he’s been there for about 3 weeks. He builds his web every day around 6pm and hangs out all night, then around 8 am he goes into a hole in the wooded part of my porch. I wish I knew what kind of spider he is, and how long he will possibly be there. I’ve grown to love him as I am fascinated by him and watch him for hours. Which is why I Looked up How Long Do Spiders Live.
    I would Love to share a pic if Hector… Which IG page or Facebook Page can I share or Tag Hector on?

    • Hi Khadijah,
      What a lovely story! We’d love to see Hector on Facebook or IG @earthkindinc 🙂
      Thanks for sharing!

  13. Love your selections. Can’t wait to try the products out.
    Thank you for creating environmentally responsible and humane products.
    I will spread the word.
    PS; I tried to find a coupon code, but was unsuccessful. If you were to slip in an additional product to try…I wouldn’t be mad. 😉 Thank you!
    Suzanne Coleman

  14. I have a spider living in my down stairs laundry sink. The tap has a slow leak so there is water for the fella. But I want to try to keep home around for the winter. How can I make sure he survives? I don’t know how to attach a photo unfortunately

    • Hi Jon,
      Simply leaving the spider alone is probably the best way to keep it around. Spiders don’t actually need much water, but moisture will attract other insects spiders prey upon. A food source is the most important thing to a spider when choosing where to live. If you use social media, we’d love to see your spider photos there! Just tag @earthkindinc on Facebook or Instagram.
      Thanks for reading!

  15. I’m curious about a rather large spider who enthusiastically made a new web every night outside my screen door. Then a couple of nights ago, it didn’t make a web, hanging onto a dilapidated portion of what was left of the web it had made the night before. I got the impression it had lost interest, was too lazy, maybe not feeling well(?). Tonight it is gone. Did it die? Did it relocate (I noticed it didn’t seem to be catching much prey where it was ‘stationed’).

    Also, had another one under my cupboards in the kitchen. It was there a good 3 weeks, and then one morning gone! There is quite a lot of noise going on in the kitchen; I was wondering if it moved to a quieter spot. (P.S. I never saw any prey it its web so maybe it, too, moved to a better location).

    Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Hi Kristi,
      Thanks for sharing your spider observations, it’s so nice to work in harmony with nature! You seem to have an excellent understanding of spiders already; they will move to a new location if they aren’t catching much prey in one area, and those factors are often influenced by the amount of noise and activity in a given area. I wouldn’t worry about the health or well-being of the spiders hanging around, they’re pretty hearty and self-sufficient. Most likely, they just decided to relocate to a place with a better food supply.
      Thanks for reading!

  16. I have a spider that builds a web in front of my door every night around 9pm without fail. Then, around 7am he leaves and goes to sleep in a crevasse above the door. He does a good job keeping bugs out of the house so we have named him Magnus. We’ve grown attached to Magnus but I feel bad because I have to take his web down every morning to leave the house. We would like to relocate Magnus to a better spot but we are not sure how! Have any tips?

    • Hi Becky,
      Spiders are the original natural pest control experts! I’m so happy to hear that you’re trying to find a kind solution for both you and the spider. However, please remember to use caution and take care to ensure your own safety first. Usually, the easiest way to relocate a spider (or almost any bug) is with a cup and a piece of paper or cardboard. Place the cup over the spider and then slide a piece of paper under the cup, then carry it outside where it can be safely released. This way you don’t need to come into actual contact with the spider. The cup method and other considerations are outlined here by a very kind entomologist.
      Thanks for reading!

  17. I have a spider in my living room the type who has long legs and runs across the floor at great speed rather than the smaller legged ones I see high up on its web can you tell me what type spider you expect it is and anything else I should learn about this type thanks

    • Hi Mike,
      Spider identification can be very difficult, especially when we have limited information. If you have any photos to share, we’d love to see them, just tag @earthkindinc on Facebook or Instagram. For the most accurate information, your best bet is to contact a local pest control professional, or your county’s Ag Extension office since they would be familiar with common species in your area.
      Thanks for reading!

  18. Hello,
    So happy to have found this site. I’ve got a fairly large spider who has made a web across a patio door that I don’t need to open (two open onto my balcony). I’ve become quite fond of it – watched it work on the web in the evening a few nights ago. I live in Illinois and eventually it will become quite cold. Will the spider die? will it shelter in the potted plants? It goes away once in a while for 6 or more hours – perhaps for water as there is none on my patio. Think I’ll put some out there.
    Anyhow – the question is does the cold kill spiders that are outside?

    • Hi Margaret,
      The kindness you’re showing this spider is very touching! Don’t worry too much about your eight-legged friends though, they are uniquely adapted to their environment. Cold doesn’t kill spiders exactly because they are able to ‘overwinter’ and survive seasonal changes in temperature, you can read more about that here if you are interested. The most important factor affecting a spider’s survival is whether or not it has enough food. Since other insects may not survive the winter, your spider friend may go into a dormant state while waiting for spring.
      Thanks for reading!

  19. I had a Cross spider living on my porch all summer. She was super fancy and opulent, so I named her Blanche Devereaux. She has since disappeared and I actually got a little emotional when I realized she was gone.

    • Hi Michelle,

      Too funny! 🙂 We hope your friend found a home in the wildlife with Mother Nature. I am sure she misses you, but her home in the woods is better suited for her.

      We thought you may enjoy this podcast where some fun facts and strange stories about spiders were shared. Artcle: EarthKind’s “Spider Lady” on Bob & Sheri’s Oddcast
      Bob and Sheri’s Oddcast: Swallowing Spiders and Other Itsy Bitsy Horrors

      Thank you for making us laugh!

      Remember Keep it kind! Keep it safe!

  20. I’ve been watching this large spider outside my window for the last four weeks and it’s gone now and I wonder if it left because it was bored of that space or looking for a new spot.
    I’ve been reading up on giant black and yellow spiders just to figure out how they operate
    Very beautiful and scary looking at the same time
    Wonder why we fear them?
    Is it the image of the spider that scares us or the unknown ?
    I appreciate from afar

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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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