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Where Do Spiders Live? Habitat of Common House Spiders

By: Rita Stadler

Most people don’t like the idea of living alongside spiders, but the only place in the world where you won’t find any eight-legged neighbors is Antarctica. Before you pack your bags and start looking for an igloo, consider the fact that most spiders are harmless (though there are some dangerous types of spiders you should be aware of). They actually do you a big favor by eating other bugs and insects that may cause more serious problems. 


Where spiders live.

There are only a few types of spiders that are commonly found inside a home, and finding them isn’t always easy. Spiders and spider habitats can be hard to spot. They are generally unobtrusive and blend into their surroundings. Find out more about where spiders live in and around the home and what, if anything, you should do about it.

How do Spiders get into Your Home?

Spiders can enter your home a few different ways. Common house spiders usually spend their entire life indoors. They live in hidden spaces and undisturbed areas, like behind a bookshelf or underneath the basement stairs. Some spiders may stowaway inside an old box you’ve brought in from the garage or in a bundle of firewood brought in from outside. Others may mistakenly wander inside if a door or window is left open. Spiders can also enter through small openings like those found around dryer vents or the areas where cable and plumbing lines pass through the walls of your home.

Another way spiders move around, and may possibly enter the home is by “ballooning.” This method is achieved by spinning a piece of silk but not attaching it to anything. The wind then catches it like a balloon and carries the spider away. There are no winged spiders, and they cannot fly, but this method of movement allows them to travel great distances through the air.

Spider web with grapesOccasionally, exotic or dangerous spiders may accidentally be transported along with a shipment of fruit. Although these instances are rare, it is important to carefully wash and inspect any produce you bring into your home.


Spider Habitat

So, where do spiders like to live? Learning about the ideal habitat of a spider can help you make sure your house is not the kind of place they want to live.

Spider on white wallBecause there are thousands of different kinds of spiders, spider habitat varies depending on species. Some spiders are indoor spiders and others thrive outside. Regardless of where a spider lives or what kind it is, its basic needs are the same: food, water, and shelter.

House spiders like living in quiet, undisturbed areas where moisture and food are available. Of course, food for spiders means other bugs. Spiders do not need much water, but moisture often attracts other bugs, so spiders will usually choose to live nearby as well. Cluttered areas provide more hiding spots for spiders. That’s why basements, garages, storage spaces and wooded areas tend to be popular among the eight-legged crowd.

Spiders can build webs quickly and easily. Spinning a new web takes less than one day. Although behavior varies depending on the type of spider, common house spiders will usually abandon a web that isn’t catching enough food. The abandoned web that is left behind is what you may call a cobweb. A house spider will stealthily crawl to another area, perhaps near a door or window, and spin another web in hopes of catching more prey.

Although spiders generally like quiet areas with little traffic, they will opt for a busier location if that is where their prey is found. If a house spider can avoid people, it will usually live for 1-2 years; some species of spiders can live much longer.

What Should You Do if a Spider Makes Your Home it’s Own?

Even if the thought of a creepy, crawling spider makes you want to turn and run the other way, try to consider the facts. Spiders do not cause any property damage. They actually eat other pests that may cause damage like termites, carpenter ants, moths, and stink bugs. Very few spiders are able to deliver a bite that is harmful to people, and spiders almost always prefer to avoid humans over attacking them, biting only as a last defense. Although spider related deaths are rare, you should seek medical attention if you have reason to believe you’ve been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider.

Despite the fact that spiders may help control insect populations, most people don’t want them inside their homes. The best way to get rid of spiders is by making your home less appealing; this means:

  • Sealing potential entry points like cracks and gaps along the building’s foundation.
  • Keeping doors, windows, and screens sealed well.
  • Preventing other insects from inhabiting the area.
  • Reducing clutter to limit hiding places for spiders.
  • Using a natural spider repellent.

  1. Rita Stadler

    Hi Cassie,
    To keep spiders out, you just need to make sure there isn’t any food source for them. Perhaps they are sustaining themselves with ants that may be attracted to an uncovered trash can, or flies that are getting in through an open window? By cleaning and organizing the area, there will be fewer places for spiders (and the bugs they eat) to hide, and you should be able to reduce or eliminate their food source as well. For extra protection, keep a pouch of Stay Away Spiders in the room to make sure the annoying arachnids find a new place to live.
    Thanks for reading!

  • Scared makaylee

    Hi please help. I have a lot of brown house spiders in my basement and it really bothers me. It seems no matter what I do they still keep coming. I absolutely hate spiders and in the past week there’s beeen so many spiders that I’ve stepped on one, one almost crawled on my head while i was sleeping, and one was inside my toilet. I don’t knwk where they live. I’ve never seen them outside. I’ve tried spraying bug poison but it hasn’t worked pleeeeaSsseee help I hate spiders with a passion.

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Makaylee,
      I understand not wanting to live with a bunch of spiders, but try not to get too scared — they probably feel the same way about you! The best way to control spiders in your home is to make sure they don’t have many places to hide and that they don’t have food to eat. Since spiders eat other bugs, you’ll need to be on the lookout for ants that may be attracted to an open trashcan or flies that are coming in through an open window. Tidy up to reduce clutter so they have fewer hiding spots and keep a pouch of Stay Away Spiders in each room to make sure they stay away.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Michael Tarasewich

    The spider in my apartment is generally comming from the rest room. The thing is, it has muscular legs, small,black, and jumps 3 ft!. No webs, … And I respect spiders, but these freak me out!
    Burlington, NC

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Michael,
      That sounds incredible! We’d love to see a picture or video if you can get one! In the meantime, you may find some peace of mind by keeping a pouch of Stay Away Spiders in your rest room.
      Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa Carrigan

    First, I am deathly allergic to anything that bites or stings. I’ve been bitten twice by a Black Widow (per the doc) so I think they are attracted to me and I’m petrified of them. Now, I’m legally blind but I can tell light and dark. In the spring I started noticing lots of dark spots around the ceiling. I had an aide then n asked her if they were spiders. They were but too tiny for her to tell. So the black spots moved around and now I find black house spiders coming out of my clothes closet every day, plenty big enuf to tell they are spiders. I don’t want to spray Raid on my clothes. I bought some peppermint oil, heard that works. If I put peppermint oil on cotton balls n put them in the closet will the spiders just come into my bedroom. Frankly I’m afraid to try it. What do you suggest. Thank you.

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Lisa,
      So sorry to hear about your situation! House spiders don’t usually live together in groups, and will leave the area if they can’t find a reliable food source. I would suggest cleaning out your closet in case there is another underlying problem that is providing the spiders with a food source. Once you’ve cleaned out the closet, keep a pouch of Stay Away Spiders in there, and another in your bedroom for added protection.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Spencer

    I kill an average of 4 spiders per day in my apartment which is a finished basement. I kill lots of house spiders although I have gotten a black widow or two.

  • Gabriel

    Yes i have a pet spider that i believe is a house spider and she hasn’t eaten in 4 days and she hasn’t shown any interest in the insects she has gotten in her web and i just wanted to know what the problem could be?

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Gabriel,
      What an interesting pet! Unfortunately, we aren’t experts at the care and keeping of pet spiders. I would guess that the spider will eat when it needs to, but you may want to consult a pet store for more information.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Amanda

    I think I have a or some common house spiders in my house. I’ve never seen one and not seen any webs but every night I’m being eaten alive!!! I have great big bites everywhere. They itch snd kast for weeks. They are definitely not mosquito or bedbugs. There are no other bugs in our house. Just maybe a random fly from time to time. So I think it’s only food source is me!!! This has happened to me before in the spring and it’s a nightmare. We use an exterminating service once a month that’s spray around the outside of the house but I don’t want them to spray inside the house. I am using essential oil‘s like eucalyptus and thyme to try to prevent further bites but it’s not always successful. How can I stop this!!

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Amanda,
      That sounds very frustrating, and it’s understandable to not want pesticides sprayed inside your home. Spiders don’t usually bite people unless they are trying to protect themselves from being squished, so the bites you’re seeing may not be caused by a spider. You may want to follow up with a doctor to try and identify the cause of the bites. You could also look for a mattress cover that will help prevent bed bugs in case your problem is being caused by something that is difficult to see with the naked eye. Please let us know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Michelle

    I live in a house by trees I have seen 2 wolf spiders. Can they kill you? And I’ve also seen little black spiders. Are they dangerous too?

    1. Rita Stadler

      Wolf spiders, as well as any “black spiders” are unlikely to have a lethal bite. Most spiders prefer to avoid people and only bite as a last resort when they’re about to be squished. Take steps to prevent spiders like clearing away any clutter where they may hide, and keeping other pests out of the house so spiders don’t have a food source. Thanks for commenting!

  • YvonneCulbreth

    My apmt is old , I. Sprayed my oven left home . when I got back spiders were all over my kitchen and bathroom. This is. not the first time , but is the first time ,so many. Pest control left a sticky sheet beside my kitchen stove and it was full of wolf spiders please Help. Yvonne Culbreth

    1. Rita Stadler

      That sounds very unusual and very unpleasant too! We’d suggest investigating if there are any other insects present that are providing an attractive food supply for the spiders. If you can remove the insects that are luring the spiders in, they’ll go away on their own. Consulting a pest control pro is a good idea, but keep in mind that many traps use bait and end up attracting the pests you’re trying to get rid of. Email customercare@www.earthkind.com if you need any more help. Thanks for reading!

  • sandy

    I have had 5 wolf spiders in two weeks?? Very clean here -nothing around here that would be attracting them. hmmmm Do they have a lot of relatives??/

    1. Rita Stadler

      Sandy, Oh my that would be alarming! Here are some helpful links about wolf spiders from the National Pest Management Association and LiveScience. Thanks for reading!

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