Where do House Spiders come from?

Most homes have a handful of spiders each season, often found in corners, or in dark basements, or storage closets and places where other bugs are likely to be found. Addressing a spider issue is often the same as addressing other pest issues.  

How do they get into your house?

Spiders have their colonies in places that aren’t often cleaned – but it’s not because they’re dirty – it’s just that they can build a web that survives longer here, and are unlikely to be disturbed by larger animals (yourself included). Spiders use spots such as holes, cracks, plumbing, pipes, and cables to move around and make new nests. 

It’s a good idea to check outside for cobwebs. In most cases, more external spider activity will lead to more internal spider activity. Additionally, spiders natural love vegetation up against the house, so ivy and close trees or bushes are hotspots for many kinds of spiders. 

Also, keep your storage spaces tidy and neat. Dust them off frequently, and try to ensure you take down webs that pop up, using a vacuum or broom. 

In many cases, cobwebs aren’t the only signs of spiders. Though a majority of house spiders are the web-spinning kind like the American house spider or the black widow – a large portion of commonly spotted home spiders include species such as the wolf spider and jumping spider – who don’t spin a web and instead rely purely on pursuing and hunting to eat.

Do they lay eggs?

Yes. Spiders lay eggs and house spiders are no exception. In fact, the American house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, can lay as many as 250 eggs in a single egg sac. And they lay egg sacs quite frequently.

Naturally, only the females lay eggs. The female house spiders are also more likely to stick around. The male spiders don’t stay in the same place for long and instead go searching for mates. The females, however, stay in their cobwebs for months even if they capture no prey – at which point they will simply relocate to another place in hopes of a better catch.

These persistent female house spiders are often the cause of more spiders in your home. Although not all of them give birth to 250 spiders per batch, they can easily increase the spider population of your home by a hundred in one go. Before you become too worried, note that most of these spiderlings, sadly, will be killed or will die naturally before they become adults.

What attracts spiders?

As mentioned above, the primary factor that causes a spider infestation in a home is plentiful food. 

Pests such as cockroaches and flies are the staple diet of spiders. A thriving spider population means that you have an endless supply of bugs and insects and it’s probably going to be more important to get rid of these bugs and insects first before their population gets out of control and then shift your attention to the spiders.

Unlike spiders, who are carnivores and are attracted by other insects and bugs – the insects and bugs themselves are attracted by all sorts of things from stale food to open garbage bins and leftovers to kitchen waste and moisture.

How to get rid of House Spiders

Spider repellents

The easiest way of getting rid of house spiders is to fill your home with a scent they hate – in this case: citrus

Methods for diffusing citrus throughout your home could include rubbing citrus fruit peels (lemons and oranges mostly) along your windowsills and bookshelves, or burning citrus candles. You can also use citrus or lemon-scented furniture and home cleaners, which helps repel spiders from problem areas and tends to last longer than fresh fruit essence. If you can stand the smell, burning citronella candles every so often is also an option.

In addition to citrus, there are also a variety of homemade repellents you can create from ingredients most people have on hand. 

Using vegetable oils (such as olive oil, canola oil, corn oil, etc.) and a few other highly available ingredients, you can create effective repellents that can be applied to high-traffic spider areas such as windowsills and skirting boards throughout your home.

Let’s see how you can make a spider repellent spray that can potentially kill them too when done the right way – at home.

Ingredients list:

  • Apple cider
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Liquid soap
  • Step 1. Mix one teaspoon of liquid soap, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, one cup of pepper, and one cup of apple cider together. Stir well. 
  • Step 2. Put this solution inside a spray bottle. Now, spray on areas that are infested with spiders and similar places that are likely to be the fallback for the running ones.
  • Step 3. Repeat every few days for best results. 

Such a spray is pretty inexpensive and can be very effective in repelling spiders of all types.

However, you need to have some patience when you use repellents and homemade sprays. It takes time for spiders to completely move out of the home. Unlike you, the house is infinitely big for spiders and they can just relocate to a different place. Multiple passes are important if you wish to fix the spider problem permanently.


Vacuuming is great for taking care of a single spider or two. You can use your household vacuum cleaner to pull away any spiders along with any webs you can find. Spiders can move fast on their webs but they won’t be faster than the pull of the vacuum.

Sticky traps

Sticky traps are a time-tested way of catching house spiders.

The trick to using sticky traps is to get the spiders to actually walk over them, which can be more of a frustration than you might think. We’ve seen people tape them onto walls and cabinets in hope that an active spider will wander across it in the middle of the night. 

It’s not a bad idea, but instead, you might consider trying to attract other insects that spiders prey on. Placing some small dabs of jelly or crumbs of cheese will attract a variety of other insects, and hopefully a hunting spider shortly after. 

Non-toxic pesticides

If you’re going the pesticide route, we strongly encourage the use of non-toxic pesticides. The good news about pesticides is that they can kill spiders as well as a host of other pests and insects (which are likely because spiders don’t exist in isolation). 

Experts suggest that pesticides, even if non-toxic, should generally be used outside your home. Having a professional treat your home exterior with a pesticide spray can help in reducing the spider population especially if you’ve identified problem areas that would be difficult to seal for exclusion.

What do House Spiders eat?

House spiders are carnivores and predominantly eat smaller insects and flies.

Spiders are, in many ways, ideal for pest control. Their diet includes (but is not limited to): 

How do house spiders eat their prey?

Many spiders spin webs to catch their prey. Once stuck, the insect tries to flee, producing vibrations throughout the entire web network. This sends a signal to the spider, which might be somewhere else entirely (which definitely helps given spiders are mostly blind even with four pairs of eyes).

The digestion process then officially beings — albeit outside of the body. The spider will inject venom into the prey with its fangs. This venom also doubles up as a liquifying digestive enzyme that breaks meats down, apart from being a subduing, paralyzing, or even a killing agent.

The prey’s meat is turned into a semi-solid fluid and subsequently drank. Yuck.

As a precautionary measure, some spiders also wrap their victims in the web before eating them. These are generally the more vicious of the lot (such as ground spiders or the black widow). On the other hand, some spiders do it just to save the meal for later.

In addition to their primary webs, Spiders also have signal threads. This signal thread connects the main web to the ground. These are usually deployed in corners that insects frequent. When an insect produces vibrations in the signal thread, the spider can hurry down to trap it.

Web-spinning spiders like the American house spider or the black widow are adept at working their way around their webs. Unbeknownst to the prey (and very much by design), only some parts of the web are sticky. 

Do spiders drink water?

Every living organism on Earth needs water to stay alive. 

Spiders don’t drink water the conventional way. They absorb water and moisture from natural sources. For example, spiders in the wild can suck up water from droplets on vegetation and even from morning dew. 

Spiders can go a couple of months without water. Being very energy efficient as well as cold-blooded, they have negligible heat production in their body (their metabolism is also extremely slow compared to similarly-sized insects), which helps them retain body moisture for longer.

You’re unlikely to find your resident house spider drinking water off a dripping tap or droplets on the floor. A large part of their water intake comes from consuming their prey. 

How long do House Spiders live?

The biological name of this species is Parasteatoda tepidariorum, often abbreviated as P. tepidariorum.

In short: the house spider doesn’t generally live for more than a year. However, that’s not the case with all types of spiders. 

So, why can they live so long? 

Spiders have evolved in ways that maximize energy efficiency. Most spiders can go months without food or water.

  • Being carnivores, they need less food quantity than herbivore insects.
  • Metabolic variance is vast, with some species metabolizing 50% slower than average because of the need to thrive in habitats with an inconsistent food supply. 
  • Being cold-blooded, they don’t produce heat to adapt to changing ambient temperatures.

Do spiders hibernate?

Hibernation is a chemical process that makes a spider metabolism extremely slow. You can find hibernating spiders under tree barks, cellars, attics, or missing out on all the winter action, quite literally, under a rock.

The house spider does not hibernate per se, but they do become less active at certain times of the year. Some might burrow or form egg nests and other types of silken retreats. They might also choose someplace generally damp and warm to stay alive in the winter months.

On the plus side, house spiders are easier to spot and kill during the winters as they’re typically far less active.

How long do they live without food and water?

House spiders usually have some reserve food and water within their body. Completely devoid of food and water stores though, a house spider can survive for somewhere between 4-8 weeks.

Unlike other cold-blooded animals, a house spider’s metabolism isn’t related to its size. In general, the larger the body, the faster the metabolism — but that’s not the case with spiders. What this means is that if you have a spider and a cricket of comparable size, the cricket will need roughly twice the amount of food to get by. As spiders depend on ambush-based hunting, they spend very little  energy on acquiring their meals.