Giant house spiders are moving into your house as you read this, probably. While you can close your windows and doors, there’s really not a lot you can do to actually stop them from getting in. They can get up to 12cm wide in size; the “golden retriever” of the spider world.
But there’s nothing to worry about. They’re not going to steal your baby and raise it as their own or start eating food out of the fridge. They’re particularly big at the moment, however, but that’s because we’ve had a very wet and warm summer, so there have been plenty of insects for spiders to get nice and fat on.
Usually found outdoors, in sheds and garages, these giant house spiders are moving indoors to mate. The spiders that you see are male spiders looking for a female. The females very rarely leave their nests, so the males have to find them – unfortunately for us there are no spider discos for them to find a nice girlfriend. Because they have left their webs, they can’t feed and don’t actually live very long while they’re roaming around and looking for love.
These spiders very rarely bite, but as long as you leave them alone they will leave you alone.
Common House Spiders
There are around 650 different types of spiders in the UK, and they all bite, but only 12 have been recorded as actually biting a human. However, only two or three have a bite worth worrying about.
Daddy Long Legs Spiders (Pholcus Phalangioides)
With small grey bodies and very long spindly legs, they prefer the warmth of our homes to outside. They are not an indigenous species, and originated in a warmer country, which is why they like to stay indoors. They feed on insects and other house spiders, even ones bigger than them.
House Spider (Tegenaria species)
The Giant House Spider is aptly a member of the house spider family, with around 6 different species in the family. They only really come in the home in search of mates, and so you will see more of them in the autumn months. They do not live in the house all year round, unlike the Daddy Long Leg spiders, who cannot survive the winter months. House spiders build funnel webs, and when their prey runs in, they bash it to death and then digest it.
Missing Sector Orb Web Spider (Zygiella X-Notata)
So called because it has a traditional orb web, with radiating spokes from a central point, and concentric circles, but it always has one quadrant missing. It’s a small spider with a pale body and markings on the abdomen. They are usually found on the outside of houses and cars, and they come indoors in late autumn, making webs in windows.
Zebra Jumping Spider (Salticus scenicus)
A tiny spider with black and white markings and a jerky movement, they are usually found on external walls but have been seen indoors too in spring through to autumn. They don’t use webs, but pounce on their prey instead.
The Best Way to Catch a Spider
- Trap the spider under a glass and slide a piece of card underneath and release it outside.
- If the spider is stuck in the bath, drape a towel over the edge so the spider can crawl on to it and you can then shake it off outside.
- Gently encourage it into a dustpan and lightly tap the pan to stop the spider from moving, and then release it outside.
- Coax the spider onto a long stick and take it outside.