The body of the female house spider is about 3/16″ to 5/16″ long and yellow-brown with a dirty white abdomen with “army sergeant” stripes on the back. Males are much smaller than the females, 1/8″ to 3/16″ long and have al longer, narrower abdomen.
House spiders lay their eggs in brownish silken sacs which have a tough papery cover. A female produces up to 17 sacs during her lifetime, each containing approximately 250 eggs. The young spiderlings remain in the sac until the second molt. They are cannibalistic and often eat one another. They live in the vicinity of the nest until after the second molt when they produce long threads of silk that help them float away much as kites float. Female spiderlings undergo seven molts before maturing. Adults typically live for a year or more.
House spiders randomly select web sites, and if the web fails to capture prey, it is abandoned and another is built. They survive better in areas with high humidity, such as garages, sheds, barns warehouse, etc. The lower humidity in modern structures is not conducive to their survival. However, in structures with higher humidity, webs are constructed in upper corners, under furniture, around window a d door frames, basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Outdoors, webs are built around window and door frames, near lights and under eaves. House spiders feed on a wide variety of insect but especially flies.
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