Southern House Spider

Category:

Actual Size: 13 mm to 19 mm

Characteristics:

  • Males are brown or amber.
  • Females are black, or charcoal and look like small tarantulas.

Habitat: Constructs webs at higher elevations around cracks and crevices on the exterior of homes, barns, and other structures. Will also spin webs in outdoor vegetation.

Habits:

  • Sometimes referred to as the crevice spider.
  • Looks similar to brown recluse, but their venom is not toxic.
  • Has an unnerving tendency to crawl across anything in their path, including human skin.


Are Southern House Spiders Poisonous?

No, southern house spiders are not poisonous. Southern house spiders are often mistaken for being dangerous due to their large size and similarity to the brown recluse spider. However, they are not poisonous and pose little threat to humans. Their bites are rare and, if they do occur, typically result in only mild irritation or redness. These spiders are more of a nuisance in homes due to their webbing rather than a health hazard. It’s important to note that they play a beneficial role in controlling insect populations.

Southern House Spiders in North Carolina

Southern house spiders, sometimes referred to as crevice spiders, are commonly found in North Carolina. They are frequently mistaken for brown recluse spiders, however, males have eight eyes squeezed together, and females are velvety black and look more like small tarantulas. Yet both sexes are frequently mistaken for recluses. Southern house spiders make a cottony web on a flat surface where they hide in a hole, waiting for prey.

Southern House Spider Habitat

The southern house spider is partial to spaces within the masonry of buildings; especially dark recesses of window sills, shutters, and overhangs. Females and juveniles make specialized webs that are occasionally found under tree bark but are frequently seen on houses, barns, bridges, and other man-made structures. Southern house spiders will build webs in high places, and typically in the cracks and crevices of homes, garages, and sheds. These spiders will also spin their webs outside, in plants, cactus, and vegetation. The webs of this spider are flat and tangled, having a woolly texture.

Southern House Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

While they look similar to the dangerous recluse spider species, southern house spiders are harmless to humans. They are reluctant to bite, and their venom is not medically significant. They do, however, have an unnerving tendency to crawl across anything in their path. Male southern house spiders sometimes appear aggressive, but they do not bite unless trapped and their mouthparts are too small to easily penetrate human skin. The southern house spider can be a particular pest during the winter, building up populations in unkept areas of houses, outbuildings, warehouses, and similar structures in addition to outdoor habitats.

If you are dealing with southern house spider problems on your North Carolina property, contact your local spider exterminators.