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What types of spiders can be found in our homes?

September 25th, 2023

In Canada, and more specifically in Quebec, there are over 600 species of spider. While many spider species can be seen in our daily lives, some are more likely than others to be encountered in our homes. Here’s a detailed look at three of the most common types of spiders found inside our homes:

Tegenaria, or house spiders:

Description: These spiders have an elongated body and eight long legs with distinctive pale and dark markings on their abdomen as well. They are generally brownish in color.

Habitat: They are often associated with messy-looking webs in the corners of rooms, windows, or basements. Their webs are generally funnel-shaped.

Behavior: These spiders are nocturnal and shy. They generally flee when approached by humans or when disturbed.

They are harmless to humans and can sometimes even be considered beneficial, as they feed on various insect pests.

Pholcidae, or cellar spiders:

Description: These spiders are recognizable by their long, slender legs, which seem to “shake” as they move. They have elongated grayish-white bodies.

Habitat: True to their name, they prefer dark, damp places like cellars, but can also be found in other parts of the house.

Behavior: Commonly, these spiders spin messy webs often in dark corners. If disturbed, they can begin to vibrate rapidly in their webs, earning them the name “vibrating” spider in certain regions.

Though they are sometimes called “poisonous spiders,” they are entirely harmless to humans. In fact, it’s common for these spiders to feed on other spiders, including some species, such as the black widow, that are potentially more problematic for humans.

Steatoda, or false widows:

Description: These spiders are similar in appearance to the dreaded black widows, with a rounded abdomen, although generally duller in color and with varied patterns.

Habitat: They spin irregular webs in dark corners, under furniture, or behind objects hanging on walls.

Behavior: They are discreet and prefer to remain hidden.

Although like the black widow, the bite of the false widow is far less concerning. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to handle all spiders with caution.

Despite the concern they may cause some people, most spiders found in Canadian homes are harmless and play an essential role in the ecosystem by regulating insect populations. What’s more, of the 40,000 spider species identified worldwide, only 30 or so have dangerous venoms. And the good news is that none of these dangerous species are found in Quebec!

It’s worth remembering that these creatures are generally more frightened of us than we are of them. If you wish to remove a spider, you can gently capture it using a glass and a piece of cardboard, and then release it outside. Nevertheless, if you think you have a spider infestation, please contact ‘BW nature control’ to check your situation at home.


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