Parasteatoda tepidariorum – The Common House Spider

Parasteatoda tepidariorum, or the common house spider can be found in every US state. The spider is also distributed throughout most parts of the world and is often also referred to as the American house spider.

As the name suggests, the Common House Spider can often be found in basements, attics and crawl spaces as well as barns, privies, and stables. They tend to make their webs near human habitations, but try and stay out of the way of the humans at the same time.

The Parasteatoda tepidariorum are one of those spiders where you will find several adults living in close quarters. Often, their webs are built so close together, it looks like one continuous nest.Description – The abdomens will usually be a dull brown and patterned with strange shapes or splotches, or even look speckled. They have longer, thin, banded legs.

Common House Spider Specifics

Common or American House spider
The Common House Spider. Photo b K. J. Ester – St.Clair Shores, Mi.

Size

The adult body will grow to about ¼” (6mm). Including the legs they can reach over 1 inch.

Web

The Common House Spider is of the Cobweb Spider family and the webs will be a haphazard tangle of thin webs.

Bites

Common House Spider Picture
Photo: K.J.Ester – St.Clair Shores Mi.

The venom is a neurotoxin, similar to the black widow, but much less potent. Most bites will feel more like a bee sting and have no real effects.

On occasion, the female may deliver a sharp venomous bite that will cause some swelling, itchiness and possibly trigger antibody allergies that will pass with a little time.

The venom from the Common House Spider is sometimes extracted and sold as an insecticide for farming.

Parasteatoda Tepidariorum the common house spider
A female Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Photo: K.J.Ester – St.Clair Shores Mi.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Genus: Parasteatoda
  • Species: Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Distribution of the common house spider in the USA

The common house spider can be found throughout the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Parasteatoda tepidariorum – The Common House Spider

2 thoughts on “Parasteatoda tepidariorum – The Common House Spider

  1. I found this spider in Northfield, Minnesota at approximately 1:45 pm. It was dangling by a strand of webbing from a field wildflower when I captured it to photograph. The body from head to abdomen is approximately 3 mm in length with a maximum wingspan of around 15 mm.

    1. Dear Connor, thanks for getting in touch! This is a touch one 🙂 I am, however, fairly certain that this is a juvenile male common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum). I’ve moved the ID request to the according article. Here is a picture of a similar specimen on bugguide: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1404431
      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Thanks
      USAspiders

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