Spider Species

The majority of spiders cannot harm anyone and it is very uncommon for people to be bitten by them. To avoid any unnecessary encounters, there are a few things that you can do to ensure you keep spiders away from your home.

They are unpleasant to look at and their webs can cause a mess if they infest your home or business. From Common House Spiders to Black Widows, we can give you more information about these creatures to help you get over your fears.

Common House Spider

Appearance

  • Adult – body length excluding legs 1/4" – 3/8". Yellow brown body with faint markings. Abdomen pale grey brown with short hairs.

Lifecycle

  • The egg sac produced by the female is spherical, covered with a layer of silk and placed within the web structure.
  • The male will mate several times with the female before dying.
  • Adults may live for several years.

Habits

  • Found in buildings, sheds and walls.
  • This spider produces a sheet web.

Cellar Spider (Daddy Long Legs)

(PHOLCUS PHALANGIOIDES)

Appearance

  • 7-9mm long
  • Characterised by having very long legs

Lifecycle

  • The female lays eggs, and may sometimes hold her eggs in her palps (short, leg like structures attached to the front of the cephalothorax, between the fangs and the first pair of legs)

Habits

  • The spin a loose web in sheltered areas, often in and around human habitation including houses, garages and sheds.
  • Apart from the nuisance of their webs, they do no harm and are non-toxic.
  • They are common in urban areas.
  • They feed on insects and other spiders.

Wolf Spider

(TROCHOSA RURICOLA)

Appearance

  • Adult female: 5/16"; male - 1/4". They are generally brown to grey in color.

Lifecycle

  • Wolf spider mothers carry their egg sacs around with them attached to spinnerets under the abdomen.
  • When the young spiderlings hatch, they climb onto their mother's back where they live for the first few weeks of life.

Habits

  • They hunt at night but spend the day hidden amongst moss and decaying matter. 
  • They live in a shallow burrow, with an open and unadorned entrance.

Yellow Sac Spider

(Cheiracanthium)

Appearance

  • Pale in colour, abdomen can be yellow or beige with a faint dark stripe running lengthwise.
  • 1/4 to 3/8 inches long
  • 4 pairs of legs, the 1st pair longer than the 4th.
  • Eight similarly-sized dark eyes arranged in two horizontal rows.

Lifecycle

  • A female produces around 5 egg sacs each with 30 to 48 eggs. The female may produce several egg masses during her lifetime.
  • Eggs are laid in Autumn
  • Spiderlings emerge the following Spring.
  • Approximately 30 percent of adult males get eaten by females after mating.

Habits

  • Feeding - usually small insects.
  • Location – They build a silken tube or sac (instead of a web) in a protected area which is used as their daytime retreat.
  • Externally this can be within a leaf or under logs; Indoors this can be or at the junction of a wall and ceiling or behind pictures and shelves. They are normally outdoor spiders, but will set-up indoors if there are small insects available. They are likely to enter homes during early Autumn when their outdoor food supply decreases.
  • Visibility - Adults can be seen from April through November. They emerge at night to look for food. They drop to the floor to seek cover when disturbed.
  • Bite - Their bite is sharp and painful and will cause erythema and swelling. A wheal may develop, producing a necrotic area which can take eight weeks to heal. Pain or numbness at the site of the bite may be followed by sweating and nausea lasting for up to 24 hours.

Next Steps

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