California House Spiders: Understanding Different Spiders at Home

| Categories: Spiders

Spiders come into your home for a few different reasons. Most of them love to stay indoors to catch prey and stay away from predators throughout the spring and summer months. But as the fall season rolls around, spider activity may start to intensify. During this time, male spiders crawl out of the woodwork to find a mate.

Spiders also like to stay indoors simply because they may have found food in your house. By food, meaning other bugs that have also found their way inside your home. Regardless, you want to keep spiders outside. The bad news is there are so many to keep count of.

In North America, over 3,400 species exist—66 of them can be found in California. Though many types of spiders in California homes cause no harm to residents, there are some dangerous ones you should also note.

How do you spot the common California house spiders? Where do they usually live? And how do you know if this spider is dangerous or not? In this blog post, you’ll get answers to your burning questions.

10 Most Common Types of Spiders in California Homes

Some of our customers can easily identify the most common types of spiders in California homes, such as tarantulas and black widow spiders. Some homeowners, however, can barely identify any. And the worst thing is, they don’t know whether the spider they encounter is dangerous or not.

Ultimately, it’s important to get to know the typical California house spiders besides tarantulas and black widow spiders. Here are some of them:

1. Tarantula

Starting with one that you’ve probably seen at one point — tarantulas. They’re considered the world’s largest spiders. 

What do tarantulas look like?

Tarantulas have fairly hairy legs and bodies, which makes them look terrifying to many people. Their size and color may vary depending on their species and hideout.

Where do tarantulas live?

Tarantulas are quite common in the desert regions — and yes, that includes California. But more specifically, tarantulas live underground in burrows, which they dig using their forelegs and fangs. They might also use abandoned burrows. Some tarantulas also use funnel-shaped webs in trees.

Tarantulas are nocturnal for the most part. During the mating season, male tarantulas can get very bold and can be found wandering into homes in broad daylight.

Are tarantulas dangerous?

Despite their menacing appearance, tarantulas shouldn’t be feared. Sure, they are venomous, but they’re not dangerous. In fact, their venom is milder than a honeybee.

2. Black widow spider

Black widow spiders can be found in households all over the world. In California, it’s even more common.

What do black widow spiders look like?

Most black widow spiders are recognizable for their glossy black color. The females measure about 3-10mm in length, twice bigger than males. They’re more recognizable for their hourglass-shaped red marking on the underside of their bellies. Meanwhile, males are more reclusive and can hardly be seen.

Where do black widow spiders live?

Indoors, they can hide in garages, basements, barns, mailboxes, crawl spaces, and sheds. They also like edges and corners around your house, as well as tall grasses and dark hideouts.

Are black widow spiders dangerous?

The black widow is venomous. Their bites may cause vomiting, intense muscle pains and stiffness, and difficulty breathing due to diaphragm paralysis. They might not inflict any serious harm on some people. However, it can be fatal to some, including kids, the elderly, and the sick. Despite that, black widow spiders aren’t considered aggressive unless threatened.

3. American house spider

Known for creating Halloween-like webs, the American house spider is one of the most popular type of spiders in California homes. 

What do American house spiders look like?

American house spiders are as small as a nickel. They’re often gray with white markings and have a rounded belly.

Where do American house spiders live?

American house spiders are commonly found in abandoned buildings and homes. Nonetheless, they can establish a dwelling all over your attic, basements, cabinets, or garages — pretty much anywhere dark and hidden.

Are American house spiders dangerous?

Nope. Generally, they’re not aggressive. In fact, they can be easily daunted by the presence of people.

4. Wolf spider

What do wolf spiders look like?

Although their sizes vary, wolf spiders are generally one of the largest California house spiders. They can grow up to an inch and a half. And they’re often mistaken as baby tarantulas because of their large size and hairy body. Wolf spiders tend to be black, grey, or brown.

Where do wolf spiders live?

Wolf spiders are outdoor species, but they may still dwell indoors. You may find them in basements, sheds, or garages where insects are, especially in the late summer and fall.

Are wolf spiders dangerous?

They’re not, although they can still bite.

5. Brown recluse

What does the brown recluse look like?

The brown recluse is distinguishable for its violin-shaped marking on the top of its head and down its back. They range from light to dark brown. While most spiders have eight eyes, the brown recluse only has six that appear in a triad. They can grow 6-11 inches in length with fine hair covering their belly.

Where does the brown recluse live?

The brown recluse is nocturnal. They want to stay away from humans, so they usually create their webs in secluded, undisturbed places like sheds, basements, and cellars. But, they can also be found under sheets, shoes, and folded clothes.

Is brown recluse dangerous?

Yes! The brown recluse is deemed a dangerous spider. It stings when it bites. Their venom has the ability to kill the cells and tissues around wounds. When bitten, get medical help immediately!

6. Domestic house spider

The domestic house spider is pretty common all over the world. This is more commonly known in California as the barn funnel weaver or the common house spider.

What does a domestic house spider look like?

They have typically dark orange to brown or beige (even grayish) bodies. They’re pretty small yet elongated. Females can grow between 7.5-11.5 mm, while males can grow between 6-9 mm.

Where does a domestic house spider live?

They’re often found in the corners of windows and ceilings, creating funnel-shaped cobwebs with a center hole. The female house spider is usually just sitting pretty in the middle of the web, waiting for her insect prey. If left undisturbed, the domestic house spider can survive up to seven years in the same web.

Is a domestic house spider dangerous?

No, they’re not. They will stay out of man’s way when their web gets disturbed.

7. Daddy longlegs spider

What does a daddy longlegs spider look like?

Daddy longlegs spiders are gray to brown, sometimes clear, with chevron patterns. Their cylindrical body grows the size of a peanut, but their very thin legs can go on up to 50 mm long.

Where does a daddy longlegs spider live?

They like to live outside for the most part, on the lawn or up in trees. But, it’s not uncommon to see them inside enclosed spaces. At home, you can spot them hanging inverted in their messy, irregular-shaped webs in the dark, undisturbed areas such as corners, attics, and cellars. That’s why it’s also called a cellar spider.

Is a daddy longlegs spider dangerous?

No! Contrary to popular belief, daddy longlegs spiders aren’t venomous.

8. Hobo spider

What does a hobo spider look like?

The hobo spider is often confused with other common spiders in California homes primarily because of its brownish color. They have very hairy legs, too. However, the distinctive features of this spider are the V-shaped stripes on their abdomens.

They’re also known as funnel weavers.

Where does a hobo spider live?

They are commonly found in dark, dry, and warm areas such as attics, basements, closets, and furniture. They may hide in clothing, beds, and shoes too.

Is a hobo spider dangerous?

The hobo spider can be aggressive. Its bite can cause pain, redness, and swelling surrounding the affected area, which can be easily treated with an over-the-counter painkiller or ice pack. The good news is hobo spider bites don’t give you necrotic lesions.

9. Jumping spider

What does a jumping spider look like?

There are so many species of jumping spiders, and they look a little different from one another. Their colors vary from solid black to black and white stripes with iridescent spots. Two things they all have in common are their large, front-middle set of eyes and hairy bodies and legs.

Where does a  jumping spider live?

They can be found in your house. However, they don’t weave webs. You might see them crawling inside ceilings, climbing walls, or hanging out in attics or trees.

Is a jumping spider dangerous?

Not really. However, jumping spiders may bite if threatened.

10. Yellow sac spider

What does a yellow sac spider look like?

They’re usually pale beige or yellowish and have a dark V shape on their body.

Where does a yellow sac spider live?

They hide in the sac during the day and then hunt at night. They create sacs in the corners where the wall meets the ceiling, whether it’s the kitchen, the living room, or the bedroom.

Is a yellow sac spider dangerous?

It’s not common for yellow sac spiders to pose any danger. They can bite, but it’s nothing too serious. However, there have been reports of hospitalizations for some people who have pre-existing medical conditions.

How to Avoid California Spiders in Houses

It’s best to be proactive when it comes to spiders. Before invading your home or showing signs of their presence, you can do a couple of things to make sure you’re keeping out the different types of spiders in California homes. Here are some important things to do:

  • Clean up seldom-used areas

House spiders love dark and undisturbed spaces, all the more giving you more reasons to make sure rarely-used areas get cleaned regularly. These include windows, storage areas, basements, attics, sheds, ceilings, and every other unused corner of your home.

  • Remove places where spiders may hide and build webs

Spiders can easily build dwellings pretty much anywhere. Boxes on the floor? Leaf litter? You name it. Spiders can take up residence near the structure if anything that doesn’t move. So, get rid of these things before spiders start building cobwebs there.

  • Seal gaps and other points of entry

When there are cracks and other openings, spiders are one step away from entering your home. To prevent spiders from coming indoors, seal any gaps you can see, especially around windows and doors. Good screening not only prevents spiders from entering your home but also keeps out the insects they prey on.

Seek Professional Spider Control Help

The presence of spider webs, spider egg sacs, and spiders themselves are all common signs that your home has been infested. Having spiders around your house isn’t entirely bad. However, they become a nuisance when they’re multiplying and inviting more insects into your home. Even if you get rid of spiders and cobwebs now, note that spiders are the kind of pests that keep returning if you don’t treat your home properly.

The best way to ensure complete spider protection is by reaching out to spider experts from Pro Pacific Pest Control. We will help you eliminate your spider problem for good with our spider control treatments.

To learn how our Spider Control and Treatment Service can help keep your home safe, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call for Immediate Attention

Or fill out the form below anytime!

  • Preferred free inspection time:

    Scheduling subject to availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Fill out the form to contact us at any time!

  • Preferred free inspection time:

    Scheduling subject to availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Service Areas