Some spider species naturally seek out the protection and confines of a house to reside. A spider can quickly colonise an entire house via an egg sac that inadvertently gets carried in on a piece of furniture or storage supplies.
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Outdoor and Indoor Spiders
Outdoor spider species rarely survive for very long in a home because of the lack of plentiful food. A house spider species also does not survive well outdoors because it cannot tolerate the temperature extremes or adverse weather. Remain on the lookout for any stowaway spiders when bringing new furniture or boxes into the house. Watch for fuzzy egg sacs that may adhere to the objects. Vacuum up webbing, spiders and egg sacs. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum outside.
In the autumn, outdoor spiders may wander into the house in search of warmth as the days become cold. Repair window screens to discourage the spiders from entering. Caulk around windows and doors. Spray the exterior of the house using a high-pressure hose and water. Spraying the house removes spiders before they can gain admittance. The water also helps remove egg sacs from the house's siding, eves or crevices. Move furniture often to look for spiders or egg sacs. Focus on the corners of the room where many house spider species build irregular nests or secure an egg sac. Look behind wall hangings for spider egg sacs.
Keeping Spiders Out
Outdoor spiders often build their nests beside porch lights and windows. The lights during the night attract night-flying prey insects. The outdoors spiders can sneak into the home unobserved when the window or door is open. The young, tiny spiders from the hatching egg sac can also sneak into the house. Consider keeping outdoor lights turned off at night if not necessary to keep the spider population in the area down. Close drapes to prevent night light from escaping around windows so the spiders do not take up residence near windows. Use yellow or sodium vapour light bulbs in outdoor fixtures so prey insects do not flock or fly around the light.
The house or cobweb spider -- family Theridiidae -- spends its life in a house or other building. Brown in body colour, the spider's abdomen has several dark stripes. The female often appears slightly larger than the male. The spiders enjoy residing in dark, moist rooms of the house. They thrive in bathrooms or closets. They form an irregular web. A single female can create an egg sac filled with up to 200 eggs. Jumping spiders, of the family Salticidae, do not spin webs but often make their way inside through window screens or doors, especially in the fall when they seek a warm place to overwinter. The small spiders hunt their prey by waiting and pouncing.
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- University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program; GreenShare Factsheets; Spiders; 1999
- University Kentucky College of Agriculture; Common Spiders Found Around Homes and Buildings; Lee Townsend, et al.; January 1994
- Colorado State University Extension; Spiders in the Home; F.B. Peairs, et al.; December 2008
- University of Minnesota Extension; Common Spiders In and Around Homes; Jeffrey Hahn, et al.; 1997
- Washington State University: House Spider Myths