7 Common House Spiders in California (Pictures)

Seeing a spider in your home may give you the creeps, but did you know that spiders are actually quite common in California households? While most of them are harmless, it’s still helpful to be able to identify these eight-legged creatures when you come across one. This article provides a list of the seven most common house spiders found in California, complete with pictures and descriptions. From the American House Spider to the Yellow Sac Spider, each spider has its own unique characteristics and behaviors. So, the next time you spot a spider in your home, you’ll be able to identify it and decide whether it’s a friend or foe.

7 Common House Spiders in California

California is home to a variety of spiders, some of which commonly find their way into our homes. While the thought of encountering a spider may give you the heebie-jeebies, it’s important to remember that most house spiders in California are harmless. In fact, they play a crucial role in controlling the insect population inside our homes. In this article, we will explore seven common house spiders found in California, their appearance, habitat, behavior, and any potential dangers associated with them.

1. American House Spider

Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum

The American House Spider is commonly found inside homes. With a bulbous abdomen and brown coloration, these spiders often have white or darker patches and lines on their bodies. They tend to build webs in the corners of your home, especially near windows. American House Spiders capture insects in their webs, inject them with venom, and save them to be eaten later. While they may give you the creeps, they are actually helpful in controlling the insect population inside your home.

2. Domestic House Spider

Scientific Name: Tegenaria Domestica

The Domestic House Spider is a common guest in homes, particularly in dark and quiet spaces like cabinets, attics, basements, and garages. They are typically dark brown or orangish-brown in color and have stripes on their legs. Domestic House Spiders are not aggressive and rarely bite. Even if they do bite, their venom is not harmful to humans. These spiders start their life in an egg sac and reach maturity in about a year. They can live up to 7 years.

3. Desert Recluse

Scientific Name: Loxosceles deserta

Desert Recluses are particularly unwelcome house guests as they possess a venomous bite that is especially dangerous to kids and pets. Their bites can cause necrosis, which is the death of living tissue. These spiders are brown in color and shy by nature, avoiding humans and building their homes in secluded areas such as closets and porches. Desert Recluses have a violin-shaped pattern on their backs, similar to Brown Recluse spiders found in other regions. They can live up to three years and primarily feed on small insects.

4. Western Black Widow

Scientific Name: Latrodectus hesperus

The Western Black Widow is one of the few venomous spiders found in California. Only adult females of this species are considered dangerous. Adult female Western Black Widows have a shiny black body with an orange or red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Males and juvenile females are smaller, less black and shiny, and lack a prominent hourglass shape. Contrary to popular belief, Western Black Widows are not aggressive and typically only bite when provoked. While their bites can be uncomfortable, they are typically harmless to humans.

5. Wolf Spider

Scientific Name: Lycosidae

Wolf spiders are hairy creatures typically gray, black, or brown in color. They can grow up to almost one and a half inches and are known for their speed. While not aggressive, they will bite if provoked, causing redness, itchiness, and pain. Unlike other spiders, wolf spiders carry their egg sac around with them, attached to their abdomen. The mother’s young climb onto her abdomen after hatching, where they remain for several weeks until they are independent. Wolf spiders are common throughout the United States, including California.

6. Cellar Spiders

Scientific Name: Pholcus phalangioides

As their name suggests, Cellar Spiders are often found in basements, sheds, garages, and cellars. They have disproportionately long legs and small bodies, typically measuring less than half an inch in size. Cellar Spiders primarily feed on insects and other spiders, with a particular fondness for ants. Similar to Wolf Spiders, the mother Cellar Spider carries her egg sac in her jaw rather than attached to her abdomen. If you have a house, chances are you have a Cellar Spider somewhere in the dark corners of your basements, attics, or cellars.

7. Yellow Sac Spider

Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium

Yellow Sac Spiders are unique, pale-colored spiders that can be found climbing along the ceilings and walls of your home. They do not build traditional webs but construct small tube-like structures or “sacs” in which they hide during the day. They are most active at dusk, emerging from their sacs to hunt for food, including other spiders. Female Yellow Sac Spiders can produce multiple egg sacs, each containing up to 48 eggs. If provoked, they can bite, and their venom is toxic to humans. The effects of their bites are usually mild but noticeable.

It’s important to note that while some of these spiders may possess venomous bites, they generally only bite in self-defense when provoked. Most spiders would rather avoid humans altogether. If you encounter any of these spiders in your home, it is recommended to contact a professional pest control service for safe removal.

Related Posts

  • 7 of the Most Common House Spiders in the U.S.
  • 10 Common Spiders in Oklahoma (ID Pictures)
  • 14 Common House Spiders in Ohio

Remember, these spiders play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling the populations of undesirable insects. So the next time you come across a spider in your home, try to appreciate its role and gently relocate it outside if necessary.

Nature Blog Network

NatureBlogNetwork.com is the leading birding research and information website. Serving the birding community since 2010.

Recent Posts