The black house spider, also known as the window spider, are frequently found in gutters, under eaves, in window framing and brick work, and outdoors in bark and rocks. It is particularly likely to nest in the bark of diseased trees because of the number of insects these trees attract. This black or dark brown spider grows up to 3/4 of an inch if female and about half that big if male. It is known to build webs in the corners of rooms inside a house. It is native to Australia and prefers to live in close proximity to humans and their dwellings. It is also found in the United States.
The black house spider has a large strong body and its underside is often charcoal gray. It may have a pattern of white markings on the back, although this is not often easy to see. The black house spider is sometimes described as having a velvety appearance.
Their lacy web is often confused with a funnel web. The black spider web often appears to be a series of complex sail-shaped tunnels with more than one entrance. The tunnels lead to a silky nest where the spider lives. Over time, the web may appear gray and tangled due to constant repairs. The webs are found in dry, dark locations, often in cracks in walls, window or room corners, or rusting iron. The black spider feeds on beetles, bees, butterflies, moths, mosquitoes, and flies.
Black spiders will bite if threatened and their bite is toxic to humans. It is not lethal, but may result in vomiting, nausea, weakness, shortness of breath, sweating, and muscular pain. There may be severe local pain and swelling at the bite site. Multiple bites can result in skin lesions. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.
The best way to control black house spiders is to remove their food source. Since they live on various insects and other pests, getting rid of those is essential. Carefully inspect your house, looking for any nests or other sources of the spiders and their prey. Remove them if possible, and clean thoroughly. You might need to use chemicals or hire a professional to get rid of some spiders and other insects. Proper sanitation is essential. Clean out debris surrounding the house, and make sure you keep your house clean so you don't attract more insects. Once their food source is eliminated, the black house spider will look for a more stable food source out of doors.
To keep spiders out, install window screens, door caulking, seal cracks, and put screens on any vents that allow access to any part of the house, including the basement, attic, or crawl spaces. Do not store fire wood in the house to keep the spiders from hitching a ride back in.
These tips will help keep black spiders outside of your house and away from you and your family.