Red House Spider: How to Identify this Common Pest

The Red House Spider is everywhere, thanks to ocean-going vessels, jet planes, and overnight shipping. But, even if you didn’t bring them in via a delivered package, the cracks and holes in your home gave them suitable entry points.

But have no fear, the red house spider is harmless and beneficial.

Red house spider
Red house spider. Via: Wikicommons.

Red house spider: Identification.

The red house spider is the sole species of the genus Nesticodes. It is a  comb-footed spider whose normal color is red or red with hues of brown or orange. The larger female red house spider can have a leg span of nearly 1/3 of an inch.

Red house spiders have spotted bodies and globe-shaped abdomens

Are Red house spider bites dangerous.

The Red house spider (Nesticodes rufipes) is venomous, but not medically significant to non-allergic humans. 

Red house spiders: Habitat.

Red house spiders are common everywhere. In your home you will find them creating webs anywhere cool like under furniture and in any dark corners of your home, door frames, basements, or attics.

Red house spider
Red house spider. Photo credit: Marshall

What does a red house spider eat?

A red house spider is one of your best household pest controllers. If you don’t have arachnophobia, they will help you eliminate a host of flying and crawling insects that may be more likely to bite you. The Red house spider feeds on ants, mosquitoes, and flies.

Are red house spiders dangerous?

Red house spiders often are mistaken for Black widow spiders because of their color and penchant for living in human residences. However, the red house spider’s bite is not medically significant to non-allergic humans.

However, the bite of a red house spider is painful, if not dangerously venomous, and does require some first aid for a spider bite.

Red house spider: Prevention of an infestation.

Keeping red house spiders out of your house starts with reducing the number of insects that serve as food for red house spiders. 

Good housekeeping is always the best place to start. Keep storage areas clean and organized. Dust and vacuum regularly. Keep food stored in secured containers and clean up all food spills as soon as possible.

Good housekeeping makes life very difficult for any spider in your house, but even more so for the common house spider. Every cobweb you clean is one last place for the spider to catch a meal. And properly secured and stacked items in storage offer no place for a web either.

You can also treat the inside and outside of your home to prevent red house spiders with a proper spider-controlling product.

Use a pest-blocking foam to seal up any cracks or holes in your foundation, and repair or replace your door sweeps if needed. You might also consider a spider-controlling product to treat your home and yard.

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Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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