spider crawling on the floor
Jade Small
Jade Small
September 3, 2019 ·  3 min read

What You Should Do When You Find a Spider in Your Home

What do you do when you see a spider in your home? Kill it, put it outside, leave it, or beg somebody else to deal with it? 

Turns out, if you can both mentally and emotionally handle it –  you should just let the spiders in your home be – according to an entomologist

Although these eight-legged creatures don’t pay rent, they aren’t exactly freeloaders, in a way they’re working to defend your home from other creepers that are far worse than a misunderstood spider.

If you do by chance, find a huntsman spider in your home, like this woman did, you absolutely have the right to kick it out, or as one joker advised her, it would be easier to just burn your house down. However the chances of this are not very likely, unless you are living in Australia.

Common house spiders are an essential part of nature and our indoor ecosystem. It may be hard to convince you, but the next time you see a spider in your home. Leave it be. 

While we may think that we’re safe in our homes when the doors and windows are closed and locked, there are plenty of silent visitors that are taking a break from the outside world. While some spiders get accidentally trapped, others are just short term visitors. 

Matt Bertone and his Entomology colleagues at North Carolina State University conducted a visual survey of 50 North Carolina homes back in 2016, to take a count on what arthropods live under our roofs. The most common species are cobweb spiders and cellar spiders (daddy longlegs) – which are not aggressive or dangerous.

Both of these species live simply, building webs and patiently waiting for pray to be caught, sometimes they leave their web to hunt other spiders that are invading their turf, they’re smart enough to mimic their prey so that they can catch their cousins for dinner, if needed.

While spiders are not the most attractive beings, they’re pretty intelligent, and work to catch nuisance pests, and even disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes. They’re predators for your home, they don’t want to bother you – and they’re actually doing you a favour!

Arachnologists confirm that spiders are not out to get you, they’re actually not into you at all. Bites from spiders are not all that common, especially from these house dwellers. While not all spiders are harmless, don’t fear all the species because of a few experiences with widow spiders and recluses, even their bites are uncommon and rarely cause serious issues.

If you truly cannot stand to have spiders in your house, apartment, basement, or garage, you don’t have to leave it, but you also don’t have to kill it. If you can capture and release outside, it will find somewhere else to go, and it’s a better outcome for all.

For those who can tolerate spiders, it’s ok to share your space with them, so try a live-and-let-live approach with the next spider you meet. Maybe you can even give your new guest a name.

  1. Should I kill spiders in my home? An entomologist explains why not to https://theconversation.com/should-i-kill-spiders-in-my-home-an-entomologist-explains-why-not-to-95912
  2. Arthropods of the great indoors: characterizing diversity inside urban and suburban homes https://peerj.com/articles/1582/
  3. Bug Guide https://bugguide.net/node/view/15740