Do giant house spiders bite?

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Anonymusy
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#1
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So today I saw a massive one that was larger than my hand in my room. They seem to be getting larger each time I see one. Like how big can they get?
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caster.
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if we're talking giant house spiders as in eratigena atrica, then their leg span can reach up to around 7.5cm, i think. the females are a bit smaller in leg span, but they have larger bodies (1.85cm as opposed to 1.2-1.5cm in males) ! their bites aren't dangerous to humans, and they tend to flee or hide rather than bite if disturbed, so it won't pose you any harm !!
these guys are mainly dark brown with some light spots that look almost like an arrow pointing to their head !

the largest spiders in england are cardinal spiders, which tend to live in buildings and walls; they have a similar size pattern in that the females' body size (<2cm) is larger than the males' (<1.7cm). they can grow to have a legspan of 12cm, so they're quite a bit bigger ! they are capable of biting, but actual instances of bites are rarely recorded, and those that are just detail localised pain and swelling - common with almost any injury. so they're also not dangerous to humans, which is good if you're a bit worried about them !
they're a more beigey-colour, slightly redder towards the back end, with very hairy legs, especially closer to their body, and they have vertical dark markings up their bodies and dark lines around their legs !

ultimately, despite there being ~650 species of spider in the uk, only around 10-12 species can actually bite humans, and out of this, only a few have been known to cause significant damage. the most common of these are noble false widow spiders (small, bulbous body with a pretty pattern on their abdomens), the walnut orb-weaver (slightly triangular abdomen, darker in centre of body with wavy lighter pattern around edges of abdomen), and cupboard spiders (another species of false widow - red, very bulbous abdomen with a very small cephalothorax) ! out of these, the noble false widow is thought to be the most venomous, bite symptoms rarely last more than 24 hours.

all in all, you're in no danger if you have a few spidery friends visiting !! if you're still worried, though, you can keep some peppermint oil on hand, or an oil diffuser or spray infused with it, and they'll keep away ! this also works with things like lavender and tea tree ! happy spider-seeing !!
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Remonda
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(Original post by caster.)
if we're talking giant house spiders as in eratigena atrica, then their leg span can reach up to around 7.5cm, i think. the females are a bit smaller in leg span, but they have larger bodies (1.85cm as opposed to 1.2-1.5cm in males) ! their bites aren't dangerous to humans, and they tend to flee or hide rather than bite if disturbed, so it won't pose you any harm !!
these guys are mainly dark brown with some light spots that look almost like an arrow pointing to their head !

the largest spiders in england are cardinal spiders, which tend to live in buildings and walls; they have a similar size pattern in that the females' body size (<2cm) is larger than the males' (<1.7cm). they can grow to have a legspan of 12cm, so they're quite a bit bigger ! they are capable of biting, but actual instances of bites are rarely recorded, and those that are just detail localised pain and swelling - common with almost any injury. so they're also not dangerous to humans, which is good if you're a bit worried about them !
they're a more beigey-colour, slightly redder towards the back end, with very hairy legs, especially closer to their body, and they have vertical dark markings up their bodies and dark lines around their legs !

ultimately, despite there being ~650 species of spider in the uk, only around 10-12 species can actually bite humans, and out of this, only a few have been known to cause significant damage. the most common of these are noble false widow spiders (small, bulbous body with a pretty pattern on their abdomens), the walnut orb-weaver (slightly triangular abdomen, darker in centre of body with wavy lighter pattern around edges of abdomen), and cupboard spiders (another species of false widow - red, very bulbous abdomen with a very small cephalothorax) ! out of these, the noble false widow is thought to be the most venomous, bite symptoms rarely last more than 24 hours.

all in all, you're in no danger if you have a few spidery friends visiting !! if you're still worried, though, you can keep some peppermint oil on hand, or an oil diffuser or spray infused with it, and they'll keep away ! this also works with things like lavender and tea tree ! happy spider-seeing !!
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Feastful
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(Original post by Anonymusy)
So today I saw a massive one that was larger than my hand in my room. They seem to be getting larger each time I see one. Like how big can they get?

They are capable of biting but are so extremely un-aggressive, it's pretty much unheard of for them to bite people (I used to grab these spiders with my bare hands when I was a kid and never got bitten, not even once!). They don't have a bad bite and aren't venomous or dangerous, I really wouldn't worry about house spiders. Although they might look intimidating, the reason house spiders are so large is because they are not very good at web making and so rely a fair bit on their speed & size to help tackle their preferred prey of animals like woodlice and small beetles (which they detect by laying down lines around their hiding corner/hole).

The really large ones are all females, which can live for about 5 years. They're actually quite cool spiders as they're known to re-use webs and suitable habitats, with some house spider web areas going back many generations. The males only live for about 1 year and during the Autumn will go on walkabout around people's homes, trying to track down the scent of female spiders. Because of this, the males are quite vulnerable to getting stepped on, but the females will also sometimes kill males that they highly disapprove of (and the males will also compete with each other for territory).

If you ever find a house spider in a sink or bath tub, don't wash it down!
Its a common myth that house spiders come up from pipes, but the reality is that they can easily drown in water (and certainly do not come up pipes!). The reason they end up in things like bath tubs is that they do in fact drink water and when humidity is extremely low (such as can be caused in the Winter when the central heating is on a lot), they will go looking for water sources by detecting moisture in the air and this is why they are sometimes attracted to bathrooms. The spider will then usually attempt to access some drops of water in the bottom of the sink or bath tub, only to then find itself unable to climb back up the sides.

Don't vaccum hoover spiders up!
It almost always kills or severely maims them. If you absolutely need to move a house spider, the cup and paper method is by far the best. Despite their size, they are afraid of people & quite skittish, so if you want to catch one, approach it slowly to avoid spooking it and making it run off. House spiders CAN live outside, but they cannot survive frost or snow (and really do prefer to live indoors). If you need to re-locate a house spider, see if you can put it somewhere else safe and out of the way in your residence, such as a garage or garden shed. Failing that, release it somewhere where there is plenty of leaf litter or bushes for it to hide in.
Last edited by Feastful; 1 month ago
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