Alberta, Canada
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House Spider
Tegenaria spp.
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General Description

By Nora Bryan

The House Spider is a European spider that has traveled the world with man, and now enjoys the darker corners of our cozy houses on all Continents (including buildings in Antarctica!). You will probably find this spider in your house at one time or another. Sometimes a wandering male ends up in the sink or tub, and can’t get out. Be a sport and scoot him into a jar and let him go in your basement where he will help control insects that might be living down there. Although you can find this spider all year, fall is when those who have spent a balmy summer outside come in to look for a warm dry place. House Spiders, unlike most of our spiders can live for several years.

The House Spider is a fairly large brown spider with long legs. Females are up to 11 mm (? in.)long not including the legs and males are a bit smaller. The oblong abdomen is marked with a lighter chevron pattern. The hairy legs are banded in light and dark brown.

The web is a dense horizontal triangular sheet, usually in a corner, and the spider rests in a funnel shaped opening in the corner of the web.

There are two other Tegenaria species that might be encountered in Alberta. The much larger Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica) is another European traveler that is establishing itself in North America. Besides being larger, the legs lack the banding of the House Spider. The Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis), accompanied by much media alarm is the other relative.

The Hobo Spider is not really at home in Alberta, and probably wouldn't like our winters. (It's species name agrestis means 'of the fields' and not 'aggresive' as is sometimes presumed). The nearest residents are in the BC lower mainland. This spider makes headlines because its bite is supposed to cause skin necrosis and other scary symptoms. Sober study has failed to confirm a connection between Hobo Spiders and these nasty symptoms. The lurid tales periodically in the news that are accompanied by pretty terrible images of skin wounds usually point the finger at the Hobo Spider or the Brown Recluse Spider. Funny thing is, the actual spider is never seen, much less recovered to stand ‘trial’ for the offense. A host of diseases including phlebitis can cause the ghastly symptoms sometimes blamed on these spiders.

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Where to find House Spiders in Alberta   

There is currently no information regarding this species in our Where & When database.

House Spider Behaviour   

No observations regarding House Spider behavior have been submitted to the database yet.

Interesting Facts about House Spiders   

No interesting facts regarding House Spiders have been submitted to the database yet.

House Spider Stories from our Readers   

No stories regarding House Spiders have been submitted to the database yet.

House Spider Sounds

  • No sounds for this species in our library at this time.

Recent House Spider Reports in Alberta


No. Location Reporter Date
4 Bowness Lee 2011/11/09
1 Lynnwood Jordan 2011/10/05
1 Anthony Henday South West smith 2011/10/02
1 Town of Devon tuff 2011/09/28
5 Strathcona Nealy 2011/08/02

House Spider Hotspots in Alberta

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