Get started by calling 1-800-837-5520  or contact us

Identifying different types of spiders

The majority of spiders cannot harm anyone and it is very uncommon for people to be bitten by them. To avoid any unnecessary encounters, there are a few things that you can do to ensure you keep spiders away from your home.

They are unpleasant to look at and their webs can cause a mess if they infest your home or business. From Common House Spiders to Black Widows, we can give you more information about these creatures to help you get over your fears.


Black Widow Spider

(Lactrodectus hesperus)

Black Widow Spiders


  • Color: typically black, underneath side has 2 reddish triangular markings usually joined to form a reddish hour glass-shaped figure on females.
  • Females are overall length of 1 1/2- 1 3/8” long
  • Males are about half the size of females.
Life cycle and habits of the black widow spider


  • Females can lay a maximum number of egg sacs ranging from 6-21, with about 185-464 eggs per sac.
  • Adult females can live 822-952 days and adult males 127-196 days.


  • Outdoors they commonly live in protected places.
  • Indoors, they are typically found in seldom used parts of garages, basements and in crawl spaces.

Dealing with spider infestations

Spiders are certainly a nuisance and Ehrlich’s spider treatments can get rid of these critters.

Our highly trained specialists can provide interior and exterior treatments to places including spider harborage spots. They can remove those pesky spider webs too, which could make your property look cleaner and more inviting.

Brown Recluse Spider

(Loxosceles reclusa)

brown recluse spider


  • 1/4 to 3/4 inch long.
  • Brown or deep yellow color.
  • Long, thin, brown legs covered with fine hairs.
  • Six eyes, arranged in pairs in a semicircle.
  • Often called ‘fiddleback’ or ‘violin’ spiders because of the violin-shaped marking on the top surface which points from the head area toward the abdomen.
Life cycle and habits of the brown recluse spider


  • Eggs are laid primarily from May to July.
  • The female lays about 50 eggs in an off-white silky sac approx 2/3 inch diameter.
  • Spiderlings emerge around 1 month later.
  • It takes on average one year to reach the adult stage.
  • Adults can live 1-2 years.


  • Locations - They prefer secluded, dark, undisturbed sites indoors or outdoors. Indoors, they may be found in attics, basements, closets, ductwork, in storage boxes, shoes or behind furniture. Externally they may be found in barns, storage sheds, garages, under logs, loose stones and stacks of lumber.
  • Feeding - They preferring dead insects. They can survive about 6 months without food or water.
  • Visibility - The sac serves as the spider's daytime retreat. They tend to look for food at night.
  • Bite – They only bite when crushed, handled or disturbed. Both sexes are venomous. A human’s reaction to the bite depends on the amount of venom injected and an individual's sensitivity to it - some people are unaffected, others may feel a pinprick, others a stinging sensation followed by intense pain. Some may not be aware of the bite for 2 to 8 hours.

Common House Spider

common house spider


  • Adult – body length excluding legs 1/4" – 3/8". Yellow brown body with faint markings. Abdomen pale gray brown with short hairs.
  • The domestic or common house spider is the most commonly seen spider in North America.
  • Most often encountered indoors, the house spider is a nuisance pest because of its webs more than the spider itself.
  • Several species of the house spider exist, but the common house spider is the most recognized.
Life cycle and habits of the common house spider


  • Shortly after mating, the female house spider produces up to 250 eggs in a flask-shaped silken sac, about 1/4 inch long and usually placed in the center of the web. Under favorable conditions, two or more egg sacs may be present in a web at the same time, and up to nine sacs may be produced in a season.
  • House spider eggs hatch in 7-10 days and once spiderlings, (baby spiders) fully emerge, they usually settle close to the nest area for several weeks before moving on and staking out their own territory.
  • The egg sac produced by the female is spherical, covered with a layer of silk and placed within the web structure.
  • The male will mate several times with the female before dying.
  • Adults may live for several years. If left undisturbed, house spiders can live as long as seven years in the same web in places like attics, basements, and garages. When outside, female spiders die in the cold and males rarely live longer than a year.


  • Found in buildings, sheds and walls.
  • House spiders move quickly, are not aggressive, and will often retreat when confronted. If cornered with no possible escape, house spiders may bite, although documented cases of domestic spider bites are extremely rare. If bitten, the symptoms may include slight pain, swelling, and itching.
  • House spiders build their webs in random sites. If the sites do not yield prey, the webs are abandoned and a new site is chosen. The dirty webs that concern most homeowners are largely abandoned ones that have failed to yield prey. Survival of house spiders in homes is often low due to low humidity, which causes high mortality in spiders and a scarcity of flying insects. This spider produces a sheet web.

Common house spider control

Controlling house spiders is as simple as keeping a clean home and taking measures to make your home environment less attractive to spiders:

  • Patch up cracks and holes leading from the outside in to prevent spiders from finding their way inside the home.
  • Clean up after meals. Food crumbs will attract other pests like ants, which, in turn, will attract spiders.
  • Sweep and vacuum behind and beneath sofas, chairs, and nightstands.
  • Pick up clutter. Old newspapers and piles of dirty clothes are ideal hiding places for spider species that thrive in darkness.
  • Spiders don’t like peppermint oil or vinegar. Spray windowsills and entryways with a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil

Cellar Spider (Daddy Long Legs)

(Pholcus Phalangioides)

daddy longlegs


  • 2-8mm long
  • Characterized by having very long legs. Typically pale yellow to brown or gray in color.
  • Typically have eight eyes (some species have six eyes).
Life cycle and habits of the cellar spider


  • The female lays eggs, and may sometimes hold her eggs in her palps (short, leg like structures attached to the front of the cephalothorax, between the fangs and the first pair of legs)


  • The spin a loose web in sheltered areas, often in and around human habitation including houses, garages and sheds.
  • Apart from the nuisance of their webs, they do no harm and are non-toxic.
  • They are common in urban areas.
  • They feed on insects and other spiders.

Garden Orb-Weaving Spider

(Eriophora spp)

garden orb weaver


  • The commonly seen Garden Orb Weavers are 1-2.5cm in length. Most are stout , reddish – brown or gray spiders with a leaf shaped pattern on their triangular abdomens.
  • Orb weavers vary in color, but many of them have brightly colored bodies as well as hairy legs.
  • The easiest way to identify an orb-weaver is through its web, which resembles the typical circular spider web depicted in popular culture.
Life cycle and habits of the garden orb-weaving spider


  • The female Orb Weaver lays her eggs in late summer to autumn. The eggs are encased in a fluffy cocoon and attached to foliage.
  • During autumn, the spiderlings disperse by ballooning (floating on the breeze using small silk strands as “balloons”), and build their own tiny orb webs among vegetation.
  • The lifespan is about twelve is about twelve months. They mature in summer, mate, lay their eggs, and die in late summer-autumn.


  • Make suspended, sticky, wheel – shaped orb webs. This two-dimensional circle web is one of the most familiar types of webs, which may span up to 8 inches, and consists of stretchy spiral silk.
  • Hides on foliage during day and constructs web at night.
  • Not aggressive.
  • Mainly eats flying insects such as flies, beetles and bugs (including large prey like cicadas).
  • Orb Weavers are reluctant to bite humans. Symptoms are usually negligible or mid local pain, numbness and swelling.

Huntsman Spider

(Delena spp, Holconia spp, Neosparassus spp, Olios spp)

huntsman spider


  • Come in a variety of colors and patterns but are mostly brown, black and gray (there are over 100 species of Huntsman spiders).
  • Some species are very large reaching over 160mm in leg span.
  • The two back pairs of legs are shorter than the ones at the front and the legs fan out sideways enabling them to walk forwards and sideways often giving them a crab-like appearance.
Life cycle and habits of the huntsman spider


  • The female Huntsman produces a flat, oval egg sac of whte papery silk and lays up to 200 eggs. She then places it under bark or a rock and stand guard over it, without eating, for about three weeks.
  • The appropriate time, the mother spider opens the egg sac to help her spiderlings out and she may stay with her spiderlings for several weeks.
  • The lifespan of most Huntsman species is about two years or more.


  • Huntsman spiders occur nationwide and are usually found on tree trunks, under bank, beneath stones or on the walls of houses. Some species are extremely compressed and live between the hairline cracks of sandstone and granite outcrops.
  • The huntsman eats a variety of insects, arthropods, small lizards and frogs. The prey is not captured in a web but actively stalked and run-down with stealth and speed.
  • Poisonous to humans but not fatal.

Scorpions (1100 Species)




  • Adult -1/2" – 8". Color varies with species, from yellow to black. Easily distinguished by their pincers and a long, segmented tail bearing a stinger. They have four pairs of legs.
  • Abdomen is segmented
Life cycle and habits of scorpions


  • Scorpions have a long gestation period (from 2-18 months). Each female bears 25-35 young which climb onto to the mothers back. 
  • They remain on her back for a week or two after birth. Once they climb down they are independent, and take two to six years to reach maturity. 
  • The average scorpion lives three to five years, but some species can live up to 10-15 years.


  • Most scorpions are nocturnal. 
  • As well as in hot, dry areas, scorpions are found in grasslands, savannahs, caves and deciduous / mountain pine / rain forests. 
  • Scorpion venoms affect the victim’s nervous system. Each species has a unique mixture.

Yellow Garden Spider

(Argiope aurantia)

yellow garden spider


  • Yellow garden spiders have black legs. Females range from 0.7 to 1.1 inch and males range from 0.2 to 0.3 inch.
Life cycle and habits of the yellow garden spider


  • Females mate in the late summer or early fall and eggs in a brown egg sac.
  • The young spiders leave the sac during the next spring.


  • Yellow garden spiders may create a zig-zag pattern in the middle of the web.
  • Their webs can be located in sunny places such as gardens.
  • Females usually stay in one location during their lifespan.


(Genus Aphonopelma)



  • Adult body length excluding legs – 1"- 5". Most tarantulas have black or brown hairy bodies and legs but some species exhibit striking colors.
Life cycle and habits of tarantulas


  • Mating season is in autumn. Incubation of the young takes 6-9 weeks, with each female producing 500-1000 eggs into a silken cocoon. The young leave their burrow after 2-3 weeks.
  • Life span 25-40 years.


  • There are 60+ genii and 800+ species of tarantula.
  • Tarantulas prefer to live in dry, well-drained soil where they dig a burrow which is lined with silk webbing.

Wolf Spider

(Trochosa ruricola)

wolf spider


  • Adult female: 5/16"; male - 1/4". They have eight eyes that are in three rows and are generally brown to gray in color.
  • Wolf spiders can have hairs.
Life cycle and habits of the wolf spider


  • Wolf spider mothers carry their egg sacs around with them attached to spinnerets under the abdomen.
  • When the young spiderlings hatch, they climb onto their mother's back where they live for the first few weeks of life.


  • They hunt at night but spend the day hidden amongst moss and decaying matter. 
  • They live in a shallow burrow, with an open and unadorned entrance.

Yellow Sac Spider


Cheiracanthium sp.


  • Pale in color, abdomen can be yellow or beige with a faint dark stripe running lengthwise.
  • 1/4 to 3/8 inches long
  • 4 pairs of legs, the 1st pair longer than the 4th.
  • Eight similarly-sized dark eyes arranged in two horizontal rows.
Life cycle and habits of the yellow sac spider


  • A female produces around 5 egg sacs each with 30 to 48 eggs. The female may produce several egg masses during her lifetime.
  • Eggs are laid in Autumn
  • Spiderlings emerge the following Spring.
  • Approximately 30 percent of adult males get eaten by females after mating.


  • Feeding - usually small insects.
  • Location – They build a silken tube or sac (instead of a web) in a protected area which is used as their daytime retreat.
  • Externally this can be within a leaf or under logs; Indoors this can be or at the junction of a wall and ceiling or behind pictures and shelves. They are normally outdoor spiders, but will set-up indoors if there are small insects available. They are likely to enter homes during early Autumn when their outdoor food supply decreases.
  • Visibility - Adults can be seen from April through November. They emerge at night to look for food. They drop to the floor to seek cover when disturbed.
  • Bite - Their bite is sharp and painful and will cause erythema and swelling. A wheal may develop, producing a necrotic area which can take eight weeks to heal. Pain or numbness at the site of the bite may be followed by sweating and nausea lasting for up to 24 hours.

Yellow sac spider habitats and behaviors

Sometimes referred to as a “yellow sac spider”, these spiders are often pale yellow in color and have even been known to have a hint or tinge of green. Similar to most spiders, sac spiders prefer to stay away from human contact and typically only find their way indoors by accident. The sac spider is commonly found in homes and is often mistaken for the brown recluse because it is similar in shape, but the sac spider lacks the “fiddle” pattern of the brown recluse. For the most part, sac spiders prefer to feed on a variety of types of spiders along with other garden insects.

Outdoors, sac spiders can be seen in gardens, under vegetation, bark, in rolled leaves, and organic debris. Sac spiders are often shipped in agricultural products such as grapes and can make their way into homes on produce. It is common to see these spiders inside a home during the fall as they begin to seek warmth from the dropping temperatures outdoors. They can easily climb slick surfaces and will construct silk, sac-like retreats wherever walls meet other walls or ceilings.

Sac spiders are hunting spiders that use their silk sac only for their retreat or for their egg capsules. They are nocturnal, hunting at night for other insects. The bite of a common sac spider can be misdiagnosed as a brown recluse spider bite. Injuries develop in a similar manner but are much less severe. Although the bite of a yellow sac spider can be painful, it is not medically significant except for allergic individuals. Reactions, such as swelling, slow healing, and ulcerated sores around the bite site, are similar enough to be confusing. If you suspect that you have been bitten by a spider, seek medical attention if symptoms persist or intensify.



Call your local branch


or fill out your details and we will call you back

My Account