Black house spiders
Black house spiders (also known as a ‘common black spider’ or ‘window spider’) are common in Australia and New Zealand. Males are 8-10mm. Females grow up to 18mm. Both have longer legs than their bodies. Their legs are dark brown to black, and they have bulky bodies, with grey /charcoal abdomens, covered in fine, soft hair.
A species of spider closely related is the brown house spider, or grey house spider. Their enemies include parasitic wasps, flies, and the white-tailed spiders.
What harm can be caused by black house spiders?
- They are venomous (but timid and don’t bite often)
- Their bites may be painful and cause local swelling
- Symptoms may include: sweating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and skin lesions.
What should I do to if a black spider bites my family or me?
- Use a cold pack which may relieve local pain and swelling
- Get medical attention
- Check bites and stings – first aid on Better Health Channel
Note: We are not medical practitioners so please always call 000 if you have been bitten by a spider. It may be helpful for treatment to identify Victorian Spiders (Museum Victoria page).
What should I watch out for?
Black house spiders can be found inside and outside. Females don’t voluntarily leave their retreat, though males will often go out to search for mates.
- Inside: around windows, doorways, in corners, or other light sources where prey may be found
- Outside: Trees with rough bark, tree trunks, rock walls. The webbing will always be visible above bark.
- Spider webs: messy shapes that look like sails with a funnel-shape in the middle or corner – called a retreat (they wait for their prey there)
- White silk egg sacs: the female lays these in her retreat
Find out more
- Black house spider (Wikipedia)
- Black house spider (Australian Museum website)
- Spider bites (health direct Australia)
Want to prevent or rid of spiders?
Do you think you may have spiders at your place? Would you like to prevent spiders from becoming a problem?
Call Rusty on 1800 787 897 for advice and inspection.