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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

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.