Giant House Spider

Tegenaria gigantea

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Spiders
  4. Giant House Spider

About

The Giant House Spider is the large cousin of the House Spider (Tegenaria domestica), and can be found living behind the fireplace, under the sofa or in the bath. Giant House Spiders are particularly prevalent in the autumn when the males are looking out for females. The males stay with their chosen females for some weeks, mating numerous times until eventually they die, at which point they are eaten by their female. Giant House Spiders spin sheet-like cobwebs in neglected corners of the room and wait close by for unsuspecting flies to get caught.

How to identify

The Giant House Spider is one of several very similar species of house spider. As a group, their long-legs, dark hairy bodies and preference for houses and buildings make them unmistakeable.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

House spiders are beneficial in the house and the garden as they help to keep populations of flies and pests in check. If you spot one in the house, and do not wish to leave it alone, the best thing to do is catch it and place it outside. You can also hang a towel over the side of the bath to help roaming males escape. Encourage spiders into your garden by providing logs, stone piles and less tidy areas for them to live, feed and breed in. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Giant House Spider
Latin name
Tegenaria gigantea
Category
Invertebrates
Spiders
Statistics
Body length of female: up to 1.6cm Body length of male: 1.4cm Leg span: up to 7.5cm
Conservation status
Common.