Giant house spider

Giant House Spider

Giant House Spider ©Malcolm Storey

Giant house spider

Scientific name: Eratigena atrica
The giant house spider is one of our fastest invertebrates, running up to half a metre per second. This large, brown spider spins sheet-like cobwebs and pops up in the dark corners of houses, particularly in autumn.

Species information


Body length: up to 1.6cm
Leg span: up to 7.5cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The giant house spider is the larger 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 out looking 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 insects to get caught; they are most active at night.

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.



Did you know?

Female house spiders can live for several years, and both males and females can survive for months without eating or drinking.