SPIDER SPECIES

Common Spider Species

Most spiders prefer living outdoors, but all too often, you may run across a few spiders that have found their way indoors in search of food and shelter. Learn more about the life cycles and habits of these 8-legged creepy crawlers that are commonly found in the United Kingdom.

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Harvestman Spider

(Phalangium opilio)

harvestman spider

Appearance

  • Adult – 1/8″– 3/8″ body. The upper body surface has a light grey/brown pattern; the lower surface is typically cream.

Lifecycle

  • The females lay eggs in moist soil.
  • Only one batch of eggs is laid each year.

Habits

  • They climb tree trunks or look for food on the ground.
  • They feed on many soft-bodied arthropods, including aphids, caterpillars, beetle larvae and small slugs.

Wolf Spider

(Trochosa ruricola)

wolf spider

Appearance

  • Adult female: 5/16″; male: 1/4″. They are generally brown to grey colour or.

Lifecycle

  • 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.

Habits

  • 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 spp.)

yellow sac spider

Appearance

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

Lifecycle

  • A female produces around five five egg sacs each with 30 to 48 eggs. The female may produce several egg masses during her lifetime.
  • Approximately 30 per cent of adult males get eaten by females after mating.

Habits

  • Feeding — usually small insects.
  • Location — they build a silken tube or sac (instead of a web) in a protected area used as their daytime retreat.
  • Visibility — they emerge at night to look for food. They drop to the floor to seek cover when disturbed.