Spider species

The majority of spiders do not pose a medical risk or concern for people, pets or livestock and it is very uncommon for people to be bitten by them. But to avoid any unnecessary encounters, there are a few things that you can do to ensure you keep spiders from becoming established in and around your home or business.

They are unpleasant to look at and their webs can cause a mess if they infest your property. Our species list below gives you more information about these often misunderstood creatures to help separate myth from fact and help allay the fear of spiders experienced by many people.

Cellar spider (daddy long legs)

(Pholcus phalangiodes)

daddy long legs spider


  • 6-8mm in length ​​with 8 elongated thin legs that extend another 5 cm
  • Oval-shaped bodies that range in colour from pale yellowish to light brown or gray
  • Have 8 eyes arranged into 2 widely-spaced lateral groups of 3 with 2 eyes in between
Lifecycle and habits of daddy long legs


  • Females deposit 40-50 eggs in a silken egg sac, which is off-white, with the outer covering loosely woven.
  • Their average lifespan is about 2 years.


  • They spin a loose web in sheltered areas, often in and around human habitation including houses, garages and sheds.
  • Apart from the nuisance of their webs, they cannot harm people or pets.
  • Common in urban areas and are found in homes, sheds, barns and warehouses.

Common house spider

(Parasteatoda tepidariorum)

common house spider


  • 6-9.5mm in length with 8 eyes in lateral pairs, almost touching
  • Yellowish-brown in colour
  • Body has short hairs and is dirty white with several dark stripes meeting at an angle
Lifecycle and habits of the common house spider


  • The egg sac produced by the female is spherical, covered with a layer of silk and placed within the web structure.
  • The male will mate several times with the female before dying.
  • Adults may live for several years.


  • Found inside structures like garages, sheds, barns and warehouses
  • Usually build sheet webs around windows and under eaves, especially near light sources that attract prey
  • Common in corners near doors that stay open in commercial buildings such as warehouses

Wolf spider

(Trochosa ruricola)

wolf spider


  • Adult female: 8mm; male: 6mm
  • Usually dark brown in colour, often with paler (or sometimes yellow) stripes or markings
  • Stout-robust body with long, spiny legs
Lifecycle and habits of the wolf spider


  • Mothers carry their egg sacs around with them attached to spinnerets under the abdomen.
  • Males usually live no more than 1 year; however, some females are able to live several years.


  • Hunt at night but spend the day resting in sheltered places
  • May enter structures only to search for prey, where they tend to remain at or near floor level, especially along walls and under furniture
  • Outside, they can be found under stones, landscape timbers, firewood, leaves and other debris

Yellow sac spider



  • 6-9.5mm in length with 8 similarly-sized dark eyes arranged in two horizontal rows
  • Pale in colour with a body that can be yellow or beige with a faint dark stripe running lengthwise
  • 4 pairs of legs — the 1st pair longer than the 4th
Lifecycle and habits of the yellow sac spider


  • The female produces around 5 egg sacs each with 30 to 48 eggs. She may produce several egg masses during her lifetime. Eggs are laid in autumn.
  • Yellow sac spiders generally live for about 1 to 2 years. Female species tend to live longer than male ones.


  • Emerge at night to look for small insects to feed on
  • Build a silken tube or sac (instead of a web) in a protected area that is used as their daytime retreat
  • Found outdoors on leaves or under log
  • Normally outdoor spiders, but come inside if there are small insects available
  • Indoors, they can be found in wall junctions or behind pictures and shelves
  • Typically enter homes and businesses during early autumn when their outdoor food supply decreases

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