The Giant House Spider (Eratigena atrica)

Giant House Spider

The Giant House Spider (Eratigena atrica) is a member of the genus Tegenaria and is a close relative of both the infamous hobo spider and the domestic house spider, is one of the largest spider of Central and Northern Europe. The Eratigena atrica, previously known as Tegenaria atrica, Tegenaria duellica, Tegenaria gigantea, and Tegenaria saeva), is also known as the greater European house spider.

The Giant House Spider has the exact same colouration as the Domestic House-spider, it has earthy tones of brown and yellow or muddy red and a pattern of different sooty markings. They also have palps, abdomen, and hairy legs. A pale mark could be recognized at the middle of the spider’s breastplate.

The Giant House Spider is a common species of spider that makes its ways into a house this time of the year together with its cousins the house spider and hobo spider. This type of spider is a different species, originated from the northwestern Europe and introduced to Pacific northwest of America through Vancouver in the 1900s essentially due to human inactivity.

Male & Female Giant House Spider

The body of a female Giant House Spider can reach up to 0.73 inches (18.5 mm) in length, while a male has a slightly smaller body frame that ranges from 0.5 to 0.6 inches (12 – 15 mm) in length. The female leg span is typically around 1.8 inches (45 mm) while the leg span of the male highly variable from 1  to 3 inches (25 – 75 millimeters).

The Giant House Spider usually builds funnel-shaped webs in dark corners of basements and might be found in garages, attics, sheds, and cavity walls where they are less likely to be disturbed. They also stay outside, mostly in woodpiles, flowerbeds, and other sheltered areas.

The Giant House Spider eat common indoor pests, such as roaches, flies, earwigs, mosquitoes, and clothes moths. If left alone, he will eat most of the insects in your house, providing effective home pest control. That’s why it is important to control pests and insects in your house to avoid a spider infestation.

The Giant House Spider do possess a potent venom and can bite, however, they do not typically pose a threat to humans. Like most spiders, the spider possesses venom to control its prey. Most house spiders are not aggressive. They do not need blood like mosquitos. When a spider bites you in bed because they became scared from being trapped between the sheet and your body.

Since Giant House Spider bites can penetrate the human skin sometimes, the effects of agatoxin may be felt by bite victims, though this spider will not bite unless provoked. Generally, bites from the Giant House Spider involve pain equal to a bee sting. The pain is typically localized and lasts for a matter of hours or even worse no more than 1-2 days.

Reproduction of Giant House Spider

Reproduction of Giant House Spider

Most species of spider reside outdoors at all times and never come into your house. But in late summer season and autumn, male Giant House Spider start to move around in search of females, when he is ready to mate. While females seldom leave their nests, males will wander around your house as they seek in a mate. Just like hobo spiders, they have pedipalps that, in the males, transfer sperm to the female spiders.

The male Giant House Spider reside with their chosen females for a couple of weeks, mating many times until they die, at which point male get eaten by a female spider.

The female Giant House Spider spin sheet-like cobwebs into where the female may produce one egg sacs (occasionally more) during her lifetime. Each egg sac will contain 40 to 50 spiderlings but only about 1 – 2 percent of the spiderlings that hatch will survive to reach sexual maturity.

Giant House Spider VS. Hobo Spider

Giant House Spider VS. Hobo Spider

The hobo spider is known as Tegenaria agrestis due to its common features include shapes and colors, the giant house spider can easily be confused with hobo spider. While there is no definite way to differentiate both at a quick look, Giant House Spider tend to be more yellow-colored, with distinctive black stripes on the abdomen and fully grown hobo spider is much smaller.

The body of a female hobo spider is 11 to 15 mm (1/2 inch) in length. A female Giant House Spider body is 16 to 18 mm (3/4 inch) in length and its leg span is typically around 45 mm (1.8 inches). This Giant House Spider look so similar to a hobo spider, that you have to look under a magnifying glass to discriminate.

An interesting relationship exists between the giant house spider and the infamous hobo spider. Field professionals have noted that Giant House Spider help to prevent hobo spider from ending up being established inside houses. They do this by out competing hobo spiders for prey and preferred home, and giant house spiders often kill hobo spiders.

The following characteristics can help in identification of hobo spider.

  • Hobo spider lacks the colored bands on their leg joints as most spiders (like the Giant House Spider) do.
  • Hobo spider does not have 2 distinct longitudinal black stripes on the top side of the cephalothorax, instead of showing indistinct or diffused patterns. The Giant House Spider has very distinct markings.
  • Like other funnel spiders, hobo spider has 2 spinnerets extending from the bottom of the abdomen.
  • Hobo spider has a light stripe run-down the middle of the sternum and a Giant House Spider does not. But Giant House Spider has round markings on it.
  • If the Hobo spider body and legs are black, almost orange coloring and a little shiny, this would not be a hobo spider.
  • Hobo spider abdomen has chevron (V-shaped) patterns (maybe a lot of them) down the middle, with the chevrons pointing to the head.

How to Get Rid of Giant House Spider?

How to Get Rid of Giant House Spider

How to Get Rid of Giant House Spider? Most species of spider stay outdoors, so it’s not great news for most that a wet spring and warm summertime, there have been lots insects and other invertebrates that the house spiders prey on, so Giant House Spider have come in quite early. And sometimes, they find their way into your house and are forced to search for food and shelter. The best way to get house spiders out of your house is to never allow them to in however that’s not always possible.

So, here are some ideas to help keep the Giant House Spider out of your house:

  • Seal up your house – Seal up holes and caulk cracks around the outside of the house. The most obvious places are around windows and doors but also seal around wires and pipes. Make sure to seal up any cracks and holes even if they are up high. Do not just do this at ground level.
  • Remove greenery away from your house – Greenery will bring in spiders since it serves as an adequate hiding spot. When Giant House Spider needs to seek out warmth or food sources, they crawl from the greenery toward your house, getting in through cracks or holes.
  • Set up traps – Putting glue boards in dark corners, underneath furniture, in closets, and beside doors and windows.
  • Spiders don’t like vinegar and peppermint oil – So neither use a mix of the 2 against them. Spray entranceways and windowsills with an option of 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil.
  • Keep your outside lights off, as while they will not attract any house spiders, they will attract other pests that can serve as tasty food sources for Giant House Spider.
  • Get rid your house of clutter – Stacks of storage boxes, stacks of old newspapers and old magazines, crowded under-sink storage and under-bed storage.
  • Cleaned often and well – Running the vacuum through the center of the room and dusting horizontal surface areas isn’t really enough to prevent Giant House Spider from making your house their home. You already know they like to build webs, your job is to make sure that they cannot.
  • Vacuum Giant House Spider or spider webs – Wipe and clean your surfaces along with vacuuming any spider and spider webs or egg sacs waiting to hatch.
  • Don’t leave leftover food lying around – Small piece of food also will attract insect pests such as ants, which in turn will attract Giant House Spider.

In addition, if you are working on your home renovations, may be the best time to call All Pest Exterminating Inc. to completely treat your home for Giant house spider and other insect or spider infestations.

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