Black house spiders are also called window spiders because they commonly construct their webs around windows and doors.
The legs and carapace of this spider are dark brown to black, and its abdomen is gray with a chevron-type (V-shaped) pattern on the back. Like many other spider species, the female black house spider is a good deal larger than the male, often twice the size. The female’s body can reach almost ¾” in length, while a male can grow to a little less than half an inch. These spiders are covered with fine hairs.
The webs of black house spiders appear loosely woven and have a lacelike appearance. They usually have a few entrances and a hollow tunnel for retreat where the spider can also await prey. These webs can be found in dry, sheltered places like logs, window frames, or crevices, and are sometimes found on tree trunks. Their prey includes insects and flies.
The females usually do not leave the web. When a male wishes to mate, he communicates this to the female by plucking her web. They will often mate several more times over the next few days.
When she lays eggs, the female will construct silky, whitish egg sacs, which she attaches to the web. She will remain with the eggs until the spiderlings hatch.
The bite of a black house spider is not extremely dangerous, but some people have experienced symptoms following a bite. These include pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting or sweating.