Not all spiders that sneak inside the US homes are as big as the brown recluse spider and the wolf spider.
There are spiders that are brown and smaller than them.
Those tiny brown spiders can hide in your home, lay their eggs, and can cause an infestation without you ever realizing it.
In this guide, you’ll find out what are those small brown spider species in the US that you encounter in your home.
You’ll learn to identify them and the reasons they sneak inside your home.
And a lot more.
7 Little Brown House Spiders
Like all spiders, the tiny brown spiders enter homes to escape the inclement weather outdoors or in search of food and shelter.
Presence of bugs, which spiders hunt and eat, inside the house can also draw the attention of spiders causing them to sneak inside homes.
Another reason that most homeowners don’t know is that the presence of female spiders in the house can draw the males.
During the mating season, which is late spring and early summer, the mating calls from the female spiders hiding inside the house can draw many male spiders inside.
False Widow Spider
The false widow spider is a black widow spider look alike. These spiders have the same shape and size like the black widows.
The interesting fact is that the false widow spiders also have a bulbous abdomen like the black widow spider.
An adult female false widow spider grows anywhere between 6-10 mm in size. The males are smaller than the adult females. They grow only up to 8 mm in size.
The false widow spiders are easy to distinguish from the black widows.
They’re not shiny black like the black widows. The false widow spider is dark brown.
However, the shades of brown can be different depending on the sex of the spider.
The female false widow spider is blackish brown. The males are reddish brown.
Another most important difference between the false widows and the black widows is that the female false widows don’t have the red hourglass mark on their abdomen.
The males don’t have red spots on their abdomen like the male black widows.
Like most spiders, the false widows also hide in cluttered places. But they’re more likely to sneak inside the closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers in your bedroom.
Their presence in the storage section underneath the bed have taken many homeowners aback.
False widow spiders don’t hide in groups. They’re solitary spiders and each spider chooses its own hiding place.
Common House Spider Or The American House Spider
The American house spider, aka common house spider or cobweb spider, is the most widespread spider in American homes.
These spiders can be year-long intruders in the house.
Their presence is marked by the cobwebs that they spin on the walls and high ceilings of your home, garage, and basement.
Some of these spiders can even get inside your car.
The American house spiders are brown. The females grow up to 6 mm in size. The adult males are a tad smaller, growing only up to 4 mm.
One of the features of the American house spiders, which is very noticeable, is that the legs are of different colors than the body.
The legs are slender and have yellow and orange stripes. But their bodies can be overlaid by white and gray patches.
The common house spider is a fly catcher. It rarely hunts the crawlies.
These spiders spin webs on the higher areas of your home’s interior. When a fly lands on their web, it’ll reach it by picking up the vibrations the prey causes while it flutters.
Then the common house spider will spin the web on the prey, insert it fangs into the prey and inject the venom to kill it.
But the common house spider doesn’t devour the prey after killing it.
It leaves it on the web and eats it whenever it feels like.
Funny fact is that the common house spider plays dead when you poke it. It’s their defense mechanism to protect themselves from potential predators.
However, don’t ever make a mistake of picking up a common house spider with your bare hands.
In self-defense these spiders can bite humans.
The Orb Weaver Spider
The orb weaver spiders accidentally sneak inside homes. They prefer your garden and yard, where they’ll spin their concentric webs between leaves and twigs to catch flies.
The tiny spider, resting in the middle of the spider web that it spins on your windows, wall voids, and vents, is the orb weaver spider.
The make those webs to entrap any flies that try to sneak inside your home through those vents.
The orb weaver spider spin circular webs with multiple rings. Their webs look like spoked bicycle wheels or like the webs that you see in Halloween decorations.
Orb weavers can be brown. But they come in different colors like gray, reddish, yellow, golden, and green.
As they’re outdoor spiders that love to hide in lush green gardens, they’re also known as garden spiders.
The orb weavers will rarely hide in the cluttered places of your home like many species of spiders do.
The common tiny brown garden orb weaver spiders’ size varies with their sex. The females are 2-3 cm in size. The males are lesser than 2 cm in length.
However, there are many orb weavers that are big. For example, the female golden orb weavers can grow up to 6 cm or 2.36 inches in size. And the males can be 0.5-2 inches long.
The Cellar Spider
Cellar spiders are thin and tiny spiders with long thin legs that spin their webs in dimly lit or damp areas of your house like the cellar, attic, garages, bathroom, basement, barns, and sheds.
But cellar spiders aren’t daddy longlegs.
Female cellar spiders are 8mm (5/16 inches) in size. The males are tinier than females, growing only up to 1.6 mm (1/16 inches) in size. These sizes don’t include their extremely long legs.
Cellar spiders come in two different colors – brown and gray.
Cellar spiders are the most common house spiders in homes during the summer months.
They spin their garbled, yet weak, webs on the ceiling, windowsills, and even between storage shelves.
These spiders will spin their webs to catch flies. However, they’ll eat any bug that land on their web.
Cellar spiders are completely harmless. They don’t bite and bother humans and pets in the house.
The mouths of cellar spiders are too weak to pierce human skin.
Using a vacuum cleaner on them is the best way to remove the cellar spiders and their webs.
The Jumping Spider
Like the orb weaves, the jumping spiders are also accidental intruders to your home.
The jumping spiders are outdoor spiders that prefer to live in the yard or garden.
There are many species of jumping spiders in the US. But the most common ones are brown and black.
An adult female jumping spider grows only up to 2 mm in size. The males, without a question, are smaller, growing only up to 1 mm in size.
They’ve got an elliptical abdomen that makes the easy to distinguish from other spiders.
Jumping spiders got their name because they can jump. They’ll jump and pounce on their prey to hunt them.
Jumping spiders also jump when you try to kill them.
Jumping spiders lurk in dense bushes, tall grasses, underneath tree barks and stones, and like the yellow sac spiders, on the flower petals too.
Jumping spiders can get inside your home if they were on the windowsills and they’ve accidentally jumped inside.
Or you can accidentally bring in the jumping spiders if you bring anything from the outdoors, like potted plants, cardboard boxes, or wood piles with jumping spiders in it.
Jumping spiders in the house will try their best to get out. It’s because it’s not their habitat.
However, they’ll remain hidden inside the home till they can figure out the way outside of your home.
Common hiding places are underneath furniture, wall voids, and any tight gap that they can sneak inside.
Jumping spiders are harmless. They don’t bite. And to many spider lovers, they’re the cutest spiders.
Funnel Weaver Spider
Funnel weaver spiders are the most misunderstood spiders in the US. Their appearance in homes, and their brown color, make people think that they’re brown recluse spiders.
Some even say that they’re hobo spiders and wolf spiders.
And there has been a recent panic in the US when reports emerged that the funnel weaver spiders in the US can be the extremely venomous Australian funnel weaver spiders.
However, none of the above are true. All the misinformation were busted long ago.
Funnel weaver spiders are harmless spiders. These spiders got their name because they build sheet webs on the grass blades and mulch beds with a funnel like entry point.
You can identify their dew-covered webs on the grass lawns and mulch in early morning hours of fall.
That’s why they’re also known as grass spiders.
Funnel weaver spiders are gray or brown. But these spiders aren’t extremely tiny.
The size of a mature female funnel weaver spider (also known as funnel web spider) ranges from 1/3 inches to 2/3 inches.
They’ve got eight eyes and eight hairy legs with some dark rings on the leg joints.
There are 111 species of funnel weaver spiders in the US.
However, the most common species of funnel weaver spiders in the yards and gardens of American homes are the ones that belong to Agelenopsis genera.
These funnel weaver spiders have a distinctive tail-like protrusion at the rear end of the abdomen. This tubular extension releases the silk that they use to spin their web.
Their abdomen is blackish brown and has vertical black patches too.
The funnel weaver spiders enter homes through open doors and windows.
The gaps and cracks on the windowsills, walls, and doors are also some of the possible entry points.
These spiders will spin their webs on the windows and in the attics, crawl spaces, and underneath sinks.
Funnel weaver spiders are shy, and they are harmless to humans. However, they can bite if you try to handle them.
Baby Brown Recluse Spiders
The baby brown recluse spiders are the signs of brown recluse spider infestation in your home.
The brown recluses aren’t tiny. But their babies are tiny and tan. The size of baby brown recluses is between 6 and 20 millimeters.
Some of the baby brown recluses can be whitish and gray too.
The babies don’t have a uniform brown color like the adult brown recluse spiders have.
There are noticeable color variations in the head and the abdomen.
Brown recluse spiders lay their eggs in homes at the places where they hide.
The egg sac, that the brown recluse spiders creates, have hundreds of eggs.
And one brown recluse spider can create multiple egg sacs, where each egg sac containing more than 200 eggs.
When these eggs hatch, many baby brown recluse spiders emerge and spread in different areas of your house.
Some of these baby spiders can even get onto your bed.
However, some of the spider look-alikes can be also on your bed. But they’re not technically spiders.
Those can be mites like spider mites, which can appear as clear white spider-like creatures on your bed.
Mold mites and biting mites like rat mites and bird mites can also be on your bed.
The baby brown recluses aren’t venomous, and they don’t bite like the adult brown recluse spiders.
The venom glands in the baby spiders are not well developed and their mouthparts are weak too.
However, their presence and sighting inside your home should ring your alarm bells.
It’d be best to hire a professional pest control company for a home inspection if you’re noticing these tiny spiders in your home.
Spider Bites From Tiny House Spiders
All the spiders in the list are harmless. And spiders are not the kind of creatures that will go after humans and pets to bite.
Spiders are shy creatures, and they try to avoid human contact.
Spiders are also nocturnal. So, those spiders that are hiding in your home will come out at night when the lights are off and you’re asleep.
However, spiders, like the brown recluses and the black widows are venomous spiders and their bites can cause serious problems. You must seek medical attention when these spiders bite you.
The brown recluse bites can cause skin necrosis which is a serious issue.
But their bites won’t kill you.
Spiders like funnel weaver spiders, the cellar spiders, common house spiders, and the other spiders on the list are harmless and they rarely bite.
But these spiders can be potentially dangerous too.
There have been cases when these spiders have bitten humans when they tried to handle the spiders.
If you see these tiny spiders in the house, don’t try to handle them or smash them.
You can use spider traps that can lure the spiders out of hiding.
Using a vacuum cleaner on the spiders to scoop them off the surface can also work on some of the harmless spiders.
However, if there are spiders like the brown recluse and black widows in your house, then chances are there can be more.
So, it’ll be best to hire a pest controller to get rid of these spiders in your house.
How To Prevent Tiny Brown Spiders From Getting Inside Homes?
The tiny brown spiders are harmless. And there have been many instances when homeowners didn’t know that these spiders exist inside homes.
These spiders are shy, avoid human contact, and seldom bite.
But suddenly, coming across these spiders inside your home isn’t something you’d like to experience.
So, the best way to deal with these little spiders is to ensure they don’t get inside.
But if you find these little brown spiders, use a vacuum cleaner on them. And dispose of the dust bag away from your property.
That’s the easiest and safest way to get rid of these spiders without even touching them or killing them.
To prevent them from entering your home, ensure that there are no bugs and other insects are inside your house.
These bugs and pests are food for the spiders, which causes many spiders, including the big brown recluse, to sneak inside your home.
Seal the gaps and cracks on the walls, windows, and doors to prevent their entry.
Keep your house clean and clutter-free. It’s because spiders love messy and dusty places to hide.
Spiders hate the peppermint smell. Spraying peppermint oil spray in your home repels spiders and keeps spiders away.
Also, ensure that the outdoor area, like your yard and garden, is bug-free and does not harbor spiders.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.