Giant House Spider

The Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica) is a species of arachnid native to western Europe. It was introduced by accident to the Pacific Northwest of North America around 1900. It took hold and increased rapidly in population. This spider is a close relative to the Barn Funnel Weaver Spider and the Hobo Spider. The Giant House Spider is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Hobo Spider in North America.

The female can reach a length of 0.7 inches, with the male having a slightly smaller body at about 0.6 inches. The leg span of the female is around 1.77 inches. The male has a varying leg span of between 1 and 3 inches. The body is mostly brown in color with shades of muddy red or yellow. The legs and abdomen are noticeably hairy. Although the venom of this species is potent to its prey, it is harmless to humans, and it rarely bites. This spider can reach speeds of 21 inches per second, and held the Guinness Book of World Records for top spider speed until 1987.

The Giant House Spider builds a flat and messy web with a funnel at one end. The spider lurks in the funnel until a small invertebrate gets trapped in the web, at which point the spider runs out and attacks. The web is usually built in a corner, either on the floor or the ceiling, and can be between boxes. Webs are more often found in attics, basements, or any other area that is usually not disturbed by large animals or humans.