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Popular pests: Black house spider badumna insignis

Black house spider:

Black house spiders are native to eastern Australia and occupy parts of other countries such as Japan, Uruguay, Mexico, USA and New Zealand.

Class: Arachnid
Scientific nameBadumna longiqua

The black house spider or grey house spider, by which the species is commonly known, is a small spider. Males are about one centimetre in size, while females, although slightly larger, are no more than one and a half centimetres.

Their name, as might be obvious, is given by their colours. These spiders can be black or grey and their legs can take on a purplish-brown colour. On their body and legs, they have hairs and dot-like markings, which are characteristic of the species and by which they can be easily identified.

Black house spiders protect their eggs by wrapping them in a silk sac, and once the young have hatched and matured sufficiently, they begin to disperse. In the meantime, the mother feeds them with prey that falls into her web.

This species tends to weave its web high up on walls or in crevices, always in places where its prey can access without difficulty. Once the prey has fallen into the web, they liquefy it with your venom and wrap it in their silk until it is time to devour it.

Black house spider Australia:

Black house spider Australia:
Black house spider Australia:

Black house spiders or black house spiders are common in Australian gardens, primarily in eastern Australia, where they originate. They mainly inhabit woodlands, parks and grasslands and may burrow or spin their webs on leaves, rocks, tree trunks or the outside walls of houses.

They feed on almost any type of insect and those that most frequent their diet are moths, ants, bees, wasps, bumblebees, cicadas and even grasshoppers. Your garden could easily become a very welcoming place for this species, given the great variety of insects that inhabit it, and therefore, they would have a practically inexhaustible source of food.

The Australian black house spider has a life expectancy of one to two years, and during that time, it will lay numerous eggs, so the population of black house spiders is constantly increasing.

This species of spider is easily confused with the badumna longiquus, however, the latter is slightly smaller.

The black house spider tends to stay on its web all the time, except in exceptional cases, and generally does not abandon it, but repairs it again and again. This is why the webs of these spiders look grey and wooly.

Black house spider bite:

Black House Spider (Badumna Longinquus)
Black House Spider (Badumna Longinquus)

The bite of the black house spider, while poisonous, is not lethal to humans. Black house spiders, as the name clearly indicates, are commonly found in homes, usually in window sills, outhouses, sheds, under eaves, in gutters and other dry and usually out-of-the-way places.

There are two key factors to be aware of with these spiders in relation to their bites, the first being that these spiders are generally shy, so bites are rare.

Secondly, despite being uncommon, a black house spider bite will leave a mark that is difficult to remove, and we’re not talking about the scar, but the bad experience, as their bite can cause sharp and quite unpleasant pain, as well as causing local inflammation that could last for a while.

Black house spider size:

The size of the spider is often one of the key factors that help in identification. Both the black house spider and the grey house spider as well as other Badumna species can be found throughout Australia.

black house spider

The Australian black house spider is entirely dark, practically black in general, and is a reasonably thick spider. As is common in this animal species, the female tends to be slightly larger than the male.

Their legs and carapace are a very dark brown colour that can sometimes be completely black, and the colour of their abdomen is similar to charcoal grey. They have a dorsal pattern of white spots.

Despite their similarities to the grey house spider, it is easy to distinguish between them as the latter, as its name suggests, is lighter in colour and also smaller, measuring approximately 14 millimetres.

Common Black house spider:

Common Black house spider
Common Black house spider

Baduma Insignis, the black house spider, a robust, dark-coloured species that can commonly be found in house windows or lamps, as the light attracts the insects that will become their daily diet. Outside homes they can be found on tree trunks or in the crevices of large rocks.

Black house spiders generally tend to be confused with two other spiders: grey house spiders and funnel-web spiders.

People confuse them with the former, because they are commonly found where Baduma insignis tend to live; and they confuse them with the latter because their web shapes are similar, as they both spin their webs in a funnel shape.

Black house spider
Black house spider

Instead of changing webs, they continue to repair them over and over again, which is why so many baduma insignis webs are covered with grey wool.

Widely distributed throughout the eastern and southern parts of the Australian continent, female black house spiders never abandon their silken webs except under conditions that would force them to do so, which also tends to be uncommon.

As the breeding season approaches for these spiders, the males leave their burrows and move towards the webs of the females, attracting their attention and proceeding to mate, and may stay together for a couple of days during which time they may be mating. The female builds numerous silk sacs for the eggs and stays with them until they hatch.

At this point, the young begin to disperse.

It is during the hottest months of the year that the spiders reach maturity and live for about two more years.

Black house spider web:

One of the reasons these spiders are mistaken for other species is the shape of their web. Their spiral funnel shape causes many Australians to confuse them with the equally common funnel-web spider.

However, once again it highlights the importance of finding the specimen for identification, as these two species of spider whose funnel-web can be confusing, are in fact nothing alike in appearance, size or lifestyle.

Black House Spider web

However, even the webs of these two species are different, and if you look closely, you can instantly spot the differences and realise which of the two species you are dealing with.

For while the web of the funnel-web spider tends to look more like a burrow in the ground than a funnel, usually found in the crevices of tree trunks and hidden with pieces of bark and other elements of nature; the black house spider, unlike the funnel-web spider, keeps the silk of its web quite clean, and its webs, whose entrances are rather more distinctly funnel-shaped, form messy lacy curtains between tree trunks, the walls of large rocks and even in buildings, regularly in window frames or wall crevices.

They can also be found in the webs of their relatives, the grey house spiders.

Black house spider bites symptoms:

As we said earlier in this article, black house spiders are generally quite shy and while it is true that they can often be found inside houses, trees and large rocks are also part of their habitat. What we are getting at here is that black house spider bites to humans are infrequent, the chances of being attacked by one are low enough that it is not a major concern, however, this does not mean that we should forget about them.

While it is true that their sting is not life-threatening, the pain they can cause can be almost unbearable and cause inflammation in the affected area.

In addition, a variety of other symptoms have been reported in some patients, ranging from vomiting to nausea, sweating and dizziness.

After multiple bites, skin lesions become common, but it is rare to find patients who have been bitten by these spiders numerous times.

If you are bitten by a black house spider, cold water compresses can be applied to relieve pain and reduce swelling, but if new symptoms appear or persist, you should immediately go to the nearest health care facility.

Black house spider vs. funnel web:

Black house spiders and funnel web spiders are robust, dark-coloured spiders with a similar web composition in terms of web shape.

These two species of Australian spiders are commonly confused because of all their similarities.

Black house spiders, as their name suggests, are commonly found inside houses, often spinning their webs in windows, or near light bulbs, where they are attracted to most of the insects that form part of their diet.

However, as mentioned above, black house spiders also tend to make their burrows in the outskirts, in the crevices of tree trunks where insects abound, and also in large rocks.

Their webs are funnel-shaped, and for this reason they are easily confused with funnel-web spiders. However, it is easy to identify them; you only need to look closely at the web to see the differences. For example, the web of the black house spider is kept clean, and the silk is sometimes grey in colour because they do not tend to change webs, but are constantly repairing them.

On the other hand, the funnel-web spider tends to cover the entrance to its burrow with leaves and pieces of bark, so that its burrows will always be more concealed.

So, despite the great similarities between these two species, you will realise that their differences are much more noticeable than they might appear to the naked eye or to someone who does not have this knowledge.

Tiny small Black house spider:

The black house spider is not an arachnid of large dimensions, but despite being a generally quite robust spider, its size is not one of the characteristics for which it stands out too much.

Black house spiders reach maturity during the summer months, until then, it is possible to find them a little different in terms of their appearance, as instead of looking as typically, robust, they look small and slender.

Black House Spider - with OCG Pest Control van
Black House Spider – with OCG Pest Control van

Black house spider Sydney:

Black house spiders or common house spiders are one of the most common species in Australia, so finding them in Sydney homes is not uncommon. Sydney house spiders leave the web once they have reached maturity during the summer months and make their own nests or burrows either in rock crevices or inside houses.

In Sydney they are usually found in window frames, making their webs between two buildings or near light sources, where it is easier to find the insects that are their main source of food.

What does a Black house spider bite look like?

Black house spider bites are not very common and in general, despite the fact that Australians tend to live with them, not many cases of bites are reported to health centres. 

The main reason for this is probably that dealing with these bites is not difficult. While it is true that the affected part may swell and sometimes cause quite severe pain, as no antidote to the venom of the black house spider is necessary, it is not an immediate reaction to go to hospital.

These bites almost always swell and cause a lot of pain, and redness around the bite is also common.

Black house spider lifespan:

The life expectancy of spiders varies according to species and ranges from a few months to around 20 years. But those extremes are not the case for the black house spider we have been talking about throughout this article.

Black house spiders have a life expectancy of 2 years and reach maturity during the summer months, where they are ready to begin breeding.

Black House Spider Close Up – Small Black House 

Male Black house spider:

Male black house spiders are different from females, as is the case with all spider species.

Males always tend to be smaller than females when we refer exclusively to their body size and we mention this in this way because the relationship between body size and leg length does not occur in the same way.

That is to say, in spite of having a smaller body, their legs, in relation to it, tend to be longer.

Black house spider Australia size:

The black house spider, also known as the common black spider is a medium-sized spider species, neither excessively small nor excessively large. Females reach around 18 mm, and are generally larger than males of the species. Grey house spiders are also smaller, generally reaching about 15 mm.

Black house spider Australia size
Black house spider Australia size:

As with all spider species, the males of the species are smaller, measuring about 10 mm. Both females and males are robust black spiders.

The other notable difference in size and shape is in the legs, while those of the females have a wingspan of about 30 mm, those of the males, as usual, are larger in size relative to their body dimensions.

Both sexes are dark in colour, ranging from grey to dark brown to black, with a dense layer of hairs covering them and light markings with indistinct patterns on the abdomen.

Because of their characteristics they tend to be confused with the equally common grey house spiders, however, as has been seen throughout this article, despite their many similarities, their differences are clear enough to distinguish when one is in the presence of one species or the other.

Black House Spider Close Up
Black House Spider Close Up

Black house spiders are a species of Australian origin, common throughout Australia, as well as in other countries around the globe. While they are not lethal or deadly to humans, we recommend caution as with any other species of arachnid.

To avoid spiders in your home, contact OCG Pest Control for spider control services.

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