Spider Species in the UK

While there are tens of thousands of species of spider across the world, fewer than 700 are found in the UK.

Identifying Spiders

Of the spiders that are found in the UK, the vast majority are not only completely harmless, but also not considered to be pests. Only one spider found in the UK is venomous, and it is not deadly.

Steatoda bipunctata female (aka)

False Widow Spiders

The False Widow is the UK’s only venomous spider, though it is considerably less dangerous than venomous spiders found elsewhere in the world. The False Widow’s bite can be extremely painful but generally only has a mild reaction of localised swelling and soreness.

The False Widow has a bulbous brown abdomen and females grow to around 1.1cm in size. They are not aggressive and only bite when they feel threatened.

Gr Zitterspinne 2

Cellar Spiders

Cellar Spiders are one of the most common species of spider to find inside homes and businesses, often building webs in corners of the ceiling. They have very long, very thin legs and small bodies.

If there isn’t enough food for a cellar spider, they have been seen to visit another spider’s nest, pretend to be a trapped insect, and then eat the other spider. For this reason, many people tolerate a cellar spider or two in the home. But they do like to live closer to one another than other spider species, which makes them more prone to creating unsightly and distressing infestations.

Araneus diadematus (Clerck, 1757)

Garden Spiders

Identified by their shortish legs and large bodies with distinctive white markings, garden spiders are seen across the UK. They’re usually found outside, on webs constructed between shrubs, doorframes, or garden furniture to catch passing insects.

Garden spiders are active during the summer months and generally die off in the first frosts of the year. Females can grow to anything between 0.5cm and 2cm in length, not including their legs, while males are slightly smaller at 0.5-1.2cm, again not including legs.

Hausspinne Tegenaria atrica

Giant House Spiders

One of the more distressing spiders to find in your home or business due to their size and appearance, giant house spiders tend to come inside in the Autumn, looking for somewhere warm to find a mate.

Usually brown in colour, with a large abdomen and thick, hairy legs, adult house spiders can grow from 1cm to close to 2cm (not including their legs). Their webs are large, flat sheets and don’t have sticky threads - the spider waits in a funnel in the corner, darting out as soon as an insect gets tangled.

Kaldari Salticus scenicus male 01

Zebra Jumping Spiders

For people who don’t like spiders, a jumping spider has an extra level of unpleasantness, and the giant eyes of the Zebra can be especially off-putting. Both males and females grow to less than a centimetre in length, not including legs, and they’re characterised by distinctive black and white markings.

Their large eyes give zebra jumping spiders excellent vision and they stalk their prey rather than spinning webs. When inside a home or office, they’re usually found near windows - on windowsills or behind curtains and blinds.

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