Seeing a spider at any time of the day or night is unsettling for most people. But what about all the spiders we don’t see? Where exactly do these eight-legged beasts live during the day when they are not out scaring the bejeesus out of us?
Surprisingly, spiders do a lot during the day! Most of it involves finding food, adjusting their web, or resting in a dark, hidden location. The differences in activities are attributed to whether or not the spider is nocturnal (active at night) or diurnal (active during the day).
For most folks, it’s not fun knowing there is a spider in your house. Knowing where they live during the day can be your first step to minimizing contact with them.
- During the day, spiders may search for food, adjust/fix their webs, or rest in dark, undisturbed areas.
- Knowing where spiders go and live during the day can help minimize contact with spiders and help you devise repellent methods to keep them away.
- Most spiders in the house are beneficial because they hunt other pest insects like silverfish, cockroaches, and flies.
Do Spiders Ever Come Out During The Day?
Over 3,000 species of spiders call North America their home. With so many species, it’s no surprise some are more active during the day while others are more active at night.
The most common spiders seen outside or around the house include:
- Wolf spider
- Orb-weaver spider
- Yellow sac spider
- Cellar spider
- House spider
- Jumping spider
- Funnel-web spider
- Crab spider
Despite what many people think, you rarely see black widow spiders inside the house. These spiders prefer outdoor settings where food is more plentiful. You would see brown recluse spiders more often than black widows indoors, but not as much as other common house spiders.
Most Spiders Are Active At Night
Most spiders are active at night but will come out during the day if the need arises, such as needing to move to a safer area or if potential food disturbs their web. Nighttime hunters may use special coloration or other tactics to lure prey to their webs in an otherwise dark environment.
An article from the Journal of Animal Behavior found that the bright coloration of orchard spiders attracts large prey items like moths to their webs. When scientists painted over their bright colors, their prey was significantly reduced.
Common house spiders like cellar spiders, wolf spiders, and yellow sac spiders rarely come out during the day. They will hide in a dark area until night falls when they can roam your home freely. (creepy, right?).
Check out our article on whether or not spiders are nocturnal for more information!
Some Daytime Spiders Are Active Hunters
Other spiders like the jumping spider come out during the day to hunt. These arachnids do not build webs but use their silk as tethers or draglines while hunting. They have the best vision of any spider and use the daylight to their advantage.
Besides jumping spiders, most active-hunting spiders that do not build webs will hide the day away in a dark, undisturbed area. Sometimes, the hunter becomes the prey – you can read about common insects that eat spiders here!
Spiders Do Web Maintenance During The Day
Many nocturnal web-weaving spiders will spend the day rebuilding their webs or adjusting strands that were damaged during the night. Spider webs are more than just a sticky place to catch prey.
Webs are an integral part of many spider’s survival. They use it to detect and catch prey, detect mates, and stay safe from predators. Without this daytime maintenance, a spider’s web would be destroyed nearly every night!
Here’s a look at some of the different kind of spider webs and the spiders that make them:
|Type of Spider Web
|Spiders that commonly make them
|Circular with radiating lines. The ‘classic’ spider web
|Flat, horizontal sheet-like structure
|Sheet Web Weavers, Money Spider, and Dwarf Spider
|Irregular, messy tangle of silk
|Black Widow, Cellar Spider, and Daddy Longlegs
|Flat sheet of web with a funnel-shaped retreat
|Giant House Spider, Grass Spider, and Hobo Spider
|Irregular three-dimensional web
|Common House Spider, False Black Widow, Black Widow
Some Spiders Are Active Day And Night
Some spiders, like funnel weaver spiders, straddle both the day and night. They will hunt at any time using a sit-and-wait method.
Funnel weavers create a funnel-shaped web they wait in. As soon as there is any action at the opening, the spider darts out, grabs its prey, and slinks back into its web.
Here’s 7 Places Where Spiders Live During The Day
Spiders are weird-looking creatures in and of themselves. Did you know spiders never sleep? They cannot physically close their eyes because they have no eyelids.
Despite this, spiders still have circadian rhythms, just like humans. However, instead of sleeping, they go into a stage of rest where they conserve energy and do not move.
During this resting phase, you can find spiders in a variety of places. They will want to be somewhere safe, away from the prying eyes of predators.
1. Spiders Hide In Our Home During The Day
For anyone out there looking for a spider-free home, your location options are limited to under the ocean, in Antarctica, or at the top of a snow-capped mountain.
Spiders are everywhere!
It’s a good thing, too. They are excellent at keeping the more annoying pests, like flies and silverfish, under control. Just because they keep annoying pests at bay does not mean we want to see these eight-legged creatures in our homes. So, where do spiders hang out during the day in our homes?
2. Many Spiders Sit In Their Indoor Webs During The Day
Spiders like the cellar spider and sac spider will hide away in their webs during the day. These spiders often find their way into our homes and build their webs in inconvenient places.
- Corners where walls meet the ceiling
- Behind picture frames
- Beneath unmoved boxes
- Any undisturbed location
Rarely used drawers are perfect hiding places for web-building spiders. Can anyone remember the last time they cleaned out their closets? Spiders love undisturbed locations like these!
3. Spiders Go To Dark, Hidden, Indoor Areas During The Day
Spiders who do not live in webs may use other locations to hide during the day in your home. The wolf spider and brown recluse spider, for example, will hide in dark, hidden areas.
- Beneath furniture
- in closets
- Behind bathroom sinks
- Under the refrigerator or stove
- Beneath undisturbed boxes
While creeping around in the dark, spiders will often take the opportunity to rest. They will conserve their energy for the coming night when they will have to hunt for food. You can read more about the common places where spiders live in your home here.
4. Some Spiders Live Strictly Indoors
Some species of spiders, like the cellar spider and common house spider, live indoors their entire lives. They cannot survive for long outside of a home. Though most spiders we see lurking around in our basements came in from the outdoors.
As we mentioned before, there are tons of different species of spiders, each preferring its own unique habitat. Some prefer damp places, while others like desert climates. Some prefer trees, while others like to scuttle around on the ground.
5. Spiders Live In Their Webs Outdoors During The Day
Similar to the cellar spider and sac spiders, some spiders can be seen in their webs during the day. The orb-weaving spider is a commonly seen spider in gardens and around homes.
During the day, orb-weaver spiders rest in the center of their web or off to one edge. Black widows are another spider that hangs out in its web during the day. They may also fix their web or make slight changes to it during the day.
6. Spiders Live In Our Landscaping During The Day
Spiders like the grass spider are common outdoor spiders and rarely seen indoors. They like to chill in small shrubs, grasses, woodpiles, and in little crevices of rock walls during the day.
While hanging out in these areas, they live in a flat web with a small funnel in the center. When something sends vibrations through the web, the grass spider will dart out and nab the prey.
Wolf spiders are interesting arachnids to see outside, especially at night. Unlike other spiders, if you shine a flashlight on a wolf spider at night, their eyes will shine like that of a cat’s! During the day, however, wolf spiders can be found in gardens or crawling around in grass and turf.
7. Spiders Make Their Home In Our Yard
Other common areas where spiders hang out during the day outside include:
- In leaf litter (ground spiders)
- Around windows (jumping spiders, black widow)
- In tree bark (huntsman spiders)
- On flowers (crab spiders)
- On the exterior of houses in crevices, cracks, and gaps (crevice-weaving spiders)
- In barns & sheds (brown recluse spiders)
- Abandoned mouse burrows (tarantulas)
It’s hard to avoid spiders, no matter where you are. Before you destroy their web or use your boot, remember that spiders are good to have around! They keep the dregs of insect society under control.
The Reason Spiders Come In The House
Now that we know where these many-eyed creatures live in our homes, let’s talk about why they are inside our homes in the first place.
Spiders do not want to be inside your home. Except for a few species like the cellar spider or sac spider, spiders would much rather be outside than inside.
Most of us have a fear of spiders to some degree, whether it is mild irritation or all-encompassing panic. However, believe it or not, spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. So, what the heck are they doing in your home then?
For a more detailed list of spider attractants, check out our article on the things that bring spiders inside.
Outdoor Lights Will Attract Spiders Indoors
Porch lights, motion-sensor lights, and garage lights adorn most homes to light the area to deter mischief-makers. These lights may deter criminals, but they attract other unwanted visitors.
Moths, beetles, and other insects are highly attracted to light at night. A bright white light will bring tons of insects and nighttime flyers near your home. So, since insects are a favorite food of spiders, outdoor lights are going to attract spiders, too.
But what’s the big deal about attracting spiders near your outdoor lights? They are outdoors after all…
Spiders Look For Hidden Places To Feed
Spiders who catch prey at your outdoor light will look for somewhere dark and quiet to eat their prey. For example, the hole in the siding where the electrical line of your porch light runs from outside to inside your walls. This teeny-tiny hole is like a wide-open gap to a spider that can flatten itself down and squeeze through just about any space.
To keep spiders from coming inside because of your outdoor lights, try switching over to a yellow lightbulb. Dewenwil’s 4-pack LED Yellow Light Bulbs will work great. The light bulbs have sensors that will turn them on automatically near dusk and turn off at dawn.
Yellow light is far less attractive to nighttime insects than the normal white light of outdoor lighting. The fewer bugs, the fewer spiders. The fewer spiders, the less shrieking inside the home. Win-win!
If you’d rather keep the white lights but eliminate the gap for the wiring, try using something like NACINIC’s Solar Outdoor Lights Motion Sensor. These do not require any electrical hookup and can perform 3 different modes, depending on your preferences.
Other Indoor Pests Will Attract Spiders Indoors
Bug problems inside the home are just the worst, right? Bugs are disturbingly creepy to begin with, but when they come inside and crawl all over the place, it’s enough to put anyone on edge.
Whether it’s fleas, roaches, flies, centipedes, or ants, indoor bug problems will attract spiders. The bugs provide food for the spiders, who aren’t likely to leave a place that offers so much food in a concentrated area.
To prevent spiders from coming inside, you’ll want to take care of any other pest before tackling your spider problem.
Spiders Come Inside During The Winter
It’s hard to relate to a spider – they have eight legs, 6-8 eyes, no blood, and never sleep. Another vast difference between us and spiders is the way temperature is regulated in the body.
Humans are warm-blooded, which means our internal body temperature stays pretty constant no matter what the weather is like. Spiders are more similar to cold-blooded creatures who depend on the external environment to regulate their temperature.
With this in mind, it’s not hard to imagine how much spiders would rather spend their time indoors than out in the open during winter. These free-loaders will use your garage, basement, attic, or bathroom as a cozy over-wintering spot. You can read more about the places spiders go during winter here.
Spiders that remain outdoors produce special chemical reactions in their bodies capable of forming anti-freeze to avoid becoming spider-cicles. Spider-cubes? Whatever…
Does Turning The Lights On Really Keep Spiders Away?
Lights have always been a sign of safety and hope, whether it be in real life or in books. It comes as no surprise we think we are safe from spiders as long as the lights are on.
After all, spiders are creepy, and creepy things only come out in the dark, right?
Spiders Do Not Use Light To See
Despite having eight eyes, most spiders do not see very well. For this reason, spiders do not depend heavily on vision for survival. They’re more dependent on tactile senses, such as feeling the vibrations of their web as an insect gets caught.
So, should you keep the lights on or off to avoid seeing a spider sprint across your basement floor?
Spiders Avoid Light To Avoid Predators
Spiders are less likely to come out when the lights are on because they know they are more visible to predators this way. But having the lights on also means that you’ll see any spiders that decide to risk being seen.
If you are an “Ignorance is bliss” kind of person, keep them off. If you are an “I like to see my enemies coming” kind of person, keep them on.
Having the lights on also means that more action is probably going on in the house than a spider is comfortable with. People are walking around, dogs are playing, and televisions are blaring. The sounds and vibrations made by those activities will keep spiders in their hiding places.
What To Do If You See A Spider Out During The Day
Seeing a spider any time of the day is a big nope for me. Some people do not mind living side-by-side with spiders though. Either way, what should you do if you see a spider out during the day?
You have a few options. Those options will depend on if you’re seeing a spider here or there or if you have a full-blown spider infestation that requires professional help.
Option 1: Do Nothing
Easy-peasy. If you see a spider in your home during the day, you can choose to ignore it and let the spider go on its merry way.
This is a good option if you only see one spider. It likely found its way inside by accident and doesn’t want to be there. Chances are, the spider will either find its way back out or find a dark corner to hide in.
Spiders are pretty useful to have around both indoors and out. If found in the garden, spiders should be left alone as they will feed on other pests that harm your garden plants.
Option 2: Use The Cup Method
If you live in a home prone to bugs and spiders, you probably have a ‘bug cup’ somewhere around your house. Whether it’s a red solo cup or a glass mason jar, these spider catchers are an important tool for the homeowner.
You can catch the spiders out during the day in your home in a cup. This is done by placing the cup over the spider and sliding a piece of paper beneath the cup to trap it in the cup. Once caught, you can place the spider outside.
This option works best for spiders like wolf spiders that do not build webs. Trying to catch a spider while in its web can be difficult with a cup.
Option 3: Fire Up The Vacuum
Vacuum cleaners make for easy bug cleanup and allow you to get rid of the pest without having to handle or touch any creepy crawlers.
Using the vacuum is a good choice if you are trying to remove spiders from their web. The vacuum will suck up both the web and the spider and any potential egg sacs, which will help eliminate future spiders.
It’s recommended to empty the bag outdoors into a garbage bag. Keep the sealed garbage bag outside until pickup day to ensure the spider (if it lives) does not re-enter your home.
Option 4: Hire A Professional
If you think you have an infestation of spiders, you can always hire a professional to help you get rid of your unwanted invaders.
This is a good option for any species of spider, but especially if the infestation is of the brown recluse spider. These spiders are distinguishable by the violin-shaped markings on their heads.
To hire a professional, you can use our nationwide pest control finder to get in contact with an exterminator near you.
Repelling Spiders From The Home
Once you’ve thrown those pesky spiders outside or sucked them up with the vacuum, it’s time to build your home’s defenses to keep out any other eight-legged visitors. Luckily, there are a few ways to do this naturally and without resorting to harsh chemicals or insecticides.
We mentioned previously that spiders don’t really use their vision, but what about smell? Spiders use their sense of smell to detect predators and sniff out food. When an extremely strong scent is present, spiders are less likely to stick around because they’ll have a hard time detecting predators and food.
Here are some strong smells that can help repel spiders from your home:
- Black pepper: Piperine is a compound found in black pepper that repels spiders and other creepy crawlies. Learn how to use it in our article on how to use black pepper to keep spiders away.
- Cloves: Cloves contain a super compound called eugenol that’s known to repel various insects, spiders, and even mammals! Check out how to use this wonder scent in our article: ways to use cloves to keep spiders away.
- Candles: Believe it or not, the simple act of lighting a candle can help deter spiders from certain areas. We have a fantastic guide on the simple ways to use candles to keep spiders away.
- Vinegar: This acidic staple in the home is the perfect spider repellent. Try making a vinegar spray by combining it with water in a 1:1 ratio. You can read about why vinegar works to repel spiders here.
- Coffee grounds: Don’t throw out your coffee grounds! Keep them to repel spiders. Our guide on how to use coffee grounds to repel spiders will lead the way to a spider free home!
For a complete list of scents, head over to our article on scents that spiders hate.
Keep A Clean Home
Keeping up with housekeeping can seem daunting, but it’s essential if you want to keep a spider-free home. Spiders like to live and hide in dark, undisturbed areas. Think closets, under your bed, and in the attic.
When you keep a clean home, you’re likely moving things around to clean, vacuuming the carpets, and wiping the counters down. This not only repels spiders, but also repels the insects that spiders eat. If there are no food sources in your home, spiders can’t survive long and will look elsewhere.
Use A Commercial Repellent
There are plenty of sprays on the market that are rated to keep spiders away. One such spray is Mighty Mint Spider Repellent Peppermint Oil Spray. Why do we love it? It’s made with natural ingredients that won’t make your home smell like a chemical factory!
Mighty Mint uses essential oils like peppermint and geraniol (found in citronella) to repel spiders from certain locations.
You can also try Grandpa Gus’s Spider Repellent Pouches, which also employ essential oils like peppermint and lemongrass to keep spiders away.
Wrapping Things Up
Seeing a spider during the day is no cause for alarm, but it can be unsettling. Some spiders are more active during the day (diurnal) while others are active at night (nocturnal).
Just because a spider is more active at night does not mean it will not be seen during the day, and vice versa.
To recap, here are 7 places where spiders live during the day, no matter when they are active:
- In our homes in corners, beneath furniture, and in closets
- Indoor webs
- Outdoor webs
- Dark, hidden areas indoors
- Indoors only (cellar and house spiders)
All in all, spiders provide a lot of benefits to homeowners, gardeners, and people in general. But we get it. They ARE creepy. Now that you know where they like to hang out, you can avoid those areas or target them if you plan to get rid of spiders.
Osaki, S., & Osaki, M. (2011). Evolution of spiders from nocturnal to diurnal gave spider silks mechanical resistance against UV irradiation. Polymer Journal, 43, 200-204.
Tso, M., Huang, J.-P., & Liao, C.-P. (2007, October). Nocturnal hunting of a brightly colored sit-and-wait predator. Animal Behavior, 74(4), 787-793.
Vetter, R. S. (2011, December 01). Seasonality of brown recluse spiders, Loxosceles reclusa, submitted by the general public: Implications for physicians regarding loxoscelism diagnoses. Toxicon, 58(8), 623-625.
Yuen SW, Bonebrake TC. 2017. Artificial night light alters nocturnal prey interception outcomes for morphologically variable spiders. PeerJ 5:e4070
Download My Free E-Book!
Take a look at my guide on Pest Proofing Your Home In Under a Day! I get into the nitty-gritty on the most common types of pests you’ll see on your property including BOTH insects and wildlife, along with the specific signs to look for regarding any pest you have questions about.