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Grass Spider vs House Spider – Similarities & Differences

Grass spiders are slightly larger and mostly live outdoors in grasslands and areas with a lot of vegetation, while house spiders are smaller and tend to live indoors. They both make sheet webs, but the main difference here is in the position of these webs – house spiders make them indoors, while grass spiders them outdoors.

house spider
House Spider
grass spider
Grass Spider

Grass spiders and house spiders (aka barn funnel weaver spiders) are quite similar, but there are some differences between the two. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at grass spiders vs house spiders – the main similarities, differences between the two, and other facts that you might want to know.

Disclaimer: This is information for entertainment and educational purposes only. Do not approach a wild animal and keep your distance. Only professionals should handle wild animals. Seek professional help immediately if you have been bitten or otherwise harmedConsult your local wildlife authority for the right advice for your situation and locality.

Grass SpiderHouse Spider
Scientific NameAgelenopsis Tegenaria Domesticus
General AppearanceBrown stripes on their cephalothorax,
Zig-zag stripes on their abdomen,
Visible body hair
Brown stripes on their cephalothorax,
Zig-zag stripes on their abdomen,
Visible body hair
Web StructureSheet Webs with FunnelSheet Webs without Funnel
Hunting AbilityFast and agile, good eyesight makes up for its non-adhesive webFast and agile with decent eyesight
SizeUp to 18mm (20mm for females)Up to 11mm
HabitatMostly outdoors in open grasslandsMostly indoors, commonly found in houses, barns, and cellars

Grass Spiders vs House Spiders

Before we start the comparison, let’s take a closer look at both of these species.

House Spider Overview

house spider

Tegenaria Domestica (aka barn funnel weaver spider in the US or domestic house spider in Europe) is commonly found in our homes.

They belong to the Tegenaria genus of spiders which are found all over the world, mostly indoors.

The house spider is a common occurrence in many homes. These spiders are found hiding in corners and hidden parts of barns or homes where they create sheet webs.

With these webs, they’ll hunt insects and other smaller bugs that are found in your home or barn, which will help sustain the house spider for longer periods.

The Tegenaria grows to a size of about 11.5 millimeters at most; females tend to be slightly larger than males. This spider has a brown cephalothorax with two gray lines running along and some hairs.

The abdomen has gray and brown patterns strewn all over it while the legs also follow a similar pattern.

Grass Spider Overview

grass spider

Grass spiders or the (Agelenopsis) mostly live outdoors where they can make large sheet webs. Sometimes, the spider makes its way indoors, which might make some people confuse these two species.

The male grass spider grows to a size of about 18 millimeters at most, with females reaching the sizes of up to 20 millimeters. This spider has a pair of brown stripes running along its cephalothorax, while the abdomen is brown with yellow-gray zig-zag stripes.

The legs and the body also carry some hairs.

Similarities

Let’s take a look at the similarities between these two species.

1. General Appearance

If you were to compare these two species, you might have problems distinguishing which is which at first sight.

That’s because the two species have similar color patterns on their bodies. They both have two brown stripes on their cephalothorax while also carrying some zig-zag stripes on their abdomen.

They also both have a similar amount of hairs on their bodies, which makes the two species very hard to distinguish. 

2. Webs

Another similarity that these two species have is that they make similar types of webs. Both make sheet webs, although grass spiders create a funnel at the end of the web which acts as a shelter for the spider.

You’ll find these webs indoors or outdoors. However, one of the key differences is that grass spiders prefer to make these webs outdoors among vegetables and grasses, while house spiders don’t have a clear preference, although they are mostly found indoors.

For both spiders, the web acts as a protective measure that keeps them away from the reach of their predators while also allowing them to easily hunt larger numbers of insects and animals of prey.

3. Hunting Ability

Both spiders are exceptional hunters. The Tegenaria spider is very agile and great at detecting potential opportunities with ease. It has decent eyesight that allows it to see its prey better, which gives it an advantage over some animals that find themselves in their way.

On the other hand, the grass spider is also a great hunter. It needs to be fast and agile because its web doesn’t have adhesive materials. However, the eyesight of the grass spider is not as good as the eyesight of the house spider, which means that the Agelenopsis will have to rely on its hairs and web more.

Differences

So, how can you tell a difference between a grass spider and a house spider, then?

1. Size

The first difference that you should be able to spot quite easily is the size. Namely, the grass spider can be quite significantly larger than the house spider, as it can reach sizes of up to 18 millimeters for males, and 20 millimeters for females.

House spiders, or Tegenaria, will only reach sizes of about 11 millimeters. Males tend to be even smaller, as they might only reach a size of about 9 millimeters.

2. Habitat

Another potential way to tell which spider you’re looking at is to look at the surroundings the spider is in. 

In general, house spiders prefer to live indoors, so they often find their way into barns, homes, cellars, and garages. They will set up camp there and create their sheet webs that will attract their prey.

Grass spiders rarely find themselves indoors, though. They prefer the open spots between grasses, which they will use as the foundations for their large-scale sheet webs that you might be able to spot in your lawn, for example.

Grass Spider vs House Spider Venom

The grass spider is slightly more venomous than the house spider. However, both grass spiders and house spiders are not generally dangerous for humans as their bites don’t have significant adverse effects.

Both spiders use their venom to subdue and paralyze their prey. The venom is not meant for humans, but it is rather targeted for smaller animals. This means that the venom of both animals should not cause any problems to humans or even pets.

Conclusion

Grass spiders and house spiders are easy to confuse. They have similar colors and patterns on their bodies, which might make it tough for you to distinguish the two spiders.

However, grass spiders tend to be a bit larger than house spiders and tend to live outdoors while house spiders are smaller and mostly live indoors.

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