Entomology (Study of Bugs)/House spiders

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Question
Hi!
I have 2 house spiders inside my apartment, which are barn funnel weavers I think (they are brown with some lighter brown on the back, build fuzzy(?) webs and I live in Ontario). I have accidentally vacuumed their main web(s). My question is: is there a way for me to bring them someplace in my apartment and encourage them to build a web there by creating optimal conditions? I have some pests coming in and I would like them to eat them. Also, I'm very happy with them being there but I also don't want a large amount of spiders. They looked physically the same to me but I don't know if they are male and female or not. They didn't seem in competition with one another and lived in the same area. Does this species breed a lot? Should I keep only one to be sure? Thank you so much!

Answer
Laurence:

I chuckled a little at your question, and I have some easy answers for you.

1) Male and female spiders can be distinguished in the fact that males have a set of appendages called palps on either side of their mouth area.  These palps resemble a small pair of extra legs.  The females have palps, but they are very small.  Males and females aren't necessarily territorial.

2) I'm not too much an expert on their mating habits, but most spiders only produce a few sets of eggs each year.

3) If you are set on keeping these, I'd only keep one.  However, be aware that they won't necessarily stay in the same place.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs

Expertise

I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.

Experience

22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Publications
Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

Education/Credentials
BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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