The common name reflects the fact that this is usually the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself.
Adults are about 3/16-5/16” with the females having a spherical abdomen and the males having an elongated abdomen. Color highly variable with carapace yellowish brown; abdomen dirty white with a few dark spots to almost black, with several dark stripes meeting at angle medially above tip of abdomen.
Female house spiders lay about 250 eggs in a silken sac which is brownish, oval to flask-shaped, and with a tough papery cover. There may be more than one sac in a web at a time; a female may produce up to 17 sacs, containing over 3,760 eggs, in her lifetime.
The house spider randomly selects its web sites and creates a tangled web. If a web does not yield prey it is abandoned, another site is selected, and a new web built. Eventually webs are constructed where air currents bring in prey. Survival is low in modern homes with low humidity and few insects, higher in garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, etc., because of more prey and generally higher humidity, and highest outdoors in protected places.
Inside structures, house spiders are most likely to be found in upper corners, under furniture, in closets, angels of window frames, basements, garages, and crawl spaces.