Facts About the Trapdoor Spider

Facts About the Trapdoor Spider
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Israel Alvarez

Owner @ Insight Pest Management

Table of Contents

What is a trapdoor spider, and how does it concern you? Trapdoor spiders are the small to medium-sized category of mygalomorph. They are named trapdoor spiders because they make doors to their burrows. But these doors are camouflaged and hard to identify until they are open.

If you live in the Southwestern parts of the USA, then these trapdoor spiders are very common on this side of the land. So, where do trapdoor spiders live? Are they poisonous? Do they harm humans? In this article, we will answer these and many all the other questions you have about the trapdoor spider.

Key takeaways

  • Trapdoor spiders are small to medium-sized mygalomorph spiders that dig burrows as homes and traps for insects.
  • They are carnivorous and aggressive but generally do not bite humans, although their bites can be painful.
  • Trapdoor spiders are commonly found in the Southwestern parts of the USA, particularly in warm and wet areas.
  • They have an average lifespan of 5 to 20 years and can lay up to 300 eggs at one time.
  • While their venom is not fatal to humans, their bites can be painful and may require medical attention if symptoms persist.

What are trapdoor spiders?

The trapdoor spiders dig burrows under the ground, acting as their homes and as traps for insects and prey. They make these trapdoors with vegetation, silk, or soil. They are carnivorous and aggressive spiders by nature. They generally do not bite humans, but they can cause harm if they do. They are sometimes kept as exotic pets by collectors.

Trapdoor spiders do not make webs to live or catch their prey like most spiders. This sets them apart from most of their other scary spider friends.

Physical characteristics

California trapdoor spiders are very common around the Southwestern parts of the country. Know these characteristic features. How do you identify them before you call pest control?

An average trapdoor spider is around 2.5 – 4 centimeters in size. They have at least 8 eyes, and their colors can be yellow, red, dark brown, or black. Their eyes are three on each side of the body, and two of them are centrally placed. They have very sharp jaws, which they use to make their burrows.

They also have 8 legs and 2 fangs, and their body is covered in light hair. These spiders are very active and can run very fast.


Trapdoor spiders are one the most common spiders in California. This is particularly indigenous to the land and can mostly be found during the rainy season. They generally reside inside the ground. So houses near the river and sea have a high chance of meeting these spiders inside their houses. Houses with marshy or damp backyards and gardens are at higher risk than others. A warm and wet climate is best for these spiders to grow and nest.

Life cycle

Trapdoor spiders can live for a very long time. They have an average lifespan of 5 to 20 years. Which is a huge amount of time for a spider to live, considering normal house spiders only live for not more than 2 years.

Habitat & behavior

Where are trapdoor spiders found? They are generally found in warm and wet places. They are very common in the Southwestern parts of the USA. Some varieties of trapdoor spiders are also found in Japan, Africa, and Southern America. They mostly stay in low embankment areas with natural soil and vegetation.

They make a small burrow inside the soil in your gardens, lawns, or nearby river banks. They mostly remain inside their burrows and do not mingle with humans until provoked. They only tend to come out during the rainy season. They are generally not known as harmful spiders but can become aggressive when instigated. They tend to run very fast and can scare humans to death with that high-speed splint.

The female trapdoor spiders generally remain close to their burrows. The males tend to go out to find different females to mate with.


What do trapdoor spiders eat? They are carnivorous spiders and trap and eat all kinds of insects. They might be small in size, but they have the capacity to trap insects and birds bigger than their size inside their burrows. They can eat other spiders, small birds, snakes, rodents, frogs, small insects, centipedes, wasps, mice, small fish, and flies.

Their trapdoors are camouflaged in their surroundings, and the doors remain half open at night. Whenever any of these prospective food go near their doors at night, they get trapped inside. The spider holds the door close with its fangs and traps its prey inside.


A study says that trapdoor spiders can lay up to 300 eggs at one time. This helps them expand their clan pretty fast and can become dangerous if a household gets infected.

The mating happens in the female spider burrow. The males go out during the humid season to find a partner to mate. The female spider lays the eggs a few months after the mating process is over. After she lays the eggs, she protects them inside her burrow. Even after the babies are born, they remain with the mother for a few months to mature before they spread out on the ground. When they mature, these babies make their own burrows.

Spider venom

The venom of trapdoor spiders is fatal for insects, but as per previous claims by social media posts, it is not fatal for humans. Research and expert opinion say that their venom is not very toxic for humans. They are aggressive but only when instigated or provoked. They rarely bite humans. Their fangs are larger than many other spiders, making their bites more painful.

Danger level

When a trapdoor spider bites you by any chance, it will not cause death or anything similar to other venomous spider bites. But it can be really painful, and it is advisable to see a medical professional immediately. When the venom is injected from their fangs into your body, the area might swell up and become red and painful for some time. If the symptoms persist, you must seek emergency help.

Trapdoor spider management for your safety

Have you seen one of these spiders lurking around your home? There is a high chance they are laying eggs somewhere in your backyard. It is better to be safe than sorry. Request an appointment with our residential pest control services and make your home spider free.

We will thoroughly inspect your house and give you a detailed report about the level of spider infestation. Our professionals will provide you with the best possible solution to get rid of these dirty pests. Contact us today to make your home pest free.

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Our expert technicians work to ensure that all potential pest entry points are sealed and offer routine treatment options to help ensure your home or business stays protected from future infestations. You don’t have to share your home or business with pests any longer! If you live in the Ventura County area, let the team at Insight Pest Management help you say goodbye to pests once and for all!

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