Common Pacific Northwest Spiders
There are 24 confirmed types of spiders that reside in the Pacific Northwest. The 11 most common types of spider species that you might find in your home include:
- The Common House Spider
- The Cross Orbweaver Spider
- The False Black Widow
- The Hobo Spider
- The Long-Bodied Cellar Spider (also known as Daddy Long-Leg)
- The Mouse Spider
- The Sierra Dome Spider
- The Western Black Widow Spider
- The Wolf Spider
- The Northern Yellow Sac Spider
- The Zebra Jumping Spider
The most common kind of spider by far is the common House Spider. They are typically brown or gray in color and have darker markings along their bodies. Because of their common features and color, they can easily be confused with other spiders. The common house spider is usually very small, less than 1/4 inch long.
This prolific spider is named for the fact that this is usually the spider most often seen indoors. Though they have better survival rates outside (more insects available for food), this type of spider is extremely good at home invasion. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. Its webs are in corners of rooms and are easy to miss. This spider is found worldwide and is common throughout the United States and Canada.
Probably the most famous but also most reclusive spider is the Western Black Widow. Adult females have very dangerous venom, but will often try to run away rather than confront or bite. They usually are shiny black with a red hourglass marking on their belly, but the belly marking can also be yellowish-orange, and it might be in the shape of an hourglass, two distinct marks, or just a spot. The body of the female is about 1/2 inch long.
Their favorite sites for webs are usually in dark, undisturbed areas like woodpiles, piles of rubble, stacks of hay bales, water meter boxes, under eaves, and on fences. The typical web of a black widow is very messy looking - not an organized or "pretty" web - and is made of strong, sticky silk.
Black Widow Spider Bites
Bites are thankfully rare, usually occurring when the spider is trapped against the skin at a time when a person is carrying firewood, moving things around, or putting on infrequently worn clothing or shoes. Black widow venom is a neurotoxin that causes pain at the site of the bite and then spreads to the chest, belly, or entire body. While most people only develop mild symptoms, black widow bites are a significant risk for the elderly, the very young, or people with high blood pressure. If you see the messy black widow webs, call a professional exterminator immediately and avoid the danger of a nasty spider bite.
Sometimes known as the American Funnel Web Spider because of their distinctive, funnel-shaped webs, Hobo spiders are very shy. They retreat when disturbed and don't like to bite. Adults are dark brown with distinctive yellow markings on their abdomens. They are moderately large, having a body length ranging from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.
Hobo Spiders catch their prey by building funnel webs in recessed corners, holes, or cracks. They prefer dark and slightly damp areas, hiding around retaining walls, woodpiles, house foundations, under stones, or garden ornaments. The males tend to wander looking for mates in the late summer and early fall. Because of this, they're often found in homes and garages in the months of August through September.
These larger, speedy hunters are known for pouncing on prey as they find it or even chasing down prey for short distances. Wolf Spiders mostly live and hunt alone, and they don't spin webs. Though they look very similar to nursery web spiders, the wolf spider is easily distinguished by its two larger and more prominent eyes, whereas the nursery spider's eyes are all the same size.
The Wolf Spider's favorite hunting grounds include wooded areas, coastal forests, alpine meadows, suburban gardens, shrublands, and homes. Though they do not climb very well, they do run very fast. They prey on insects that are walking or resting on the ground. During the warmer summer months, the Wolf Spider will try to escape the hot weather and move inside homes or structures where they can find dark places and cool temperatures.
Wolf Spider Bites
Bites from the Wolf Spider can cause pain, redness, and swelling. Its large fangs might tear the skin which can become infected and cause lymph nodes to swell. The site of the bite can be swollen and painful for up to 10 days. Medical attention may not be necessary unless the bite victim is elderly, sick, or a young child.
The Yellow Sac Spider, though often not yellow, is found in eastern Washington and in the Seattle area. These spiders are a growing nuisance for homeowners. They are named for the small cocoon-type webs or silk sacs they weave and sleep in. They prefer the outdoors and are mainly garden-dwelling spiders in the warm season. They actively hunt at night and often make their way indoors in the fall. They are great climbers and are usually spotted along walls or on the ceiling. Yellow Sac Spiders are also more tolerant of colder weather and may still wander outdoors when the temperature drops.
Yellow Sac Spider Bites
Bites from the Yellow Sac Spider are rare but again can occur when the spider is trapped against the skin. Bites are painful, much like a bee sting. They cause redness and a burning sensation. The venom causes swelling and slow healing with broken, ulcerated sores or blisters around the bite site. These sores will begin to heal after a few days. Avoid the Yellow Sac Spider!
How to Get Rid of House Spiders
Because of their web site selection by trial and error, many webs may be constructed in several days. Dust collecting on these webs accentuates their presence. This situation is unacceptable in most households, not to mention offices and other working environments.
If you have a house spider infestation that you urgently need to be removed, Eastside Exterminators can help. Our Seattle pest exterminators use the latest spider control methods to clear them and keep them out of people’s homes. To schedule our services to get rid of the PNW spiders, call us at 425-482-2100 today.
FAQ About Spiders in Washington State
Here are a few questions we commonly get about spiders in the Seattle area.
Are There Poisonous Spiders in Washington?
Yes, though only two types of spiders in Washington state are venomous—the Black Widow Spider and the Western Yellow Sac Spider.
What Is the Most Common Species of Spider in Seattle?
The most common kind of spider to find in your home is the common house spider. They are typically brown or gray in color and have darker markings along their bodies. The common house spider can be found in garages, basements, attics, crawl spaces, and other undisturbed areas.
What Is The Largest Spider in the Pacific Northwest?
The biggest spider in the Pacific Northwest is the giant house spider. While adult male spiders can have a up to 4-inch leg span, females are only about 2 inches in length. Though the giant house spider is very large, it is not aggressive and its bite is not venomous.