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Common Spiders of the Pacific Northwest

Seattle Area Spiders: What are the most common spiders in the Pacific Northwest?

There are 24 confirmed types of spiders that reside in the Pacific Northwest. We bring you the most common nuisance spiders that tend to build their webs in human environments: The Common House Spider, the Western Black Widow, the Hobo Spider, and the Yellow Sac Spider.

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Domestic House Spider.

The Common  House Spider

The most common by far is the Domestic House Spider. Because of its common features and color, this 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 sometimes known as House Spider is so-named because of 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.

For these reasons, spider pest control is commonly required by homeowners throughout the greater Seattle area. To learn more about proven, affordable spider removal services offered by Eastside Exterminators, call (425) 482-2100.

The Western Black Widow Spider: (Latrodoctus hesperus)

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Very poisonous, the notorious Western Black Widow is a common spider in the Seattle area.

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 the 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.

The Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis)

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, wood piles, 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.

Hobo Spider Bites Got a Bad Rap

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The infamous funnel-shaped web of the Hobo Spider.

When a Wolf Spider bites, it may not cause any immediate symptoms or reaction. So a person who has been bitten by a Wolf Spider may not realize it for quite some time. However, the bite can be serious and result in a very slow-healing wound and a permanent scar.

Once again, these spider bites are rare and usually happen when the spider is trapped against the skin. Their bites are rumored to cause necrotic bite wounds (where cells around the bite site die and rot), but there is no confirmed proof of this. Research has recently shown that hobo spider venom cannot cause severe cellular damage or a necrotic wound.

Though they are now known to not be as dangerous as other venomous spiders in our area, their nests are a nuisance and their presence is disturbing. Protect your home and your family from these spiders with professional pest control.

The Wolf Spider (Family Lycosidae)

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, shrub-lands, 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.

Yellow Sac Spiders (Cheiracanthium species)

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 a 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.

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Eastside Pest Management Professionals handle Spider Control and Spider Removal.

If you have a house spider infestation that you urgently need removed, Eastside Exterminators can help. Our pest control operators use the latest spider control methods to clear them and keep them out of people’s homes. To schedule our services, call us at (425) 482-2100 today.