While Washington State doesn’t have the same reputation for gigantic or deadly spiders as other parts of the country do, that doesn’t mean there aren’t quite a few spiders up here! Many people within the Puget Sound know August and September as “spider season.” During this time, it seems like spiders are coming from everywhere, scurrying across floors, and making homeowners incredibly nervous.
Many of these spiders often appear quite similar, as you see them year after year. That’s true! There are quite a few common spiders in the pacific northwest. Let’s look at the five most common spiders in Washington State, and then look at what you can do to eliminate them!
Giant House Spider
Found indoors primarily, the giant house spider (Eratigena atrica) is one of the most common spiders here in Washington State. These spiders can grow to be up to four inches long, and people frequently find them in garages and basements. While they may look spooky, these spiders are quite harmless and can be beneficial. They keep the population of other insects, like roaches, mosquitoes, and other bugs down. You’ll often see these spiders emerging towards the end of the summer when they are fully grown.
The funnel weaver (Tegenaria domestica) is another common spider in Washington State. Like the other spiders so far on this list, this one is mostly harmless. People often mistake it for the common house spider or the hobo spider. The only visual difference is that this spider has striped legs, whereas the other ones have solid colors on the legs. They’re brown in color and measure approximately 1-1.5 inches. The name comes from the distinctive funnel-shaped webs they weave.
Yellow Sac Spider
A sac spider bite will not kill you, but it will be excruciating. Many times, these spiders will be lurking in some part of your home, like your sheets or your laundry. Once you disturb them, they feel threatened and attempt to protect themselves by biting you. Again, if you’re bitten by one, it will hurt. However, it’s unlikely to cause any real damage.
Honorable Mention: Black Widow Spiders
Despite the reputation, most of the time, black widow bites are not life-threatening. They hurt, but you will recover. Young children are the exception to this rule, however. In younger children, black widow bites can be fatal, so you should get them to the ER doctor right away if you suspect one of these spiders bit your child. You can identify black widows by their characteristic black appearance and the hourglass underside.
Brown Recluses Do Not Live In Washington
When people hear the term “black widow,” they often think of another venomous spider whose bite can be excruciating and can result in a medical emergency – the brown recluse. These spiders do not live in Washington State, so if you see a spider that looks like it (and since many spiders are brown, many of them do), you needn’t fear it’s a brown recluse.
Getting Rid of These Most Common Spiders in Washington State
Much like other parts of the world, many spiders live amongst us here in Washington. Fortunately, most of them are harmless. Some of them are beneficial in the sense that they keep the population of other insects down.