May 9, 2022

Spiders in Washington State - 5 Creepy Species

If you're a fan of spiders, Washington state is the place for you! With over 60 different species of spiders living in our borders, there's sure to be one that suits your fancy. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at five of the spiders you might encounter in Washington state. We'll provide facts about their appearances and behaviors, as well as what to do if you find one in your home. Stay safe and enjoy our creepy crawlers!

The American House Spider

Found all over North America, the American House Spider is typically brown or gray with a body length of about ⅜ an inch. These spiders are not typically considered dangerous to humans, but their bites can be painful.

If you see an American House Spider in your home, the best course of action is to capture it with a cup and release it outside, or even leave it alone! Unless there is a huge quantity of them hanging out in your home, you probably don't need a professional to take care of these.

However, if you have a lot of house spiders, it may be a sign of a more prevalent bug problem. Spiders are predators after all, and they will be found where there are plenty of bugs to eat! This goes for all of the other spiders on this list as well.

The Hobo Spider

These slightly poisonous spiders are brown and have a body length of about ½ an inch. These spiders are not considered to be significantly dangerous to most humans, but their poisonous bites can be painful. It is important to know that these spiders are often confused with brown recluses, which can in fact be poisonous.

Even though they aren't typically dangerous on their own, it's best to play it safe due to their visual similarities to the brown recluse. If you see multiple potential hobo spiders in your home, the best course of action is to contact your pest control professional for removal.

The Giant House Spider

These huge arachnids are very uncommon in North America, and are mostly found in Central and Northern Europe. However, due to the similar climate, these harmless giants have found homes in the Pacific Northwest and New England by hitching rides on cargo shipments over the past century.

They are brown and have a body length of about ⅝ an inch, with a leg length of up to 1 ½ inches, making them the largest spider in Northern Europe! These spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and they will typically avoid people and pets if they see them. They have non-dangerous bites, but will only do so if they feel positively cornered.

If you see a Giant House Spider in your home, the best course of action is usually to let it be! These spiders are great for taking care of other pesky insects, and unless it's bothering you or your pets, there's no need to remove it.

The Zebra Jumping Spider

Widespread throughout North America in both the wild and urban areas is the accurately named Zebra Jumping Spider. Known for their agility and big, beady eyes, they tend to primarily eat other spiders and mosquitos.

Zebra Jumping Spiders are black and white (as you could imagine) and have a smaller body length of about ¼ an inch. Unlike most jumping spiders, these are not considered dangerous to humans. However, their bites can penetrate toughest skin and can be quite painful, so we don't suggest playing around with them.

If you see a Zebra Jumping Spider in your home, the best course of action is to capture it with a cup and release it outside. Be careful not to scare it!

The Yellow Sac Spider

These spiders are a bright, translucent yellowish-green and have a body length of about ⅜ an inch and 1 inch legs.  Yellow Sac Spider bites are considered to be medically significant, and can be dangerous (but non-lethal) for many people. Getting bitten by a yellow sac won't kill you, but it can cause long term damage to the wound if left untreated.

These spiders can often be found indoors hunting for small bugs. They're quick and limber; they don't weave webs to trap prey, relying on their strength and agility.

If you see a Yellow Sac Spider in your home, the best course of action is to contact your pest control professional.

The Western Black Widow

Western Black Widows are black and have a body length of about ½ an inch and feature the iconic red hourglass symbol on their abdomens. These spiders are considered dangerous to humans, and their bites can be fatal if left untreated.

If you see a Western Black Widow in your home, the best course of action is to contact a professional for removal, because you do not want to risk getting bitten by one of these!

If you find one of these on your person, don't panic, and absolutely do not squish it. Simply brush them off swiftly and gently with paper or a similar object. If you squish them, they are more likely to bite when they're close to skin! If you suspect that you've been bitten by a black widow, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Here is some additional information about dangerous spider bites from the Washington State Department of Health.  

Washington state is also home to the less dangerous False Black Widow, which can be identified by their lack of red hourglass marking.  

Spiders are more of a nuisance than anything, and their bites can cause localized pain and swelling. If you see one of these in your home, the best course of action is usually to remove it using a tool that can move them without making contact with the handler.

There are many different types of spiders that call Washington state home, but don't let that scare you! The vast majority of them are harmless, and can even be beneficial to have around the house. But, as with anything, there are always a few exceptions.

If you think you've found one of the spiders on this list in your home, make sure to follow the best course of action for removal! And if you're ever unsure, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at Zunex Pest Control. With the tools an experience, we have everything it takes to keep your home pest free.

By Bridget Ambrose

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