If you are seeing large, brown, fast-moving spiders, you are probably seeing house spiders.  This group includes the hobo spider, giant house spider, and domestic house spider; all three species are found here.  All house spiders have brown bodies with long hairy legs and white markings on their back.  They are about 1” to 2” in diameter including legs.  Since there are many types of brown spiders in the Seattle and Tacoma metro areas looking for a place to spend the winter, it’s best to verify what you have. Bring a suspect spider to our office and we will verify what you have for no charge.

Only the hobo spider is known to be a potential threat to bite people.  Hobo spiders are poisonous and their bite is often confused with that of the brown recluse, which doesn’t live here.  Although the initial bite is like a slight prick, with some people not even knowing they’ve been bitten, other victims may have a severe reaction.  The usual reaction is a hard area develops, surrounded by a 2-6” reddened area, which may appear in less than 1/2 hour.  The area later blisters and a lesion will appear.  The tissue around the bite becomes necrotic and sloughs off; the wound then may become a deep pit.  It may take months to heal because the skin around it often dies and leaves a permanent scar.  Secondary infections are common without proper medical care.  Right after the bite some people experience a severe headache that lasts up to a week, or they may feel nauseous, weak or have impaired vision.

Here are some things you can do to limit spider visits inside:

•Check window screens and doors, and repair any holes in screens or gaps in weather stripping.

•Check firewood for silk egg sacs or spiders and remove them before bringing wood into your home.

•Remove spiders and webs from dark corners with a vacuum cleaner and empty the bag immediately.

•Don’t allow heavy shrubbery, trees or groundcover to grow against your house.

For long-term spider control, contact us for an estimate. Mention this article and receive $30 off your first visit of a pest prevention program. If you combine the steps mentioned above with our long-term program for control, spider visits inside drop dramatically, often to zero.