Giant House Spiders

In Washington state, we have some pretty big spiders! The largest of these is the giant house spider or Eratigena atrica. Their most obvious characteristic is their large size–their leg spans can reach up to three inches. They’re not poisonous like another Washington resident, the black widow, but on rare occasions, may bite people. A giant house spider bite is the equivalent of a bee sting with localized pain and swelling but is not dangerous to humans.

What are Giant House Spiders

Giant House Spider - Whitworth Pest Solutions

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Giant house spiders prey on any insect they can subdue, including larger flying insects like bees and wasps. Because they are fast on their web and have powerful jaws for gripping, they can take down prey much larger than themselves. Common in and around buildings in Washington state, their webs are often found in the corner of a room, in garages and sheds, and under rocks and logs. Your first encounter may come when you find them stuck in your bathtub or sink when they climb into it for a drink of water! They can be identified by their pear-shaped brown body with darker brown or black patterning. Both the male and female look the same, but the male’s body is slightly smaller.

Giant House Spider vs. Hobo Spider

Giant house spiders perform a unique function in the home by keeping hobo spiders out of the house. They will out-compete them for food and displace them indoors. Males often kill hobo spiders without eating them.

How to Prevent Giant House Spiders

The best way to keep out giant house spiders is to make sure any large cracks, gaps, or crevices in your exterior siding are sealed. This will keep them from entering in search of a mate. Use your vacuum or a broom to remove the spiders, their webs, and egg sacs. Also, make sure to keep food sources to a minimum and remove any brush or leaf piles near your home.

When to Call an Exterminator

A single pair of giant house spiders can produce 60 baby spiders (spiderlings) or more per egg sac. Often you can tell if you have an infestation because you will see a large number of spiders in your home. This may be just a small portion of those present! If you live in the Puyallup, Washington area and suspect you may have an infestation, call the experts at Whitworth Pest Solutions. We’ll come and inspect your home, identify the problem, design a treatment plan, and make a follow-up visit to determine its success. Whitworth offers a variety of residential and commercial programs designed to keep your home or business pest-free!