There are over 500 species of spider found in the Pacific Northwest with new species being discovered every year.  All spiders share the same common physiotype of eight legs and two separate body regions. While spiders play a critical role in the balance of our ecosystems, they can cause discomfort and (for certain species) can be dangerous when they get inside our homes, buildings, and structures.

Spider Behavior

Spiders are a valuable part of our ecosystem.  They help control bug population of mosquitos, ants, and other insects that live in the areas surrounding our homes, gardens, and outdoor places.  They are welcome assets to gardners and people with mosquito problems.

That said, spiders can also become stressors when their webs block the entrances to our home or even worse, when they get inside our homes.

While a spider usually only bites when threatened, biting can take place involuntarily in the same way that one might incur a bee or wasp sting.  While most spider bites are harmless, some people can have allergic reactions when bitten.  There are also a few species of toxic spiders in the Pacific Northwest.

Common Spider Species

The following are the five most comon species of spider found in the Pacific Northwest.

Orb Weaver – The Orb-Weaver spider is the most common group of builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Their name comes from the round shape of their webs

Giant House – Giant house spiders reside in flowerbeds, woodpiles and other sheltered, outdoor areas. Inside, they can be found in dark crevices and basements. In feral conditions, giant house spiders are found near shorelines or woods, where they dwell beneath driftwood, logs and rocks.

Cellar Spider – The cellar spider is often found in damp locations like basements, crawl spaces and cellars.  They have a small body and very long legs and are often confused with the Harvester Spider or traditional “Daddy Long Legs”.

Yellow Sack Spider – Unlike most spiders, Yellow Sack Spiders do not spin webs but rather spin small silken sacks (hence their name) where they rest by day. By night tney are voracious hunters.

Hobo – The Hobo Spider is very similar to the Giant House Spider in appearance and hence, they are frequently mistaken for one another. While they are considered a venomous spider, the level of their toxicity is highly debated.