Spider Control: How to Get Rid of Spiders

Spiders (Araneae: Arachnida)

Spiders are predators that feed on insects and other small animals. Some species of spiders seldom enter houses, otherwise are quite commonly found indoors. Except for webbing and droppings, spiders will not damage a house or its contents. All spiders have venom, and if large enough, they are capable of biting. They will not usually bite  people unless carelessly handled. Although the bite of most spiders is harmless to most people, the bite of the black widow spider, which is found primarily in eastern Washington, can cause a serious reaction.

Contact Us

General Facts/Information of Spiders

Spiders are almost wholly beneficial animals; they are predators that feed on various types of insects, mites, and other small animals. Almost all species have poison glands but only a few can cause severe injury or death to humans who unknowingly encounter them. The two most talked about spiders that are injurious to people are the black widow and brown recluse. Both the black widow and brown recluse is found in Washington.

Black Widow Spider

In Washington, a a single species, known as the black widow or "hourglass" spider is feared and dangerous. The female spider is easily recognized by a jet-black, globular body with a red hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen. Black widows spin amorphous webs of coarse silk in dark places, generally out-of-doors. Trash, rubble piles, and littered areas are most favored by the black widow. Outbuildings such as privies, sheds, and garages may be infested, as well as crawl spaces, cellars, and basements. The webs are usually built near the ground, occasionally within dwellings, but normally under or around houses and in nearby littered areas.

The female black widow is shy and nocturnal in habit. She is not aggressive and often may tolerate extreme provocation without attempting to bite. Most commonly the bites are inflicted on persons using old-fashioned out door privies. Also, laborers or householders moving lumber and rubble from infested areas may accidentally imprison the spiders with their fingers and be subsequently bitten.

The Black Widow's Bite: The venom of the black widow is a nerve toxin. The first sensation is the pinprick sharp insertion of the fangs, usually followed by a burning sensation for a few minutes.

Brown Recluse Spider (Fiddleback or Violin Spider)

In Washington, a second spider has been shown to bite and cause a serious condition in humans. The name "brown recluse" indicates both the color and retiring habit of the species, which lives in cracks, crevices, and under furniture. It spins a rather irregular web near the shelter. The color varies from a light fawn to a dark, almost chocolate brown. The body is covered by very dense but short hair that no the unaided eye appears bare. The brown recluse can be found in or near houses or outbuildings.

Bite of the Brown Recluse: The typical reaction in humans following a bite by the brown recluse is delayed necrosis (or tissue death) at the site of the bite. The venom of the brown recluse is said to be hemolytic poison.

Hobo Spider (Aggressive House Spider)

In all likelihood, the most common house spiders found in western Washington is the aggressive house spider. The hobo spider belongs to a family of spiders, commonly called the funnel-web spiders or funnel weavers because they build funnel webs in dark, moist areas (often in basements) and sit in the mouth of the funnel waiting for prey.When prey (usually an insect) becomes entangled in the web, vibrations from its struggle alert the spider, which dashes out to bite the prey. The hobo spider, is one of the most common spiders found in houses in the Pacific Northwest. It can be generally be found in basements and window wells of houses. House spiders are capable of surviving for several months without food or water in very dry habitats, which often exist in homes.

Bite of the Hobo Spider: The venom from hobo spiders produce skin injuries or lesions. The initial bite is not painful, described as producing a very slight pricking sensation. The area of the bite will redden and blister.

Other Spiders

There are many other species of spiders in Washington, some of which are capable of inflicting painful bites. The toxicity of the venom of each species is largely unknown. Spider experts indicate that the victim's age, sensitivity, health, and possibly other factors are equally as important as the venom itself. Spiders, in general, should be avoided so that the risk of bite is reduced. It is important to note, spiders are almost wholly beneficial animals; they are predators that feed on various types of insects, mites, and other small animals. Almost all species have poison glands but only a few can cause severe injury or death to humans who unknowingly encounter them.

Pest Fighter pest control company is a professional, licensed and insured pest control operator (PCO) located in the Greater Seattle area, serving King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County. Pest Fighter not only prevents pest problems, but we offer an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solution for both treating pest problems and monitoring for the presence of pests and pest damage. For help in controlling spiders in your area of Washington, contact your local Pest Fighter or pest control operator (or PCO).