Spiders – Creepy, Crawly, and Often Unwelcome

Everything serves a purpose in the world and in the pest universe, spiders might have more of a purpose than most. In a nutshell, certain spiders can help keep down populations of other pests. This generality holds true for the Portland area spider species.

Small SpiderThat being said, when a 1 1/2 inch wide or larger Giant House Spider is sharing your pillow every night or staring at you from a foot away on the sofa, many folks decide that it’s time to have a little space to his or herself.

There are hundreds if not thousands of spider species in the Portland area, spanning the spectrum from beneficial, to annoying but harmless, to moderately harmful. Fortunately, we do not have any of the extremely dangerous species, despite the occasional claims of a black widow or brown recluse popping up.

There are two primary groupings of spiders common found inside of Portland area homes; wandering spiders and web-building spiders.

Wandering Spiders do not trap their prey in webs. While they do build silky, web-like homes for molting and laying eggs, they either prowl about looking for prey or find a good hiding spot and pounce upon their victims.

Web Building SpiderWeb-building Spiders, as their name implies, these spiders build webs and utilize them for catching their prey. For the most part, they tend to spend a lot of time in their web. Some will build webs the catch flying insects while others will place webs to catch crawling insects.

Following are a few of the most common types of spiders in both categories that we encounter:

Giant House Spiders (web-building.) Look for these monsters of the spider kingdom to be just about everywhere that human traffic is minimal – in boxes, closets, storage areas and garages. They can really startle you if you haven’t seen one before, with sizes occasionally exceeding 2 inches across.

Yellow Sac Spiders (wandering.)   These prefer to do most of their hunting at night. They are not an exclusively indoor spider and can often be found outside in shrubs and under board or rocks. While we do not like to sell fear and get folks overly concerned about spider bites, this species is one of the Portland area’s most likely to do so if put in tight quarters with a human. Most spiders have no interest in biting humans and can’t open their mouths wide enough to bite us. Despite it’s ability to bite, a Yellow Sac Spider’s size is relatively small, ranging from 3/16 inch to just under 1/2 inch.

Daddy Long LegsLong-Bodied Cellar Spiders (web-building.) This spider is often incorrectly thought to be a Daddy Long-legs (which technically are not even spiders) due to their long, gangly legs shooting out from a body that can be up to 7/16 inch long. You will find them in corners in dark or dim rooms and other structure locations that get very little traffic. These spiders are more of a threat to other spiders than humans.

Ground Spiders (wandering.) If you’ve ever tried to grab or squish a dark brown, almost black spider up to 1/2 inch in size, only to have it race away out of reach, it was likely a Ground Spider (also referred to as a Mouse Spider.) These speedy spiders, most active in spring, chase down their victim in a life or death foot race. They often win, seeing as they have 8 feet, so to speak!

Hobo Spiders (web-building.) The Hobo, also called the Aggressive House Spider, is commonly confused with being a Brown Recluse Spider. Fortunately, they are considerably less harmful. While in certain situations, the bite of a Brown Recluse can be deadly, a Hobo bite, in addition to being rare, might cause sickness and necrosis (damaging and killing) of the localized tissue.   Hobos, brown in color and 1/2 to 3/4 inch in size, are often found in dark, moist areas.

One final word on spiders in general. At All Pest Control, we are big about having the proper perspective for all pest problems. Regarding spiders, it is critical for homeowners to realize that due to the individual nature of spiders once they have hatched, neither us nor any other pest control company is ever going to eradicate spiders completely from your property. New ones are always going to crawl or blow in. However, what we offer that is of considerable value is the ability to drastically reduce their immediate population and occurrence over a specified period of time. Best results for spider control are always achieved through regular, periodic pest maintenance.

If the amount of spiders in your home has hit a threshold in which you are ready for there to be a lot less of them, pick up the phone, mouse and keyboard, or tap your phone/tablet screen and contact us today.