What Are These Creepy Looking Giant House Spiders?
If you live in the Pacific coastal areas along Canada and the US states of Washington and Oregon, just west of the Cascade Mountains, running into a giant house spider is a real possibility. Also known as Eratigena atrica, this spider is part of the genus Eratigena and the family Agelenidae. While the appearance is menacing, the danger is less than most people realize. Here are some basics that you need to know before your next encounter.
What Do Giant House Spiders Look Like?
The most striking aspect of this kind of spider is its size. Compared to other spider species, giant house spiders are rather large. Males have a leg span of four inches, while females have leg spans of two inches.
You’ll find that some giant house spiders have bodies that are brown while others have a burnt orange shade. Some are also beige in color. Unlike other spiders, there are no bands of colors on the legs of giant house spiders. These spiders are likely to have mottled abdomens with a combination of gray, beige, and brown.
What Are a Giant House Spider’s Habits?
Giant house spiders tend to prefer darker spaces. Outside the home, they’re found under shrubs and flowers, in rock piles or logs, or other areas that provide shelter.
Inside, you’re most likely to see them along baseboards, in the basement, or in a cabinet. They do like damp areas as well. That means you may find one or more in the tub or the shower stall. Under the sink is another possibility.
Are They More Likely To Invade My Home During Certain Times Of The Year?
In the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA metro areas, the greatest chance for a home invasion is in the late summer and early autumn. Expect the invasion to include a combination of males and females.
They will look for dark spaces where they can create webs that resemble sheeting. The female attaches egg sacs to the web. Each of those sacs can contain up to 50 eggs. Only around 2% or less of those baby spiders will actually make it to adulthood.
How Dangerous Are Giant House Spiders?
People bitten by giant house spiders are likely to feel pain similar to that of a bee sting. There may be some swelling, but the bite will not contain enough venom to do any real harm. The exception is people with certain allergic reactions. If you do have an allergy, it’s a good idea to seek medical help at once. Anyone else can expect the discomfort and the swelling to subside within a few hours and certainly no more than a couple of days.
What Can I Do To Prevent A Giant House Spider Infestation?
First, get rid of the clutter. Clean out the attic, the basement, and any other areas of the house where giant house spiders could find a cozy and dark place to set up a home.
Next, look for any tiny cracks or other open spaces where the spiders could crawl in from outside. As you find those cracks, seal them at once.
Third, be mindful that these spiders may hitch a ride on boxes and other items that you bring into the home. Check for signs of spiders as you unpack containers.
If you have a serious giant house spider infestation, contact a pest control company, like Antworks. A technician will inspect your property and take the necessary actions to remove the spiders and prevent them from entering your home in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about giant house spiders, take a look at our Giant House Spider pest ID page.