Expert Contributor - Scott Dideon

It’s a beautiful fall day in the Puget Sound area. As you are coming out of your home ready to enjoy one of the last days left of sunshine for this year, you abruptly get hit in the face with a massive spider web.

We have all been there.
So, whether it is dodging the spider webs in the morning as you are heading to your car, or hearing a little pitter patter on your kitchen floor at night (yes, some clients claim spiders do that), Green City Pest Control has a plan and strategic treatments to help address the spiders before they get the upper hand.Orb Weaver Spider building a web

September and October are usually the heaviest months for activity in our area. However, seasonal weather can play an instrumental role as to when the egg cases hatch and we first start to see the spiders around our homes. Because our programs are now monthly; it allows us to stay on top of the webbing more quickly and be targeted in our treatments.

At times, using sticky traps inside the home will help intercept the wandering spiders that would come in as the weather starts to get colder. If you are seeing an increase in spider activity, let us know and we will help develop a specific plan for your house to reduce any activity.

The pest control industry is limited in the amount of a product that can be used and the locations of where it can be properly applied. For the most part, a monthly program allows us to adapt our treatments and keep any spider activity at a manageable level.

Steps that a Homeowner Can Make to Reduce Spiders:

  1. Maintain an 18-inch distance from your landscaping and your home. This not only helps in managing other pests’ rodents and ants) but with spiders it encourages spiders to stay in the bushes instead of going into your home.
  2. Insects are usually drawn to a home because of the lights. Spiders are drawn to the insects. By using light bulbs with a softer to yellow light, this can decrease the attractiveness of your home to insects and spiders.
  3. Mount security lights away from doors and use motion detectors. Security around the home is critical, but if the lights are intermittent (depending upon motion or they are timed), then this significantly decreases the insects and spiders.  Commercial properties often will place the lights away from the door but shining in the direction of the doorway.
    This pulls insects and spiders away from the entrances while giving proper security.

Spiders in the Pacific Northwest and Health Concerns:

Brown Recluse or Hobo Spiders

One of the most common questions that we are asked is, “Are there Brown Recluse spiders in our area?”  Despite decades of searching for them, researchers have never encountered one in Washington state (like Big Foot). Occasionally people will experience “bites” that show necrosis tissue (like that of a brown recluse bite), and for a while it was thought that was due to another spider called the Hobo spider (which was erroneously called the “Aggressive House Spider” for a while). But current research seems to indicate that the necrosis wounds people have experienced in Washington State is most likely due to bacterial infections rather than a mystery spider or insect. I know, somehow that doesn’t seem to catch the headlines as much as a “Possible Brown Recluse Bite in Seattle”.

Black Widow Spiders

While not native to our area, there have been documented cases of black widow spiders appearing in the Puget Sound area. This is likely to them being brought in with landscaping or construction material. There is reason to believe that in a couple of cases they may have survived a generation or two. But despite this, they would be considered extraordinarily rare and in general they are not aggressive and rarely bite people even when provoked. There are many spiders that look similar to a black widow (false black widow), without the red or yellow markings on the abdomen, they are not a health concern.

Orb Weavers

These are our nemesis. They are the ones that typically will stay outside lying in wait for someone to face plant into their webbing as they walk out the front door. Despite how scary they look, they don’t bite. Most pest control applications around a home are designed to keep these numbers down.

Giant House Spiders, Hobo Spiders, Cellar Spiders

These different species are the ones that are encountered occasionally inside garages and basements and will construct small webs in those areas. Despite confusion in the past, none of these spiders seem to be aggressive or even able to bite humans. Using sticky traps and occasionally removing their webs seems to keep their numbers in check.

Wolf Spiders and Nursery Web Spiders

These spiders fall in a group often called “hunting” spiders, because they will occasionally wander inside a home looking for insects and other spiders to eat. While these spiders can bite, the bites usually cause a reaction like a mosquito bite. As with any small skin wound, we would recommend using an anti-biotic cream and watching to make sure it doesn’t get infected.

While spiders can be a slight health concern in the Seattle area, despite what some of the news articles might say, they
are more of a nuisance pest and can be managed well under a regular monthly program. If you have additional
questions or need assistance with them, please feel free to give us a call.

You can contact our office at 425-413-9700
to ask any questions about how to prevent these little critters

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