17 Types of Spiders in Washington That You Might See

types of spiders in Washington
Photo by Dev Leigh

A common concern when you live in Washington State is the fear of being bitten by one of our many spiders. Fear of spiders has even been given the nickname arachnophobia, which means the fear of spiders.

 So, if you’re worried about coming into contact with one of our 27 types of spiders in Washington, here are some things to consider: how dangerous are they?

Which are poisonous? What kind of symptoms do they cause? What can you do to avoid getting bitten? Read on to learn more!

1. Cross Orbweaver

Cross Orbweavers, sometimes called cross spiders or garden spiders, these types of spiders in Washington are often mistaken for black widows.

However, they do not have a large red hourglass on the underside of their abdomens, and they generally will not bite humans unless provoked. They are typically found in gardens and fields but will sometimes venture indoors. 

Cross Orbweavers build huge webs that may be seen at night because the silk is very reflective due to the cross-shaped webbing pattern.

These types of spiders in Washington have no venomous bite but can deliver a painful bite if it feels threatened.

2. Giant House Spider

The Giant House Spider is one of the most common types of spiders in Washington. It is often mistaken for a tarantula, but they are not related. They have a leg span of up to six inches and can be found throughout the United States.

 Unlike other house spider species, Giant House Spiders do not construct webs for catching prey; instead, they wait until night falls to search for food.

The spider’s bite is venomous and painful but not deadly. If you find this type of spider in your home or garden, contact a pest control specialist to help remove it from your property because it will likely stay put until nightfall.

3. Zebra Jumping Spider

The Zebra Jumping Spider is the smallest in North America. It is also one of the most colorful. These types of spiders in Washington are native to Texas and Oklahoma.

Still, they have been found as far north as southern Canada and throughout the west coast from California to British Columbia. Their body is about 1/4 inch long, with a leg span reaching up to 3 inches wide.

They are black and white with yellow stripes on their abdomen, legs, and head. A zebra jumping spider’s eyesight is not very good, so it relies heavily on its sense of touch. 

The zebra jumping spider’s diet consists mainly of insects such as ants, grasshoppers, beetles, dragonflies, flies, and bees.

4. Goldenrod Crab Spider

These types of spiders in Washington are usually found during the fall months. It has a hairy body with yellow and black stripes on its abdomen. As the name suggests, these spiders can be found near goldenrod plants. 

These spiders are not aggressive towards humans but will bite if provoked or stepped on. If you happen to get bitten by one of these spiders, it will likely cause minor itchiness and redness at the site of the bite.

The Goldenrod Crab Spider gets its name from its preferred habitat: flower patches and crabgrass fields. If you’re looking for one, just wear boots that go up past your ankles, so you don’t accidentally step on them! 

5. Bold Jumping Spider

The Jumping Spider (Salticus scenicus) is a fascinating spider that can jump distances up to five times its body length and three times its height.

It is named for the way it moves: first, it stops moving all its legs at once, then it raises each leg in turn, giving a jumpy effect.

Unlike most other spiders, Jumping Spiders do not make webs to catch prey. Instead, they lie still on the ground or vegetation and wait for their victims to come close.

When the victim approaches within jumping range, the spider suddenly jumps onto them and bites with two fangs that inject venom into its prey’s body. The venom paralyzes its victim within about thirty seconds or less!

6. Long-Bodied Cellar Spider

Long-bodied cellar spiders are found worldwide and tend to live in dark, damp areas. These types of spiders in Washington are typically not dangerous and will only bite humans when they are provoked or feel threatened.

Long-bodied cellar spiders have brown bodies with long, thin legs, small heads, and a round abdomen.

 The female can grow up to four inches long while the males remain small at around one inch. Males often have an orange or yellow stripe down their backs, which is absent in females.

The long-bodied cellar spider is common throughout Washington State and can be found living under logs, rocks, or piles of leaves outside and inside homes near dark areas like basements or bathrooms.

7. False Black Widow

The false black widow is a type of spider found in the Pacific Northwest region. It gets its name from looking similar to the black widow, but it does not have a red hourglass on the underside of its abdomen.

These spiders are typically found near forest edges and open areas with low vegetation. They spin webs close to the ground and often ambush their prey rather than build webs to catch it.

The false black widow’s venom isn’t strong enough to kill humans or pets, but it can cause dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps for about two hours after being bitten. False black widows are typically not aggressive and will only bite if threatened.

8. Common Candy-Striped Spider

Common Candy-Striped Spider is a fairly large types of spiders in Washington and can range in color from pale yellow to dark brown. It often has white or light brown stripes on its abdomen.

The Common Candy-Striped Spider lives near the ground, hiding in the leaf litter or under rocks and debris during the day.

 It is a nocturnal hunter, coming out at night to prey on insects like crickets, beetles, and grasshoppers. They often will wait at the edge of a bush for prey to come close enough for it to pounce on. 

The females lay their eggs near water – like ponds or streams – which provides protection from drying out and allows hatchlings access to food sources such as snails and other small aquatic invertebrates.

9. California Flattened Jumping Spider

This spider is relatively large, with a leg span reaching up to six inches. It is one of the most common jumping spiders found in North America.

The female spider has a rounder abdomen than the male. When threatened, this spider flattens its body and waves its legs around to appear larger and more threatening.

10. Johnson’s Jumping Spider

It is not uncommon to find Johnson’s jumping spiders perched on the side of a building or the bark of a tree. They are often mistaken for green tree frogs, but their large, round abdomen can recognize them.

Male jumping spiders have an orange-brown body and a dark head with white stripes. Females are light brown with dark spots on their backs.

11. Mouse Spider

The Mouse Spider is one of the most common types of spiders in Washington. They’re found all over the state but are most common in drier regions and near water sources.

These spiders have a brown-gray abdomen with lighter gray stripes and a dark brown head with red or pink stripes. 

Their size ranges from two to four inches. The Mouse Spider doesn’t usually bite humans unless they are pressed against our skin, or we step on them, but they eat other insects like flies, mosquitos, and beetles.

So if you see a Mouse Spider while hiking or camping out, don’t panic! They won’t hurt you unless provoked or stepped on.

12. Sierra Dome Spider

This spider is quite large and often lives under rocks and logs. The coloration on its body ranges from light brown to dark brown, although the head is always a lighter shade than the rest of its body.

These spiders are not aggressive, but they will bite if threatened. They prefer to live near water sources and can be found throughout eastern Washington state.

13. Grass Spiders

Grass spiders are so named because they often hunt their prey on the ground. They typically have a furry-looking body, with markings ranging from light to dark browns.

These spiders are very common in the Pacific Northwest region and range from 1/4 to 1/2 in size.

Grass spiders are not aggressive unless provoked or accidentally stepped on. When disturbed, they usually run for cover rather than bite aggressively like other types of spiders.

14. Eurasian Running Crab Spider

The Eurasian running crab spiders are common types of spiders in Washington. They are often found on rocks, grasses, and leaves underside. 

Its six-inch leg span and dark brown coloration with light stripes and red markings on its abdomen can be identified.

The crab spider typically has an average leg span of 3/4 inches, but they can extend their legs to up to 6 inches in length to capture prey.

15. Northern Yellow Sac Spider

The Northern Yellow Sac Spider is one of the most common types of spiders in Washington. They are typically about 3/4 to 1 inch long and can be yellow or red-orange with black spots.

These spiders can live for up to two years and are often found under logs, rocks, and other debris on the forest floor. 

They build a thick web during the day that is normally hidden from sight by a sheetlike structure called a signal thread which it uses to alert prey that it has captured them. 

Unlike many types of spiders, these do not lay eggs but give birth to their offspring through live birth instead of an egg sac.

16. Western Black Widow

The Western Black Widow is also one of the most common types of spiders in Washington. They are black with a red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. The female black widow’s abdomen is usually larger and rounder than the male’s. 

They can be found throughout the state but have been spotted mostly in moist areas like under rocks and logs or outside buildings.

Black widows’ webs are messy and may be sticky to the touch. However, there have been reports of them being found inside homes, especially if it’s humid during summer.

17. Silver-Sided Sector Spider

The silver-sided sector spider, or Araneus argentatus as it is formally known, is one of the largest types of spiders in Washington.

They are identifiable by their silver markings, and large webs often found on trees. The silver-sided sector spider is only dangerous to humans if they get too close.

Their fangs are not long enough to penetrate human skin, so they cannot deliver venomous bites. Therefore, they will leave you alone if you leave them alone.

Conclusion

Even though every spider in Washington and the entire planet is poisonous, these types of spiders in Washington’s venom are made to paralyze their prey.

Most spider bites, except the female black widow, are no worse than bee stings, with localized pain and swelling that resolves within a day or two.

Seek emergency medical assistance if you are unsure of what kind of spider bit you, are having trouble breathing, or the discomfort is not restricted to the bite site.

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