We shared a post about a similar (Hobo) spider earlier this year, but that might not be the only oversized arachnid housemate you encounter this fall.

Male giant house spider. Photo by Thomas Shanan, Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Meet the giant house spider, Eratigena atrica, another large spider introduced from Europe. The giant house spider, like the hobo spider, likes to set up shop indoors. They’ve been reported in residences throughout western Oregon and Washington (here’s an iNaturalist observation right here in Corvallis), and you’re most likely to have noticed one recently because the males emerge to actively search for mates in the early fall.

Despite their fearsome appearance, giant house spiders don’t pose a threat to people. Their reputation is to hide or flee rather than to bite. They’re generally nocturnal, so you’re most likely to surprise one when you flip on the lights and it goes scrambling for cover! Another common spot to encounter them is trapped in your sink or tub because these web-building spiders aren’t gifted climbers.

Although they’re harmless house guests, it’s understandable that you’d rather keep these long-legged predators in the great outdoors. Here are a few collected tips to keep spiders out of your home:

  • make sure any small cracks and openings to your home are well sealed
  • remove spider webs from the foundation, eaves, windows, and door frames of your home
  • install good window screens
  • install rubber, plastic or brush gaskets underneath doors that lead outdoors or into garages and basements
  • seal gaps in window frames with weather stripping, wood putty, or sealant; seal gaps around plumbing with construction foam
  • watch for spiders if you bring firewood, potted plants, or other objects in from outside
  • vacuum regularly and vacuum any visible spiders
  • keep bedding several inches above the floor
  • shake clothes and shoes before wearing and shake your bath towels before using
  • Use sticky spider traps. Traps are most effective when placed on the floor in dark corners and under furniture

Resources