Poisonous Spiders in Oregon: Spider identification Oregon


Welcome to our guide on spider identification in Oregon! Oregon is home to a diverse range of spider species, including both harmless and potentially dangerous ones. Spiders are important members of the ecosystem, helping to control insect populations and serving as a food source for other animals. However, their presence can also cause fear and anxiety for some people. That’s why it’s important to be able to identify spiders and understand their behaviors.

In this blog, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks for Spider identification Oregon, including the most common species and their physical characteristics. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking to overcome arachnophobia, this guide will help you learn more about the spiders in Oregon.

Poisonous Spiders in Oregon

Oregon is home to several species of venomous spiders, including:

  1. Black Widow Spider – The black widow is a shiny black spider with a red hourglass-shaped marking on its abdomen. They are typically found in dark, secluded areas such as garages, sheds, and woodpiles. The venom of a black widow spider can cause muscle pain, cramps, and nausea, and can be dangerous for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
  2. Hobo Spider – While not as venomous as the black widow, the hobo spider is still considered potentially dangerous. They are brown spiders with chevron-shaped markings on their abdomens, and they build funnel-shaped webs in corners of homes. Their venom can cause tissue damage and sometimes lead to necrosis, although bites are rare.
Hobo spider

3. Brown Recluse Spider – While not as common in Oregon as in other parts of the country, the brown recluse spider can still be found in the state. They are light brown with a distinctive violin-shaped marking on their backs. Their venom can cause tissue necrosis and sometimes lead to more serious complications.

It’s important to note that bites from these spiders are rare and typically occur only when the spider feels threatened or cornered. If you suspect that you have been bitten by a venomous spider, seek medical attention immediately.

Common house spiders in Oregon

Oregon is home to many different species of spiders, including some that commonly make their way into homes. Here are some of the most common house spiders you may encounter in Oregon:

  1. Hobo Spider – Also known as the “aggressive house spider,” the hobo spider is a brown spider that is about the size of a quarter. They typically build funnel-shaped webs in corners of homes and are considered venomous, although their bites are rarely dangerous.
  2. Yellow Sac Spider – These small, pale yellow spiders are commonly found inside homes, especially in the fall and winter. They don’t typically build webs, but instead, hunt for prey at night. Their bites can be painful but are usually not serious.
  3. Giant House Spider – As their name suggests, these spiders are larger than most other house spiders and can be quite alarming to encounter. They are typically brown or gray and have long, skinny legs. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are not considered dangerous to humans.
Giant House Spider

4. Daddy Longlegs – While not technically a spider, these arachnids are often mistaken for one due to their eight legs. Daddy longlegs has small bodies and very long, thin legs, and they are commonly found in homes throughout Oregon. They are not venomous and pose no danger to humans.

These are just a few of the most common house spiders in Oregon, but there are many other species you may come across. Remember that most spiders are harmless and can even be beneficial in controlling insect populations, so it’s generally best to avoid killing them unless absolutely necessary.

Common Garden Spiders in Oregon

There are several species of spiders that are commonly found in gardens throughout Oregon. Here are some of the most common garden spiders you might encounter:

  1. Orb Weaver Spider – Orb weavers are a family of spiders that build distinctive circular webs with radiating spokes. These spiders are generally harmless to humans and can be beneficial in controlling garden pests.

2. Wolf Spider – Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders that are often found on the ground or on low-growing plants in gardens. They are active hunters and don’t typically build webs. While their appearance can be intimidating, they are not dangerous to humans.

3. Jumping Spider – Jumping spiders are small, brightly colored spiders that are known for their ability to leap long distances. They are often found on leaves and flowers in gardens and are not considered dangerous to humans.

4. Crab Spider – Crab spiders are named for their crab-like appearance and ability to move sideways. They are ambush hunters and can change color to match their surroundings. These spiders are generally harmless to humans.

Habitat of Spiders in Oregon

Spiders in Oregon can be found in a wide range of habitats, from forests and fields to homes and gardens. Different species of spiders have adapted to different environments and have unique preferences when it comes to where they build their webs or burrows. Here are some common habitats where you might find spiders in Oregon:

  1. Forests – Many species of spiders in Oregon can be found in forests, where they build webs in the underbrush, on tree trunks and branches, and in other protected areas.
  1. Fields – Open fields and meadows can also be home to many different species of spiders, which build their webs close to the ground where they can catch passing insects.
  2. Gardens – Gardens and other landscaped areas can provide a habitat for spiders, especially those that prefer to build webs on plants and flowers.
  3. Homes – Some spider species are common in homes throughout Oregon, where they seek out warm, dark areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
  4. Wetlands – Wetlands and marshy areas can be home to many species of spiders, which build webs on plants or on the ground near water sources.

Identification Methods of Spiders in Oregon

Identifying spiders in Oregon can be challenging, as there are many different species that can look quite similar. However, there are several methods that can be used to help identify spiders:

  1. Web type – The type of web that a spider builds can be a helpful clue in identifying the species. For example, orb-weaver spiders build circular webs with radiating spokes, while funnel weaver spiders build flat webs with a funnel-shaped retreat.
  2. Physical characteristics – Examining the spider’s physical characteristics can also be helpful in identification. Look at the color, size, shape of the abdomen, and the presence or absence of markings. Some spiders have distinctive characteristics, such as the black widow’s red hourglass-shaped marking.
  3. Range and habitat – Knowing the range and habitat of a spider can also help narrow down the possibilities for identification. Different spider species have different geographic ranges and preferred habitats.
  4. Online resources – There are several online resources that can help with spider identification, such as BugGuide and iNaturalist. These sites allow users to upload photos and receive help with identifying the spider.

Diet of Spiders in Oregon

The diet of spiders in Oregon varies depending on the species, but most spiders feed on insects and other small arthropods. Some common prey items for Oregon spiders include flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles, and other spiders. Some larger spider species, such as wolf spiders and fishing spiders, may even prey on small vertebrates such as frogs and lizards.

Spiders use their webs or hunting skills to capture their prey, and some species may also scavenge on dead insects or other organic matter. Overall, spiders play an important role in controlling insect populations and are an important part of the ecosystem in Oregon.

Webs of Spiders in Oregon


The webs of spiders in Oregon vary in shape, size, and complexity depending on the species. Some spiders, such as orb-weavers, build large, circular webs with radiating spokes that are designed to catch flying insects. Other spiders, such as funnel weavers, build flat webs with a funnel-shaped retreat where the spider hides and waits for prey to stumble into the web.

Some spiders, such as wolf spiders, do not build webs at all but instead actively hunt for their prey. Spiders use their webs as a tool to capture and immobilize their prey, and may also use them for shelter and protection. Overall, the webs of spiders in Oregon are an important adaptation that allows them to survive and thrive in their unique habitats.


What is the most common spider in Oregon?

The most common spider in Oregon is likely the Western spotted orb-weaver (Neoscona oaxacensis), which is known for its distinctive spotted abdomen and its large, circular webs.

What spiders in Oregon are poisonous?

The black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) and the hobo spider (Eratigena agrestis) are two spiders in Oregon that are considered venomous and can pose a potential health risk to humans.

What is the deadliest creature in Oregon?

The deadliest creature in Oregon is the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), which can be found in eastern and southern parts of the state and can deliver a potentially lethal venomous bite.


In conclusion, identifying spiders in Oregon can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With a diverse range of habitats and species, there are many unique characteristics to observe and appreciate. By understanding the common spider species, their habitats, diets, and web-building behaviors, we can gain a greater appreciation for these fascinating creatures and their important role in the ecosystem. If you’re interested in identifying spiders in Oregon, there are several methods you can use, including examining physical characteristics, web type, range, and habitat, and utilizing online resources. Remember to exercise caution when handling spiders, as some species can be venomous, and always observe from a safe distance.

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