8 common spiders in Washington: Spider identification Washington


Spiders are fascinating creatures that play an important role in the ecosystem. They are found in a wide variety of habitats in Washington, from forests to deserts, and are an essential part of the food chain. While many people fear spiders, it is important to understand and appreciate these creatures for their ecological importance. However, it is also crucial to identify spiders accurately, as some species are venomous and can pose a risk to humans. In this outline, we will explore the physical characteristics of spiders, common spider species found in Washington, techniques for identifying spiders, and safety tips for handling them.

Common Spiders in Washington

Here are some descriptions of the common spiders found in Washington:

  1. Orb Weavers – These spiders are known for their circular, symmetrical webs. They have a round, plump abdomen and long, thin legs.
  2. Jumping Spiders – These spiders are small and compact, with a stocky body and short legs. They are known for their ability to jump long distances relative to their size.
  3. Crab Spiders – These spiders have a flattened body and long, thin legs. They are often found on flowers and plants, where they blend in with their surroundings to ambush prey.
  4. Wolf Spiders – These are large and hairy, with stout bodies and robust legs. They are active hunters that do not build webs, and they can often be found on the ground or in vegetation.
  5. Funnel Weavers – These spiders are known for their funnel-shaped webs. They have a brown, elongated body and short, stocky legs.
  6. Daddy Long Legs – These spiders have a small, oval-shaped body and long, thin legs. They are not venomous to humans, but they are often confused with the venomous cellar spider.
  7. Black Widow Spiders – These spiders have a shiny, black body with a distinctive red hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen. They are venomous and can pose a risk to humans.
  8. Hobo Spiders – These spiders have a brown, elongated body and long, thin legs. They are venomous and can also pose a risk to humans.

It is important to note that not all spiders found in Washington are listed here, and there may be other species in your area. It is always best to exercise caution when handling any spider and to seek expert help if you are unsure of its identity.

Spider identification Washington

Here are some techniques for identifying spiders:

  1. Observation of physical characteristics – Careful observation of a spider’s physical characteristics, such as the size, color, and shape of its body, legs, and eyes, can help in identifying the species. Take note of any distinctive markings or features that can be used to differentiate one species from another.
  2. Identification guides – Field guides and other identification resources can be useful in identifying spiders. Look for guides that are specific to your region and that include clear photos or illustrations of different species.
  3. Online resources – There are many online resources available for spider identification, including websites, forums, and social media groups. You can upload photos of the spider and ask for help from other members of the community or from experts in the field.
  4. Seek expert help – If you are unable to identify a spider on your own, or if you are dealing with a potentially dangerous species, it is best to seek help from an expert. Contact your local extension office, university entomology department, or a pest control professional for assistance.

Remember, when handling spiders, it is important to exercise caution and avoid touching or provoking them. If you are unsure of a spider’s identity or suspect it may be venomous, do not attempt to handle it yourself.

Safety Tips


Here are some safety tips for dealing with spiders:

  1. Precautions when handling spiders – If you need to handle a spider for identification or removal purposes, it is important to wear protective gloves and use a container or tool to capture the spider. Avoid touching the spider directly or provoking it, as this may cause it to bite.
  2. First aid for spider bites – If you are bitten by a spider, it is important to clean the bite wound with soap and water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if needed. If you develop severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth or throat, or chest pain, seek medical attention immediately.
  3. When to seek medical attention – Seek medical attention if you are bitten by a venomous spider or develop severe symptoms after a spider bite. Symptoms of a venomous spider bite may include redness, swelling, and pain at the bite site, as well as muscle cramps, sweating, and difficulty breathing. If you are unsure whether the spider is venomous, it is always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention.

Remember, not all spiders are venomous, and most spider bites are not serious. However, it is always best to exercise caution when dealing with spiders, particularly if you are unsure of their identity or if they are in a location where they may pose a risk to humans.


What kind of spiders are in Washington state?

Some common spiders found in Washington state include the giant house spider, hobo spider, black widow, yellow sac spider, and wolf spider, among others.

What is the most common house spider in Washington state?

The giant house spider (Eratigena atrica) is one of the most common house spiders found in Washington state. They are large, brown spiders often found in basements and garages.

Does Washington state have poisonous spiders?

Yes, Washington state has some species of venomous spiders, such as the black widow and hobo spider. However, they are not typically aggressive and bites are rare.


In conclusion, spiders are an important part of the ecosystem in Washington, and it is important to understand and appreciate these creatures. However, it is also crucial to be able to identify spiders accurately, as some species are venomous and can pose a risk to humans. Common spider species found in Washington include orb weavers, jumping spiders, crab spiders, wolf spiders, funnel weavers, daddy long legs, black widow spiders, and hobo spiders. With proper identification and safety precautions, you can coexist with spiders in Washington and appreciate the important role they play in the ecosystem.

Leave a Comment