Oregon may have at least 500 species of spiders, but there
is no current comprehensive list. Most spiders are small and rarely
encountered. There are approximately a dozen types frequently found in or near
residences. Most spiders in Oregon are not known to be dangerous.
All spiders have fangs and virtually all have venom however, only a few are either known or thought to have bites harmful to people. Spider bites are not common. You are not likely to receive more than one or two bites in a lifetime.
You may be bitten by a spider if you get too close or come
in contact with a spider. Spiders bite people in self-defense, but otherwise
have no interest in biting something they cannot eat.
If a spider bites
- It may be a dry bite, meaning there is no venom
- It may be a venomous bite and the amount of toxin will vary
from spider to spider, even bites within the same species
- Rarely, serious allergic reactions can occur
- If you see a spider bite you; try to save it for identification.
Identification will help to determine what type of treatment is needed. Spiders
can be delivered or mailed to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).
- If possible, don’t crush the spider.
- To kill the spider: Place it in a container and put it in
the freezer, or submerge the spider in rubbing alcohol in a small leak-proof container.
- To prepare a frozen spider for the mail: Place a tissue in
the container with the spider to prevent it from breaking. Allow for airflow in
the container if the spider is not completely dry because it will rot (e.g.
poke some holes in the container).
- To prepare a submerged spider for the mail: Spiders mailed
in rubbing alcohol need to be in leak-proof containers.
- All spiders mailed need to be in crush-proof container (e.g.
film canisters or pill bottles).
- Do not send live spiders in containers that you cannot see
through. Identifiers are not expecting a live spider and could be bitten if
they open the container.
How to avoid spider bites
Most spiders are not harmful and bites are not common,
however there are steps you can take to avoid being bitten.
Reduce the number of spiders in 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
- Shake your bath towels before using
- Use spider traps, which are most effective when placed on the floor in dark corners and under furniture. If not correctly placed, traps are not effective, but may trap and kill at least a few spiders.
Protect yourself from spiders outdoors
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves, long sleeved shirts, pants, and a hat
- Look before placing your hands on objects such as firewood, pots, outdoor furniture, rock walls, etc.
- Keep wood piles, shrubbery, and other objects away from the outer walls of your home
- Spraying pesticides is generally not very effective or necessary. Professional pest control may be helpful in a few circumstances.
Insects, bugs, spiders information
General information about Oregon insects and spiders that are of concern or of interest Website
Myths, misconceptions, and superstitions about spiders
Oregon Spiders: Facts and Fiction
Basic information on Oregon spiders (including the hobo) with photos. Document
Oregon Spiders: Hobo, Giant House, Black Widow, and Yellow Sac Spiders
General information about spider bites Website
University of California IPM Online - How to manage pests: Hobo spider
Hobo spider identification, medical aspects, management Website