360.859.9090 | 503.405.4300

Oregon is home to many different types of spiders—over 500 species of spiders call Oregon home! Spiders have managed to develop a bad reputation over time, mostly due to their looks and potentially venomous bite. I mean, who thought it was a good idea to have eight legs AND eight eyes? Many people find spiders creepy, even terrifying.

The good news is that most of the spiders found in Lake Oswego homes are harmless. A spider problem can be easily remedied as part of a process with the help of a skilled pest control service.

What causes spiders to come indoors?

Contrary to popular belief, most spiders don’t prefer to be indoors. The majority of homes and businesses are too clean and too warm for a spider’s liking. Many times spiders are found indoors for one of two reasons:

  • The spiders have ventured inside to feed on other insects in the home
  • Humans have inadvertently brought the spiders indoors

 

How do I prevent spiders from entering my home?

Spiders often find their way indoors through openings in the exterior of the home. It’s impossible to completely eliminate the potential for spiders to enter the home, however, there are some tactics that will help to prevent a spider problem.

  • Seal the home by using caulk around windows and doors to fill gaps
  • Ensure vents have screens and screens are in good shape with no holes
  • Ensure window screens are in good condition with no holes or tears
  • Turn off outdoor lights, which do not attract spiders, but DO attract the insects that spiders feed on.
  • Consider switching to low sodium vapor lights which have been proven to attract fewer insects

Some spiders appear indoors because humans bring them inside.

If you’ve never had a spider problem and then all of the sudden you notice a bunch of spiders running around—there is a good chance that the spiders hitched a ride on a Christmas tree, an outdoor plant, or a pile of firewood. Or perhaps there has been recent construction and excavation of ground in your area.

Most spiders in the Pacific Northwest prefer to be outdoors. In fact, house spiders are fairly uncommon as they must be adapted to a poor food supply, a very limited water supply, and a consistently warm climate.

Outdoor spiders do not get cold. It is a common myth that spiders come indoors seeking warmth. Many Pacific Northwest spiders actually have a type of antifreeze in their bodies that protects them from harsh temperatures.

Are Lake Oswego area house spiders dangerous?

One of the most common house spiders in the Pacific Northwest is the Domestic House Spider, aka Tegeneria Domestica. The Domestic House Spider is tiny, usually less than ¼”  long and it is a light brownish gray color with varying markings. This spider does not bite often and its bite is not dangerous. The spider is more of a nuisance than anything else, as it is constantly building webs. The webs can be made more visible as dust begins to collect on them.

The only truly dangerous spider in Oregon is the Black Widow Spider. The Black Widow is recognizable by the red hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. Black Widows are rarely found indoors as these spiders prefer dark and cool habitats, like wood piles. And even these scarier spiders rarely bite unless they are pushed up against the skin when firewood is being carried or stacked.

Not long ago The Brown Widow spider created quite a scare when a  Brown Widow was discovered in an Oregon City home. Experts are unsure how this spider made the long journey to Oregon City and have communicated to area residents that there is no reason to panic or expect that additional Brown Widows will continue to be found in the area.  

The hobo spider migrated to the Pacific Northwest between 1920 and 1930.  The hobo spider is native to Europe and in its native land it’s known as the European House Spider.  For centuries the Europeans have considered the European House Spider to be a harmless spider. Hobo spiders, once believed to be a venomous spider by many Pacific Northwest residents, were actually taken off the venomous spider list by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2016.  Recent research by arachnologists has shown hobo spiders to be a non-venomous spider.

Why am I waking up with spider bites?

You might find it comforting to learn that, according to researchers, most “spider bites” aren’t actually spider bites. They are much more likely the stings or bites from other arthropods, such as fleas or mosquitoes. Spiders are not bloodsuckers and they do not feed on humans, so they have no real reason to bite a human.

When spider bites do happen, it’s most often when a spider is surprised and inadvertently pressed up against human skin. Even then, the reactions from the bites are usually minimal as spider venom is geared towards small insects and usually has little impact on an animal as large as a human.

It’s important to note that some individuals are naturally much more sensitive to spider bites than others.  In rare cases, some individuals will require serious medical attention when bitten by spiders considered to be “non-venomous” to most of the general population.  If you are experiencing negative health effects as a result of a spider bite, you should seek immediate medical advice.

Why do I find spiders in my shower or sink?

Most spiders require a daily amount of drinking water. Outdoors they would find water droplets on plants, ponds, or puddles, but indoors they will take what they can get.

Often you will find a spider in a sink or bath because they have stopped in for a drink and are unable to climb the smooth sides of the basin to escape. It is a myth that spiders come up the drain and enter sinks and showers through the piping system.  The drains lead to a closed system and is not a source of a spider infestation.

How do I prevent spiders from coming in on my Christmas tree?

Fresh cut Christmas trees are beautiful and the smell of pine is heavenly, but live trees can have a tendency to bring in spiders and other pests that were dormant prior to warming up in a heated home.

A single Christmas tree can carry up to 25,000 individual bugs! But don’t let that scare you too much. Most of those bugs will die immediately due to lack of food and a harsh warm environment.

Some bugs, like spiders, will react to the warm environment by assuming that it’s spring and the spiders will begin to hatch and become active.

There is no guaranteed way to ensure that you aren’t bringing spiders indoors with your Christmas tree, but there are some measures that can take that will make the possibility of a spider infestation less likely.

  • Inspect the tree for spiders prior to bringing it indoors. Be on the lookout for small, white colored egg sacks. Prune any branches that you find with egg sacks.
  • Shake the tree firmly before bringing it indoors. It can be helpful to do this shaking on clear cement or a white sheet so you can easily determine what is being dislodged.
  • Keep the tree in the garage for a few ways before bringing indoors.
  • It’s possible to spray the tree with an insecticide or pesticide prior to bringing the tree indoors, but be cautious to read the product labels to understand potential hazards.

 

When should I call for pest control to help with a spider problem?

If you see quite a few spiders and/or spider webs in your home and you’re looking for a reliable and lasting spider control—it’s best to call a pest control service right away. It’s important to note that spiders might not always be visible. Sometimes just the webs will be noticeable.

Spider removal can be an ongoing process and be difficult to treat without a strong understanding of professional spider control.

Who can I call to address a spider problem in Lake Oswego?

Aspen Pest Control loves serving our Lake Oswego community including family homes and businesses. We have successfully treated many homes in Lake Oswego for spiders. We offer free, no pressure estimates and same day service for no extra charge. Our results are guaranteed and we use products that are safe for your family and pets. Contact us to discover why your neighbors in Lake Oswego are loyal customers of Aspen Pest Control.