The worst is when they scrape down the walls, skitter over your headboard and -- attracted by the warm, moist breath -- climb into your mouth and lay eggs along your gums at the backside of your teeth. Nobody likes this.
@101 Opilions, really ? Those don't bite, they are as harmless as having some hair on your skin. They're not spiders, and they're mostly scavengers. If there's something I would never mind of having crawling on my skin, it's an opilion.

They have a distressing habit of losing their legs if touched, and they're so unaware of their surroundings you have to really take care of them and remove them from under your tools when gardening, as they don't run away from man. If #82 had opilions on him/her, they were not the ones that were biting him/her. Maybe they had come to make a meal of the biting bugs.

@103 Ah ah, but do you know all the ways of the infamous mouth spider ?

The females specifically target snorers' mouths to lay their eggs in, for good ventilation day and night. They test for it by remaining motionless for a few minutes, spreadeagled over the mouth opening, concentrating on the vibrations.

Like lice eggs, mouth spider eggs are so small and sticky it's very hard to realize they're here, and it's even harder to brush them off. So, for about two weeks, the eggs safely develop in the host's mouth.

On a dark night, they hatch. Slowly they gather, crawl on the tongue and head for the back throat, then into their host's nose. They head for the sinuses to escape from the fiery winds of the snore. They remain cautiously there during daytime, feeding on the sinuses' lining, only causing a mild headache to their bearer.

From then on, every night they'll crawl inside the nose, trying to locate the opening of the eustachian tube, as soon as the snores stop. Only in intermittent snorers have they a good chance of success. Because the mouth spiders are deaf and see poorly, like all spiders, their mothers can't check from their few minutes on the mouth opening whether they've picked a good intermittent snorer host or a bad continuous snorer host. Many a mouth spider youngling die from overgrowing in the cramped bone space of the sinuses of permanent snorers, and their remains accumulate there.

Once inside the eustachian tube, the young mouth spiders progress to the inner ear where they FEED for about a week. The only symptom of their presence is a buzzing in the ears and some hearing loss. Then, once again at night, they incise the tympanon, and finally emerge as fatter, fully competent mouth spiders, ready to fend from themselves alone in this harsh world.

The consequences to the snorer hosts are minimal. Because of the hearing loss, they can't hear themselves snore.
@104 Yay, the limited scope of my dreamscape gum-line egg-layers shall surely broaden in the fertile imagery of your mouth spiders. Thanks for that.
Fuck it. I'm getting a house gecko.
@104 Yeah, the story about the DLL @82 makes no sense. The only tiny critter that gave me a bite that painful is a deer fly.

Your mouth spider report is most interesting. I snore badly and have some tinnitus (prob due to too many rawk show in my late teens and early twenties), but my hearing is normal, so I guess I'm not infested.
@105 I just loved your comments ! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :-)

@107 Oh, but you might be ! Hearing loss is only a proof that spiders got out of your tympanon alive, its absence just means that they haven't yet eaten enough of your inner ear !

Maybe they are right now inside you, creeping in the eustachian tube, heading for the inner ear... Or maybe it took them too long to find the opening of the eustachian tube, and they had grown a bit too much, and they died on their way to the tympanon, stuck inside the tube, with their legs rammed around their bodies... and their exoskeletons are still there, and your tinnitus is caused by one of their body parts that stuck into your auditory bundle of nerves ?

Sweet dreams...
109, these things were here before us, and our houses are awfully comfy. So, if they squick you out real bad, let's get to preventing them. The easiest defense is to seal things up. Sure, sure, you rent, but your landlord is probably not going to come to your rescue for every little crack and opening, so buy theeself some door sweeps, some stick-on foam door/window insulation, and some silicone caulk and get to sealing up. It's not hard and all together won't set you back more than $20.

If you have a crack you can't seal up easily, or keep finding the buggers after sealing, then invest in a little peppermint oil and osage orange. No need to go all rambo on them, some natural shit, properly deployed, will repel them right good. Plus, your house will smell DELICIOUS.

Also, regularly and thoroughly clean baseboards (yes, even behind the furniture), keep clutter to a minimum, and knock out any webs you find promptly. "Things" only inhabit our homes if we let them be hospitable. Yes, climate control *is* attractive in and of itself, but if there's no food and they're repelled by scents that annoy them and they don't easily find a way in and they're constantly annoyed by having their home vacuumed up then they'll move on.

Or just get a cat...they'll torture the MFer before, maybe, killing it cleanly.
Or @106...a free-range lizard will likely cure any and all bug problems promptly. :)
Know why I found this site? Cuz I stepped on one with bare feet in my bathroom. Screamed like a little girl. Worst part was when I felt some thing cold under my foot I jerked it up and it still ran away (that's when I screamed!) Anyway I was afraid it was a hobo but I think the marking lead to the Giant Friggin House Spider. I hate spiders and can only imagine the scraping noise was the spider sharpening its fangs... Shiver...
To the person who asked if it's a hobo spider: nope. We are inundated with giant house spiders in the PNW, and it is certainly not unheard of for them to have a 4-inch leg span. They are distantly related to the hobo, but not nearly as poisonous. And yes, we can hear them walking.

The scraping noise is made by the two or three little claws at the legs' endings. Spiders have an amazing automatic mechanism that lets their tarsus' claws become hooked to stands of silk - spiders don't walk on strands, they're hooked to them, like alpinists. They also have tufs of very fine hair to stick to flat surfaces. In some big spiders, like the tegenaria gigantea, the sound of the tiny claws on hard surfaces can be easily heard.

Close-up of spider legs hooked on silk stand, claws visible :…

Amazing electron microscopy pictures of various body parts of dead small spiders, including chelicerae (so-called fangs) and claws :…
If you see house spiders - please submit your records!…
If you see a house spider, please report your sighting!…
someone is completely misinformed. This is a Hobo spider and this is its mating season. They are not harmless, their bites can be necrotic and make people sick, especially children. You can get traps for them at hardware stores--i highly recommend it. "Giant House Spider" is a euphemism.
Yikes I just squashed one of these giant awful things this morning - It was staring me down. Had I known how fast it could have come at me, I probably would have run screaming from it. This was the 4th one I've seen - they are really terrifying!
The Burke museum has a great section on their website debunking spider myths. Helped me talk with my daughter about her fear of spiders.
When we bought our daylight rambler in N Seattle, the previous owners said they never killed the giant spiders they saw because they rarely went to the lower floor and didn't care that they were there. That first fall I must have killed 50 of them. They had to have been breeding in the house, one day I came home and I counted 6 on the walls in one room alone. I'm a phobe and left for the local motel while my husband dealt with the bug guy. Sticky traps are my new best friend but I can't check them!
Spiders come in 2's and 3's so if you see one then you know there's another around.
Apparently the GHS eats the hobo spider. So it's kind of a friend? Like a creepy friend?
One word for all the arachnophobes .....Housecat !!! Or two ... end of problem .
@116 - nope. You need to do more research. It is impossible to identify from the picture alone but GHS and Hobo Spiders are not the same thing, but they look almost identical and belong to the same family (although GHSs get bigger, so if it is big enough you can say fairly confidently it is not a hobo, which are smaller). One year we had several of them over the course of a few weeks. They are big. And fast. Shockingly fast.…
the spider looks like the brazilan wandering spider nown for banana spider heres a link to see the artical…
Yep... I saw one of these big guys about 5 feet away from me against the wall on the floor in my garage in Ballard.
Was like "nope".
Kicked the bottom of a full 5 gallon bucket and it flew and smashed the spider against the wall.
Kinda felt bad after, but it all happened instinctually in the span of about three seconds.
Guess I'm a natural born arachnid murderer.
Also saw one in the bathroom of the "Birds Nest" where my band practices. It was already noped from someone else, so I could take my dumpledor in peace.
Not only do I not kill these lovely and timid creatures, I cultivate them and protect them. When the wandering males come in the house, I shoo them into a small paper bag I keep around and put them outside. Trying to negotiate a mating with a female who will literally eat you if she's not receptive to your (extremely tentative) overtures is stressful enough without some human acting like a 4chan survivor and wrecking your shit in the hopes of having a scary story to tell the internet. :(

These are NOT hobo spiders (they eat not only the same food as hobo spiders, but also the hobo spiders themselves) and they're not dangerous. They're not interested in you, and the only reason they'll run at you is to try to hide under your feet cos they're completely terrified of exposure. Don't be shadin', I guess?

How to keep Tegenaria d. out of your house: don't leave food crumbs and juice spills that attract bugs. They're big spiders and they need to eat a lot, so if you find an occupied web in your house, they have a steady supply of food you're attracting for them. If the spider is small, like the one in the picture above, with large pedipalps (the set of extra "legs" at the front that look like inverted commas) it's a wandering male who, I assure you, has no use for you no matter HOW sexy you are, and you should just move him outside where he'll meet his fate AND eat a bunch of bugs that actually hunger for your flesh.

Don't kill things just because you're afraid of them. That's YOUR problem, not theirs. Person up already.
I found this article when I googled "spider seattle" because I was greeted by one just now on my front door! WTF!!!! It's huge! Glad to know what the official story is. I live by Cheasty Greenspace on Beacon Hill and see all kinds of critters and spiders. This one made me stop and take a picture becsuse it's huge and dracula-like. Wow!
Please check out It says they are not normally on ceilings and the person above is correct, the ones that are kill hobos. However, I do not want that one in the house, either. Hobos are more likely to be found in your closet in clothes on floor, hunting at night so pull up your bedding off the floor as they can not scan slippery surfaces like bed posts. They have a funnel shaped web and they leave it to hunt. Love woodpiles, rock piles, under low shingles hide under pots which is how I first met one. Beware, hobos pack a wallop, similar to Brown Recluse. You can get Hobo Spider traps which has pheromones and they get stuck on them...not nice but I captured 3 in my house in one night!!! Terrifying. Good luck, all! This is good to share with your children/mates as they will get their clothes off the floor.
Please check out It says they are not normally on ceilings and the person above is correct, the ones that are kill hobos. However, I do not want that one in the house, either. Hobos are more likely to be found in your closet in clothes on floor, hunting at night so pull up your bedding off the floor as they can not scan slippery surfaces like bed posts. They have a funnel shaped web and they leave it to hunt. Love woodpiles, rock piles, under low shingles hide under pots which is how I first met one. Beware, hobos pack a wallop, similar to Brown Recluse. You can get Hobo Spider traps which has pheromones and they get stuck on them...not nice but I captured 3 in my house in one night!!! Terrifying. Good luck, all! This is good to share with your children/mates as they will get their clothes off the floor.
I swept one of those out the back door the other day - more like I touched it with the broom and it took off like a shot, then I chased it. I don't like to kill them if I can avoid it.
Kudos to you, Max Solomon.
Why did you do this to us again? :(
Just found one in the house for the first time in a couple years. Not what I want to see by my feet when I am peeing in the middle of the night...
@Seatackled: Have you learned the difference between poisonous and venomous yet?
My house backs up to a gully in West Seattle. Every year the critters start their invasion. As long as they stay outside my boundaries...bedroom, bathroom...all is good. Cross into those areas and I haul out the spiders deadliest enemy, the flip flop.

I caught one a few years back in the middle of the bed. Damn...I was just heading in to go to sleep and now I'm awake and he's just mocking me, "Hey, turn off that light, there's a mosquito in here and I'm hungry...YOU go sleep on the couch". I hit him with an entire Seattle Times Sunday edition and he basically laughed at me. I hit him again. He again mocks me like the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail..."tis but a flesh wound!" I hit him ~47 times in a row...the bed started rolling across the floor. Apparently it was more than a flesh wound for him at that point.

On the plus side. With all the woodland critters that make their way into the house. I never see them alive after a few hours...ever.
Yay! I have two of these living in my garage this year, and caught one in my house. So awesome!

Fun fact: I bought David Sedaris' book When You Are Engulfed In Flames a few weeks ago, and learned he was an fan of these guys residing in his bedroom window frame when he lived in Normandy.
Do we just recycle this annually?
I'm in Chicagoland, and we don't seem to have those monsters here. We have some orb weavers that get almost that big but they don't run around like that. Nah, the fast-moving creepy-crawlies we have are house centipedes (such as Scutigera coleoptrata) that can get up to four inches long and zoom around with great speed when exposed. They just prefer dark crevices, luckily.
I have a live-and-let-live approach to such predatory arthropods that eat things like flies and cockroaches. I'd much rather shoo one back into the crack under the baseboard than kill such an innocuous and charming animal.
It's not like we're a little Seattle ladybug that has to deal with spiders:
Not a Hobo. Hobos were likely introduced to the area, but duellica and gigantica are native.
The old house I lived in as a kid got invaded by these guys every year. Harmless things, only trouble they ever gave me was once I put down the remote on one and I had to clean spider off my remote and felt bad.

They do eat hobos, and if you see a spider around here that looks like that is massively more likely to be a giant house spider. Only 2% of spiders collected as possible hobo spiders turn out to be hobos - most are GHS or European house spiders. None of these spiders are likely to bite you, and reports are that they do not hurt (most victims of hobo bites don't realize they have been bitten until the venom starts working later). If you are worried about hobos, either seal off your house or let the GHS in. Hobos are pushed out of areas GHS live in.

And THIS is just one of the many reasons I have 4 cats. Big fast spiders are appetizers to them. The only down side is when I catch one of my babies walking around with 8 wiggling legs hanging out of its mouth and then that "crunch". Makes me gag every single time.
One time when I was a teenager I decided to beat my fear of these guys by going through the house and catching all of them I could find. I had 7 of them in a Tupperware container and the next morning woke up to find all of them except the two largest wrapped up into tiny webballs. The remaining two were at the corners of the container in a face off. Realizing thier creepy cannibalistic survival of the fittest mentality that day, I did succeed in no longer being afraid of spiders. Now I'm freaking terrified by them!
I caught one of these Friday, and put it outside. They are huge, fast and can make noise. I believe they are harmless. I've taken them to Woodland Park Zoo to check.
Bwahaha.... come to my neck of the woods where wolf spiders live in your showers! They are twice as large, hairy and you can count their eyes from 5 feet away... AND they can jump, FAR.
Don't kill them! That's what's wrong with the world.
How To Tell A House Spider That I'm Just Not That Into You

Wipe or spray diluted eucalyptus oil or lavender oil around windows, doorways, baseboards in kitchens and bathrooms, and the edges of ceiling light fixtures.

Lightly spray diluted lavender oil on and around your bed.

All of these spiders have the ability to "taste" with their legs and avoid eucalyptus and lavender oil because these oils make them sick.

In fact, undiluted eucalyptus oil can actually kill most spiders, but in such concentrations eucalyptus oil can also cause negative reactions in humans and pets. So, dilute it and apply it as a deterrent, not a poison.
The scrapping noise that Giant House Spiders make against your walls is a mating call, not unlike a male woodpecker hammering away in the spring.

Of course, if you hear it at your bedroom door in the night, well, the heart wants what heart wants.
I once got a Hobo bite in West Seattle. It itched intensely and within 2 days the area necrosed and there was a small hole on my wrist. I went to the dr and took a course of antibiotics. The large house spider is like the harmless Wolf spiders of the SW desert. They also take up residence but always come in pairs so it is douby scary when you see them. And then there are the lizards that slide in under the doors. These are some of the reasons I no longer live Iin the desert....too many hideous and venomous creatures! But venomous Hobos are definitely in Seattle.
Spiders are neat and I like them. Everyone should appreciate these multi-legged insect-eradicators. Want to hate on bugs? Pick wasps. Wasps are total bastards.
When you say "Seattle", you mean Seattle proper, right? Like the bastards can't swim the lake to get to Bellevue and have no knowledge of I-90. I mean, if we just nuke our good friends across the water and your crazy ass giant spiders the Eastside will be safe, right? Right? Please tell me right.
To: seatackled

You asked if the giant spiders are "poisonous" for a cat to eat. Wouldn't recommend encouraging it. All spiders are venomous, have a poisonous bite. That's how they make a living. That means they have poison glands to back up their bite.

And they are all saying, 'Are you white or dark meat? BWAAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAA!'
Beware house and apartment dwellers with basements and attics!
HOBO SPIDERS do exist in SW WA as we had them in a brand new home and that sucked. I took couple of them in for diagnosis and I was told HOBO Spider. I had to have the outside area of the home and yard sprayed fall and spring to control the same spiders. Before that I would wake up about 1 or 2 am and find 5-6 HOBO SPIDERS trying to make it from downstairs to upstairs but they are not great crawlers on walls. I WOULD find them stuck in the bathtub downstairs. I did have one chase me a cross the carpet when I was sitting on the floor one time.......foolish me!
I live in the okanagan and i've found about 4 of those fuckers this week
Our bedroom is in the basement of the house. I am seeing these giant house spiders more than I would like! One crawled across the bathroom floor next to my foot. A few days later as I was doing my constant scan of the floor when I walk around down there I saw just legs sticking out in the opening of the bathroom. That one escaped! I have trouble sleeping down there now! After reading others comments I have decided I need a new cat. Our cat is down stairs 90% of the time, why isn't the lazy little jerk killing these humongous spiders? Oh wait maybe he is and there are just to many..... yep sleeping upstairs on the couch again!
I come across Giant House Spiders every August. This year I found one in the laundry room and one in my living room. I carefully catch them with a big glass jar and put them outside in a protected area (preferably your neighbor's yard) so they can do their spider thing. Though scary looking, these spiders are not poisonous so do not kill them. I don't know how they survive indoors. I heard they eat other spiders.

    Please wait...

    Comments are closed.

    Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

    Add a comment

    By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.