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White spiders in Oregon and Washington

White crab spider on flower

Spiders are creepy! They have eight legs and look like something out of a horror movie. It’s one thing when it is raining outside and you see a spider crawling around, but it’s another when you are watching TV and a spider the size of your hand is on your ceiling!

White spiders are quite common in Pacific Northwest states like Oregon and Washington and can give homeowners quite the fright. We have what you need to know about white spiders.

White spider or crab spider?

Like many spiders, native white spiders are mostly harmless. White spiders otherwise known as crab spiders or Misumena vatia, are poisonous but their venom is not harmful to humans at all.   You’ve heard right; crab spiders just look scary and are not dangerous. In fact, a lot of spiders in Oregon and Washington, even the dangerous black widow or the hobo spider, will not attack unless they are greatly provoked.

What do crab spiders look like?

Crab spider

Crab spiders, both male and female will vary in color from white to a fading green or yellow. This makes it very easy for them to blend in natural environments like plants.  Unlike many spiders, the crab spider does not spin webs to catch predators.

Females differ greatly from males as the females will have two bright red spots on the abdomen, which can blend in with their lines. Sometimes these spots can even go missing.

Male crab spiders are much smaller in size and will have a green or white abdomen which sometimes features brown stripes. Because of their good vision, crab spiders will instead hide in flowers or other forms of vegetation to seek out prey and will quickly attack them, injecting their venom with their thin fangs. Crab spiders are the only spiders known to do this.

Life cycle of a crab spider

Male crab spiders will collect a drop of sperm from their palps, or their appendage from their legs and will pass it on to the female reproductive organ known as the epigyne. After reproduction, the female will lay her eggs, fold them into a leaf, and will make a cocoon out of silk she spun.  She will then stop eating and watch her eggs over the next three weeks. After the eggs hatch, she will die.

Spiders in Washington

In particular, Washington is home to spiders such as the black widow spider and yellow sac spider, as well as other Washington spiders such as hobo spiders, wolf spiders and jumping spiders. If your home is located in a place such as Seattle or Olympia and you want to keep spiders out, it can be helpful if there is weather stripping on doors and windows. Also, make sure you close cracks and crevices.

White spiders on your property? Contact Western Exterminator!

White crab spiders thrive in moisture which makes places like Seattle and Portland ideal environments. If you do not take proper precautions, one crab spider can become ten which can lead to a full-blown infestation. If you are experiencing a white crab spider infestation on your property please contact Western Exterminator today for an inspection.

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