5 of the Biggest Spiders in Oregon

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: September 5, 2022
© Andrew Balcombe/Shutterstock.com
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Oregon is widely known for having a lot of forested areas and cities nestled against the Pacific Ocean. In all those wooded areas, you can get close to the ground and discover a wealth of insects and arachnids. In this article, we’re going to focus on discovering the biggest spiders in Oregon. The size of these creatures may surprise you, as will their propensity for getting close to human settlements!

What Are the Biggest Spiders in Oregon?

Although the state is not home to any tarantulas, the biggest spiders in Oregon still measure several inches long. In fact, the largest arachnids in this state can top 4 inches! Let’s take a look at five of the biggest spiders to show you where they can be found, what they look like, and whether they’re dangerous to people. By the time we’re done, you’ll know all about them.  

5. Hobo Spider

Hobo Spider
Hobo spiders are not as dangerous as initially feared.

©iStock.com/randimal

Scientific NameSizeDanger to Humans
Eratigena agrestis1-2 inchesA bite can cause moderate pain and some redness at the site, but they’re not deadly.

The hobo spider was once considered a very dangerous creature, but its image has been rehabilitated due to modern research. Now, it’s known that this spider isn’t capable of delivering necrotizing bites. That doesn’t necessarily mean this spider is a welcome sight in many homes.

After all, it bears a passing resemblance to many other species with its brown body and its grayish, light-patterned abdomen. As its name suggests, this spider has a bad habit of stowing away in vehicles and homes alike. Hobo spiders prefer dark and quiet places with lots of cracks and crevices where they can make their webs. You will usually find them in crawl spaces and cellars.

These spiders aren’t highly aggressive, but they can bite. If one of these spiders bites you, it will result in a moderate level of pain and some redness at the bite site. However, their bites are rather rare.

4. Long-Bodied Cellar Spider

Female Cellar Spider Protecting Her Eggs
Cellar spiders are translucent.

©iStock.com/ViniSouza128

Scientific NameSizeDanger to Humans
Pholcus phalangioides1-2 inchesA bite may cause a mild burning sensation.

The long-bodied cellar spider is another arachnid that you’ll find in your basement. This spider is known for its creepy looks and behavior. For one thing, this spider’s body is translucent. It’s also a sickly gray, tan, or brown color with legs that are much longer than its body.

Cellar spiders are sometimes called daddy long legs or the skull spider. The former name is for their legs, and the latter is for the dark mark on their carapace. Even though they may have a weird body and an off-putting walking motion, they’re not that harmful.

It’s best to leave them alone in their webs in garages, basements, and other dark places. Even if one of these were to bite you, the most you would feel is a mild burning and a little pain.

3. Tiger Wolf Spider

Tiger Wolf Spider
The tiger wolf spider can grow to about 3 inches.

©HWall/Shutterstock.com

Scientific NameSizeDanger to Humans
Tigrosa aspersa2-3 inchesDelivers a moderately painful bite that causes swelling and redness, other symptoms may appear.

The tiger wolf spider is not the biggest wolf spider, but it is still one of the biggest spiders in Oregon. The tiger wolf spider can measure up to 3 inches long, and it can bite humans if it’s cornered or feels that it is in danger.

This bite can leave a swollen painful bump that is itchy and red. Sometimes, the wound will ooze as it heals. For the most part, these bites are not medically significant.

However, if a person is allergic to their bites, then they may have other reactions like trouble breathing, fever, headaches, dizziness, or tightness in the area around the bite. In those cases, the individual needs to see a doctor.

Tiger wolf spiders are black, tan, and brown. Their carapaces are often dark with a light brown or orangish brown line running from between the eyes down the length of this portion of the body. Their legs are brown and black with chevrons on the femur and banding on the tibias.

Most of the time, these spiders can be found wandering the ground near forests, meadows, and fields. They also take up residence in human homes if they can find prey in them. They tend to steer clear of people though.  

2. Giant Crab Spider

Giant Crab Spider
Giant crab spiders ambush their prey.

©Andrey Zharkikh / Creative Commons 2.0 – License

Scientific NameSizeDanger to Humans
Olios giganteus1.5-3 inchesMay cause a seriously painful bite, and foreign species can cause serious health complications.

The giant crab spider is also known as the golden huntsman spider. This spider has a legspan that measures about 3 inches long. Its body is often described as being sandy brown with a thin brown stripe that runs the length of its abdomen.

These large spiders typically wait on walls for their prey to come by before they ambush it. Like other hunting spiders, the giant crab spider hunts down and kills its prey rather than waiting on it to stumble into a web.

If you see one of these spiders, it’s best to leave it alone. Although they’re not deadly, they can still deliver a painful bite that most people would want to avoid. Other members of this family that live in foreign countries can deliver bites that cause health complications, so we should all count ourselves lucky in this area.

1. Giant House Spider

Giant House Spider
The giant house spider is the largest spider in Oregon.

©R K Hill/Shutterstock.com

Scientific NameSizeDanger to Humans
Eratigena atrica2-4 inchesA bite from this spider causes minor pain and swelling unless the individual is allergic.  

The giant house spider is one of the biggest spiders in Oregon, with only a few rivals that can reach its incredible four-inch legspan. This spider has a dark brown or reddish-brown body with a light mark running down the center of its carapace that is surrounded by two dark marks that are rimmed by light colorations on the exterior of the carapace.

The abdomen is dark brown with patterns of light brown running down the middle. The spider’s long legs are usually brown except on the very ends where they are black. They use these long legs to achieve high speed, and they’re one of the fastest true spiders.  

Although this spider is very large, it isn’t harmful to people. A bite will merely cause minor pain and some swelling unless the victim is allergic to their bites. These spiders can be found in dark, rarely traveled places in homes such as basements, attics, and behind cupboards.   

Having seen a bunch of the biggest spiders in Oregon, it’s also important to know about the most dangerous ones. In this state, the black widow is typically the only spider that can cause a medically significant bite.

Although the hobo spider and giant house spider may look harmful, the fact is that they’re capable of inflicting serious injuries on people. By knowing how to identify a black widow, you can keep your space and recognize the need for professional help dealing with an infestation.

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hobo spider
hobo spider
© Andrew Balcombe/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with 8 years of experience. I've written in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014 with degrees in English and Education. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading, and writing for fun.

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Sources
  1. Utah State University (1970) extension.usu.edu/pests/uppdl/hobo-spiders
  2. Web MD (1970) webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-you-need-to-know-about-a-wolf-spider-bite#:~:text=‌Wolf spiders don't pose,it shouldn't last long