No, this isn’t about another campy 80’s flick, but about the Tegenaria gigantea, or “giant house spider”.
Dubbed the world’s faster spider by the Guinness Book of World Records, this rather large spider is commonly mistaken for the Tegenaria agrestis, or “hobo spider”, which is commonly mistaken for the Loxosceles reclusa, or “brown recluse spider”. The latter is only found in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. The former two are found here in the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, the giant house spider bite isn’t as bad as the other two spiders mentioned above. It may cause swelling and pain for a couple days, but both the brown recluse and hobo spiders cause necrosis. The giant house spider also keeps its smaller cousin – the hobo spider – out of the house. The gaint house spider will commonly kill the hobo spider since the two compete for resources.
So, if you’re living in the Pacific Northwest and happen to see these rather large spiders, keep your distance (remember, they’re fast and aggressive) but let them be since they may just save you and your family from more serious bites from the hobo spider.