Okay, so there seems to be some sibling discrepancy as to whether I actually have been housing black widow spiders inside my living space- or not. Being as I didn’t actually get down on my hands and knees to spend quality time with and examine said specimen, I was starting to question my own sanity.
Q: Do black widow spiders exist in this fine part of the country?
A: Great. Ask and you shall receive. According to this rather too exhaustive website about spiders (as far as I am concerned) not only do black widows exist**, but we also get an extra special bonus strain of arachnid up here in the Pacific Northwest called Tegenaria agrestis!
Tegenaria agrestis: the aggressive house spider, is one of the most common spiders found in houses in the Pacific Northwest. Although this spider was first reported from Seattle in 1930, it did not become common in the Pacific Northwest until the 1960s. In the Pullman-Moscow, Idaho area, it is clearly a prevalent spider in basements and in window wells of houses. It rarely climbs vertical surfaces and is usually found only on the ground or lower floors. We have called it the “aggressive house spider” because it bites with little provocation when cornered or threatened.
That’s just fantastic.
** Damn it, I swear this is what I saw! Five species of widow spiders occur in North America. However, the single species occurring in Washington is the western black widow Latrodoctus hesperus. The adult female is a velvety jet black. I don’t like it.