Attention all you arachnophobes out there, this article may disturb you. Spiders are pretty universally disliked, but not all of them are dangerous. Most spiders have some form of venom that they use to catch and digest their prey, but this venom rarely affects us humans. However, there are a few species of spiders that have very potent venom and their bites can be dangerous to us. Here’s a list of the four venomous spiders to watch out for here in North Carolina.
These venomous spiders probably make up the most human bites of any other spider in America. While their bites are usually harmless, they can get pretty bad. In fact, their bites are often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites.
Yellow sac spiders are common all over the United States. They are small, just about 5-10 mm in length with a large abdomen. They are usually a pale yellow or cream color with dark brown jaws. These spiders don’t spin webs, they are a hunting spider. They spend the day hiding out in their small silken tubes, coming out at night to hunt. Typically, these spiders live outdoors but, when the cooler weather of fall comes around, they find their way inside.
Bites occur when the spider feels threatened, usually when they’re trapped in your clothes or sheets at night. While their bites are typically harmless, some people are more sensitive to them than others and can develop serious symptoms.
The false widow, sometimes referred to as a false black widow or brown widow, are fairly common spiders here in North Carolina. These venomous spiders look very similar to the more dangerous black widows that we all know and fear. They are black or dark brown with a large abdomen and thin legs. The females, as with all spiders, are larger than the males. The only thing missing from these spiders are the famous red hourglass.
False widows love to live indoors. They construct messy webs that can often be confused with cobwebs. You’ll find them on walls, in the basement, and around woodpiles. Bites from these spiders are similar to that of a true black widow, but the symptoms are not as severe or long-lasting.
The infamous brown recluse spider is the cause of some of the nastiest spider bites you’ll ever see. The good news is these spiders are not very common here in North Carolina and their bites are very rare. They don’t have a native population here and are only introduced by human intervention. That being said, they are still a spider to be aware of and one that you will want to watch out for.
Brown recluse spiders are usually between ¼-½ an inch long with a brown body. Their body has a distinct dark brown violin shape, with the neck of the violin pointing away from the head. They can also be differentiated from other spiders by the number of eyes. While most spiders have eight eyes, a brown recluse has only 6 and they’re arranged in 3 pairs.
While the yellow sac and false widow spiders have bites that are never very severe, the brown recluse is far more dangerous. A brown recluse bite can sometimes lead to serious complications, sometimes life-threatening, and can even require surgery and months of recovery.
Finally, no list of venomous spiders would be complete without mentioning the queen of the spiders, the black widow. This is the most dangerous spider in america and unfortunately for us, it’s very common here.
Black widow females are about an inch long, jet-black, and shiny. The famous red hourglass marking can be found on the bottom of the large spherical abdomen. It’s important to note that not all black widows have that red hourglass. Sometimes the markings are yellow or orange and can be in the shape of two triangles. Males are smaller and more rare as the females will often kill and eat them after mating, giving the black widow her name.
The black widow is the most dangerous spider in America and its bites should not be taken lightly, especially in young children and the elderly. If you suspect that you’ve been bitten by a black widow, then seek medical attention immediately.
If you believe you’ve been bitten by any of these venomous spiders, especially the brown recluse or black widow, seek medical help immediately. Catch the spider that bit you and bring it to the doctor as spider bite diagnosis is impossible without seeing the actual spider that bit you. If you want to ensure your house is spider-free, call the professionals at Cramer Pest Control. Our pest control options include residential, indoor, outdoor, and even commercial solutions.