Poisonous Spiders

Black Widow Spider / Brown Widow Spiders

Widow Spiders

The black and brown widows are widely distributed over the warmer portions of the United States. Females are easily identified because of their globular, shiny black or brown abdomen with two reddish or yellowish triangles on the underside. These reddish or yellowish triangles form a characteristic hourglass marking. The abdomen is about 1/4 inch in diameter but may be as large as 1/2 inch when the female is full of eggs. Males are much smaller and lighter-colored, with light streaks on their abdomens.

The widow’s web is an irregular mass of fibers with a small central area to which the spider retreats while waiting until its prey becomes ensnared. These webs are frequently constructed underneath boards, stones, or the seats of outdoor privies. They are also found along foundation slabs, behind shrubs and especially where brick or wood siding extends close to ground level. This spider does not usually enter residences.

Widow spider venom contains toxins that are neurotoxic (affects the nervous system). The severity of a person’s reaction to the bite depends on the area of the body where the bite occurs; the person’s size and general sensitivity; the amount of venom injected; depth of bite; seasonal changes (in venom potency); and temperature. The bite produces a sharp pain similar to a needle puncture. The pain usually disappears rapidly. Local muscular cramps are felt 15 minutes to several hours after the bite, spreading and becoming more severe as time passes. The venom then grows weak, tremors develop, and the abdominal muscles show a board-like rigidity. Respiration becomes spasmodic and the patient is restless and anxious. During this period, a feeble pulse, cold skin, labored breathing and speech, light stupor, and delirium may be noted. Convulsions and death may result with some victims, especially if the person is sensitive to the venom and no treatment is received. An anti-venom specific for the black or brown widow is readily available to most physicians.


Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider, (loxosceles reclusa), can also inflict a very dangerous bite. The initial pain associated with the bite is not intense, and is generally less troublesome than a bee sting. Within 8 to 12 hours the pain becomes quite intense, and over a period of a few days a large ulcerous sore forms. This sore heals very slowly and often leaves a large, ugly disfiguring scar.

The brown recluse is soft-bodied and secretive species found in homes and other outbuildings. The adult body varies from 1/3- to 1/2inch in length, with the arrangement of the legs producing a larger overall size of 1 inch diameter or greater. The body is yellow to dark brown, and has a rather distinctive darker brown violin shaped mark on the top of the cephalothorax. Recluse Spiders are often colored tan, but can be dark brown to almost white in appearance.

The Brown Recluse Spider has been widely reported in the southern, western, and mid western United States, and is a particularly serious pest in Oklahoma, Missouri, and surrounding states. It is usually found indoors, particularly in bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, garages, basements, and cellars. In homes with forced hot-air heating and air conditioning and often above-ceiling ductwork, brown recluse spiders are commonly found harboring in or around the ductwork or registers. They may also be present in attic areas or other locations above the ceiling. They are also commonly found in cluttered closets or basements, and in outbuildings where miscellaneous items are stored. The web is not elaborate and is best described as an off white to gray, nondescript type of webbing. The spider is not aggressive and usually retreats to cover when disturbed. Most bites occur when a person crushes the spider while putting on old clothes that have been hanging in a garage, or by rolling on the spider while asleep in bed.

The best method of treatment for Brown Recluse Spiders is to first carefully inspect all areas (using leather gloves and flashlight) that are suspected of harboring them. The BugBuster Vacuum is perfect for capturing them during an inspection or even for collection purposes. Then after careful inspection, treat all areas with a wettable powder insecticide such as Demon WP. Baseboards, corners of rooms, closets, under and behind furniture, window sills, etc, should all be carefully treated. Attics and sub areas can be treated or dusted with TriDie. BioCare Spider Traps, Trapper LTD glue traps or Insect stick alls can also be used to trap Brown Recluse and monitor movement and population numbers.

As previously mentioned the Brown Recluse Spider is usually found indoors, especially in bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, garages, basements, and cellars. They may also be present in attic areas, or other locations above the ceiling. They may also be found in out-buildings. Their web is not very elaborate and is best described as an off-white to gray, nondescript webbing. Most bites occur when a person crushes the spider while putting on clothes that may have been hanging for some time, or by rolling on the spider while asleep in bed. Gardeners should wear gloves and be especially alert when handling leaves or bark mulch.


Non Poisonous Spiders

Tarantula’s, Jumping Spiders, Wolf Spiders and Garden Spiders are victims of a so-called spider phobia and are considered to be armed and dangerous simply because the possess the same spider shape and characteristics as the brown recluse and black widow. They are hairy, large and formidable, but their bite is less harmful than a bee sting. Some people, however, are extremely allergic to spider venom, so if you are bitten and have an adverse reaction, don’t hesitate to see your physician immediately.



Many people have tarantula’s as pets. Although this may sound fun to some people, tarantula’s although shy and timid most of the time will bite if angry or provoked.





Garden Spider

The garden spider is sometimes called a yellow sac spider – although the yellow sac spider is a completely different species. The garden spider weaves a beautiful web and is the best looking of all the spiders.





Wolf Spider

A wolf spider does not look like a wolf






Hunting Spider

The hunting spider hunts for insects. Hunting Spider






Jumping Spider

Jumping spiders can jump, as most spiders can, although nobody is for sure how far or high.






Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Longlegs are not true spiders. They are spider like arachnids, belonging to the same class (arachnid) as spiders, ticks, scorpions, and mites. Daddy Longlegs, also known as Harvest Spiders, belong to a different order than spiders, that of Opilliones. Spiders belong to the order Araneae. The daddy long legs get it’s name because their legs can grow to be over 12″ long.