Venomous Spiders In Houston: How To Recognize And Stay Safe From Dangerous Arachnids
Gray spider crawling on wood.

Venomous Spiders In Houston: How To Recognize And Stay Safe From Dangerous Arachnids

There are almost 900 species of spiders in Texas, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that nearly all of them are harmless to humans. Spiders are arachnids that produce silk and have fangs that they use to inject venom.

The good news is most common house spiders avoid contact with people, and most don’t have fangs that can puncture human skin. Of the spiders that can break through our skin, most only leave a mark similar to a mosquito bite or bee sting. Only two types of spiders are cause for concern in the United States, and unfortunately, they both live here in Houston, the black widow and the brown recluse. 

This guide will explain everything you need to know about dangerous venomous spiders in Texas. We’ll start by describing these spiders’ characteristics and distinct features to help you learn to recognize them at a glance. People often misidentify spiders, and guessing wrong may cause you to handle a dangerous spider you presumed was safe.

We’ll also review what happens when someone gets a bite from either species. Black widows and brown recluses each have different types of venom that produce different reactions in people. Learning the symptoms to watch for can ensure you get prompt medical attention and avoid severe illness. 

Proactive prevention can help you keep spiders and many other home-invading pests outside where they belong. We’ll review some tips Houston pest control companies suggest for spider-proofing your home to help reduce the chances of a venomous bite.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the dangerous spiders in Houston and the safest and most effective way to eradicate these pests from your home. If you prefer to skip to the part where we come and remove these pests, contact us at Modern Pest Control for assistance. 

Distinctive Features: How To Identify Venomous Spiders At A Glance

When people imagine dangerous, venomous spiders, they often assume the creatures are aggressive, big, and hairy, with prominent fangs to attack you with. You might imagine a spider you have seen on tv, such as a giant tarantula stalking through your home at night. But the truth is, the dangerous spiders in Houston are relatively small compared to other species and might go unnoticed if you don’t know what you are looking for.

Let’s start by learning how to identify the black widow spider. Black widows get their name partly from their black appearance and the fact that the female sometimes eats the male after mating, thus making her a widow, though this phenomenon rarely happens in nature. 

Female black widows are more likely to be seen than males and are easy to recognize with their glossy sheen and the distinct red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomens. They also sometimes have red hash marks or dots on the upper side of the abdomen. Females are around 1 1/2 inches in size, but when they spread their long legs, they appear larger and more menacing. 

The female’s abdomens are distinctly round, making them easy to differentiate from their male counterparts, who have an elongated shape. Young black widows are primarily orange and yellow but become more black as they grow. Males are smaller than females and are very similar in appearance to young black widows, with only one or two reddish markings on the underside of their abdomen. 

Black widows spin irregularly shaped messy webs near ground level to catch prey. They prefer to spin their webs in dry, dark locations. A widow often hangs belly up on the web, clearly showing the hourglass shape on the abdomen. 

Next, we’ll look at the brown recluse spider. These spiders are also aptly named because they are naturally shy and reclusive. They are well known for their secretive behavior and will hide in places with little human activity.

Brown recluse spiders range in color from tan to dark brown. Like the black widow’s hourglass marking, brown recluses also have a distinct shape that can help to tell them apart from other species. These spiders have a dark brown marking shaped like a violin on their back.

Brown recluses are another species that are relatively small in stature. These arachnids only grow between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch in size. When they extend their long thin legs, they are about the size of a U.S. quarter.

Males are similar in appearance to females but slightly smaller. Young spiderlings look like smaller versions of the adults, but their coloring is paler. Females tend to stay closer to the nest, while males are likely to wander off and crawl into an area where you are more likely to come in contact with them.

Females spin their webs in similar areas to the black widow, where they are likely to remain undisturbed. You may find their webs in attics, garages, and basements. Unlike the black widow, they do not use their webs to catch prey but as a retreat.

It’s a good time to note that if you find a web of either species, it is best to call a professional company to help find and remove the spider. Spiders are more likely to be defensive if you approach a web and they have recently laid eggs. Contact us at Modern Pest Control for assistance in removing any potentially venomous spiders from your home.

Venomous Spider Bites: Symptoms And Emergency Measures

Even though black widows and brown recluses are the two most dangerous spiders in Texas, neither is overly aggressive and will usually only bite to defend themselves or through accidental contact. It is always a good idea to prepare yourself before an emergency occurs, so we will review the symptoms of these spider bites and explain when you should seek medical attention.

Different types of venomous spiders and their bites can produce various symptoms. Both black widows and brown recluses have harmful venom, but each spider’s venom will cause a different reaction. Reactions also depend on the amount of venom injected and how sensitive the person’s body is to the venom.

Regarding black widows, males of the species rarely bite, but females will bite to defend themselves or if they have recently laid eggs. Their venom is neurotoxic, meaning it will interfere with your nervous system. A bite from a black widow usually progresses in this order:

  • Bites immediately produce slight swelling and red marks.
  • Intense pain and stiffness will occur over the next one to three hours.
  • Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle cramps, increased blood pressure, and sweating.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and severe pain in the abdomen.
  • Pain will continue for one to three days before it starts to subside.
  • These bites are rarely fatal if the person receives prompt medical attention.

In the case of brown recluse spiders, both males and females of this species will bite, and they are most likely to if they feel trapped, like when you try to put your foot in a shoe they are inhabiting. Their venom is necrotic, meaning it causes cell and tissue damage. A bite from a brown recluse usually progresses in this order:

  • Initially, the bite produces a mild sting.
  • Redness around the bite and intense pain will follow within six to eight hours.
  • A blister filled with fluid will form.
  • Symptoms include restlessness, trouble sleeping, and fever.
  • The dead tissue will slough off within two weeks and can sometimes leave behind an ulcerating sore that can expose muscle and bone.
  • Contact your doctor for treatment advice and whether you should seek assistance from emergency personnel.

It is best to seek prompt medical attention for a venomous spider bite, especially with people most at risk for a severe reaction, including older adults, children, and those who are immunocompromised. The best way to protect your home and family from these dangerous spiders in Houston is to contact a local company for help with removal. Call us at Modern Pest Control if you need assistance safely removing either of these venomous spiders.

Spider-Proofing: Tips For Preventing Dangerous Spiders In The Home

The first step in spider-proofing is to learn where you will most likely find these spiders in the yard and inside your home. Outdoors, black widows live in protected areas, under rocks, decks, and wood piles, but they tend to favor structures that people build, such as barns, hen houses, behind brick veneer, and in meter boxes. Indoors they are usually sheltered, dimly lit locations, like basements, and garages, especially when there is a lot of clutter to hide in.

Outdoors brown recluses live under bark, near rocks, wood piles, utility boxes, and sometimes in cedar shake roofs. Inside you will find them in rarely used storage areas, closets, and occasionally in the living spaces under furniture or within cracks and crevices. People often accidentally find them when reaching inside a stored box of paper, among clothing that you don’t wear often, or inside shoes.

Learning how to keep spiders away from your home will help you keep your family and pets safe from accidental encounters with dangerous arachnids. As an added bonus, many of these suggestions will help guard against most other pests. Here are some pro tips for spider-proofing your home:

  • Reduce the clutter in your home to remove harborage areas for spiders and their prey.
  • Inspect the outside of your home for any cracks and crevices that may allow spiders inside, and seal them.
  • Check the areas where utility pipes enter the house for gaps and fill them.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home on a raised structure at least five inches above the ground.

Spiders and other pests typically enter homes in search of food or shelter. Because spiders eat insects and other pests, one of the best ways to prevent spiders in the home is to contact a local pest control company to help eliminate any infestations that may be attracting spiders. Without a source of food, spiders are less likely to stick around.

Your home may also offer a safe shelter, typically in a storage area, for a female spider to lay eggs and avoid predators. Black widows and brown recluses produce egg sacs containing hundreds of baby spiders. If these spiders were to hatch inside your house, you would soon have a massive infestation on your hands.

Regarding storage areas, as you work to reduce clutter, transferring any items in cardboard boxes to sealed plastic containers is a good idea. Pest-proof containers will help to reduce the possibility of reaching into a box and surprising a hidden spider and better protect your belongings from all types of pests.

You can reduce the chances of spiders hanging around in the yard by eliminating harborage areas. Piles of debris, tree limbs, lumber, flower pots, and other similar items can offer these spiders a place to nest safely. Keeping the yard neat will also help stop attracting rodents, insects, and other pests.

Whenever you are working in the yard or cleaning a basement or garage, wearing heavy-duty gloves can help prevent a spider bite. It’s also a good idea to shake out shoes and clothing that have been in storage for a while before putting them on. If you notice any spider webs, avoid them and keep your hands and feet away.

Contact us at Modern Pest Control for assistance if you encounter a venomous spider in your home. Our pros are here to not only get rid of spiders in the house, but we can also help you figure out what attracts them and how to keep them from returning.

Professional Venomous Spider Removal: Safe And Effective Eradication

The two most dangerous spiders in Texas are relatively common in Houston homes. Whether you are finding tangled webs from a black widow around the garage or basement, or you have seen a brown recluse quickly running away when it sees you, the safest way to deal with them is to call the pest management professionals at Modern Pest Control for assistance with removal.

Spiders in the house are often an indication of another ongoing pest infestation. These spiders will prey on ants, cockroaches, beetles, crickets, and scorpions. One of the best ways to get rid of spiders is to work with a company like Modern Pest Control to eliminate any potential food sources and keep spiders from entering the home. 

Modern Pest Control has been protecting local families from dangerous pests for over 70 years. Our home pest control professionals in Houston can safely remove any venomous spiders from your home to ensure the safety and well-being of your family. 

We understand that having pests inside your house is stressful, and we try to make the pest control process as easy as possible for customers. Learning what will happen when a company comes to your home can lessen the anxiety of the process.

First, we thoroughly inspect your property, searching for factors that may attract spiders and other pests. Most pests enter homes searching for food, water, or shelter, so our pest management professionals carefully check your property for any factors that may attract them. Often something as simple as a forgotten pile of sticks in the yard can create a safe harborage spot for these spiders.

After determining why they choose your property, it is time to figure out how they are getting inside. Our professionals will closely examine your home for potential entryways. A small crack in the foundation or a gap under the garage door is often enough for spiders and other pests.

Following the inspection, we develop a plan tailored to your specific situation. Modern Pest Control uses state-of-the-art techniques and solutions to protect your home and family from nuisance, dangerous, and destructive pests. Pest control works best when done in conjunction with preventative measures.

Our team will suggest any areas you can repair or replace to help limit the number of pests that can get inside, for example, repairing torn screens or installing door sweeps wherever necessary. Moisture issues often attract spiders and other pests, and we can alert you of any problems we see.

After we remove any dangerous spiders, we will work to eliminate any other pest infestations that may attract them. Our ongoing service plans help to protect your property year-round from all kinds of pest problems. 

While most spiders found in homes are harmless to humans, any type of spider inside is problematic. Between the messy webs they leave around and the vast numbers of baby spiders they produce, keeping spiders outdoors where they belong is essential. With regular pest control and de-webbing your home, you are less likely to have an infestation of spiders or any other pests.

If you are ready to have a safe, pest-free home again, contact the pros at Modern Pest Control today. We will ensure your pest problem is resolved and can help prevent them from returning.

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