June 28, 2018
When it comes to venomous spiders, there are two that immediately rise to the top of any list. They are the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. While all spiders have venom, these two have a venom that is considered medically important. Let's talk about what that means and what we can learn about these spiders that can help us avoid a trip to the hospital.
When we say, "medically important," what we mean is that a wound from one of these spiders may require supervision from someone trained in medicine. The venom of a brown recluse spider can cause the skin to rot underneath a wound. If this necrotic spread is not watched closely and arrested quickly, it can cause disfigurement or worse. The venom of a black widow spider can be potent if the spider administers a full dose into the wound. The symptoms range from sweating, chills, weakness, fevers, and nausea, to difficulty breathing, paralysis of the diaphragm, and high blood pressure. Supervision from a medical caregiver can prevent symptoms from cascading into issues that can lead to human mortality.
Not every bite from one of these two spiders will send you to the hospital. But, it probably goes without saying that, it is best to not be bitten at all. Here are some things you should know that will help you avoid being bitten.
These two spiders are most active in summer
When you're out in your yard during the summer, you have a greater chance of being bitten because spiders move around a lot more in the summer. Be careful when you reach into a pile of brush, turn over any objects in your yard, or crawl into a space under a man-made structure. While neither of these spiders prefers to bite you, they will if you spook them. And they have the energy to move quickly in the summer.
How they get in
Spiders don't chew their way in; they find a hole. This may be a gap under a door with a broken door sweep. It might be a gap formed by damaged weather stripping on a sliding glass door. It may be a foundation crack. It could be a hole chewed by a rodent. There are many ways a spider can gain entry. They may even use a tree limb as a bridge to get to your roof and exploit holes in your roofline or soffits. Keep things sealed up to prevent these two spiders from getting in.
Also be aware that the brown recluse and black widow like to hide in stored boxes and sometimes get into a home when they are carried in.
Why they get in
Before spiders look for a way to get into your home, they find a reason to come into your yard. What reason is that? Food.
You might not realize this but the appearance of venomous spiders inside a house is often an indication that there is a serious pest problem in the yard. These spiders eat bugs. So, reducing bugs in your yard will have an impact on venomous spider populations.
What you can do if they get in
Obviously, your first step should be to contact a professional. But, take these steps to prevent exposure inside your home:
- Since both of these spiders hide in stored boxes, be careful when getting into a box that has been in storage.
- Since both of these spiders like dark holes and recesses, shake shoes, clothing, hats, towels, and other objects before bringing them into contact with your skin.
- Since both of these spiders are reclusive, pull your bedding down and take a quick look before you slide into bed.
- Put sticky traps in low places and see if anything sticks. This won't get rid of your infestation but it can alert you to how many of these two, medically important, spiders might be crawling around in your home.
These two spiders are not the same
Of these two spiders, brown recluse spiders are the worst to find in your home. Brown recluse spiders actually do quite well living in a home and they will produce quickly. Black widow spiders prefer to be outside and do not adapt well to being indoors.
If you live in Texas, take a quick look at this resource for more information on common Texas spiders. And, of course, when you need residential pest control for your yard or elimination of spiders in your Houston home, Modern Pest Control is here to help.