There are tens of thousands of spider species across North America, but only a handful of them are dangerous to human beings. This danger is due to the spiders’ venom, which has evolved over millions of years to help them capture, and sometimes diggest, their prey. In this article, we’re going to cover the five most dangerous of these species and some of their characteristics.
- The Brown Widow Spider
The brown widow spider has a similar neurotoxic venom to the black widow, but it can only deliver it in smaller quantities. As such, its bite only affects the local area and is not very dangerous to humans. Smaller than the black widow, the brown widow has an hourglass on its abdomen as well, but the hourglass is usually yellow or orange. The spider can be found throughout the US.
- The Northern Black Widow Spider
There are three black widow spider species in the US, with the Northern being the least dangerous. However, the venom of the Northern black widow can still cause nausea, sweating and pain, but fatalities are extremely rare.
- The Western Black Widow Spider
The Western black widow spider is very similar to the Northern species, and its bite has a similar effect. Both species share similarities in appearance as well, being one inch long with black coloration and the iconic red hourglass marking.
- The Southern Black Widow Spider
The Southern black widow spider is the one you have to watch out for, because its bite can be deadly. The venom contains a neurotoxin which is 15 times stronger than the venom of a prairie rattlesnake. A small bite can lead to hypertension, abdominal pain, pyrexia, nausea and headaches, and vulnerable people may require hospitalization after a bite, if they do not receive an antitoxin quickly. It is about half an inch in length, with the female being slightly larger and having the hourglass marking on its abdomen. The female will also deliver more venom than the male.
- The Brown Recluse Spider
The most dangerous spider in the US is the brown recluse, which delivers a necrotic venom that destroys tissue in the bite area, making it very painful. It can range in size from a quarter to 3/8ths of an inch, with a brown coloration and visible violin marking on its abdomen. This spider is found across the US, with the exception of Hawaii.
Dealing with dangerous spiders
Despite having powerful venom, most of these spiders are shy and will only attack when threatened. Still if you see one in the home, you want to get rid of it as fast and as safely as possible. Contact us today if you have a dangerous spider infestation on your property.