Brown Recluse Spiders Have Painful Bites
The brown recluse or fiddle-back spider is a species of Loxosceles. There are 11 species of Loxosceles native to the U.S., and four can be harmful to people. Brown recluse spiders are found in 15 states in the United States, including many parts of Texas. While the bite of a brown recluse spider is very rarely life-threatening, the bite can produce very painful symptoms.
The adult brown recluse spider is a dull yellow or dark brown color with no stripes or spots on the abdomen. Most brown recluse spiders are 6 to 11 mm in length with a body that can be as wide as a quarter. Juvenile spiders are light in color. The classic characteristic of the spider is a dark brown violin-shaped marking on the dorsum of the light brown or yellowish cephalothorax. The neck of the violin shape points toward the abdomen. Other spiders do have a similar violin pattern like the cellar spider. The best way to identify the brown recluse is to see the eyes as well. Most spiders have 8 eyes, but the brown recluse spider has 6 eyes in pairs with one median pair and two lateral pairs.
As their name implies, brown recluse spiders are shy. They usually live in dark places in basements, barns, and homes. These spiders rarely bite people unless they are provoked. Brown recluse spiders are venomous and the bites may not be painful. Someone who has been bitten may not notice until symptoms develop. While most bites become red and fade, it is possible to develop tissue damage or necrosis from a bite.
Brown recluse spiders may make their way into your home in search of food or if they are brought inside in a box. This species usually makes messy nests that are built at ground level. The web is not used for catching prey as the spider hunts for insects like cockroaches and grasshoppers.
A female brown recluse spider will create anywhere from 1 to 5 egg sacs during the spring that may contain a few dozen or up to 300 eggs. These eggs hatch after one month and the spiderlings take about one year to develop to adulthood. Spiderlings grow slowly and take about 11 months to mature.
Control Brown Recluse Spider Infestations
If you have brown recluse spiders near your home, it’s important to take action. Brown recluse spiders can be dangerous to pets and small children, and a bite can produce serious side effects in adults as well. If you see recluse spiders near a woodpile or anywhere on your property, stay away. They will usually avoid people and only bite when they are threatened. Contact Pest Defense Solutions for an inspection of your home and custom pest control solutions like insecticide spray treatment to control the population.
Black Widow Spiders Can Hurt Humans
The black widow is the most venomous spider in the United States and one of the few spiders in the country capable of hurting a human. Black widows, part of the Latrodectus genus, thrive in the temperate climate of the south, but they are found throughout North America.
The female black spider has a very distinctive appearance: a shiny black body and a red or orange hourglass-shaped mark on the underside of the abdomen. Female spiders are about 1.5″ long. Males are about half the size and light in color with red or pink spots on the back. Black widow spiders have characteristic comb feet, or short, strong bristles on the hind legs.
All black widow spiders are reclusive. These solitary spiders only socialize to mate. Black widow spiders spin webs during the day and become active during the night. Like other spiders, black widows eat anthropods like caterpillars, ants, beetles, roaches, and scorpions. After prey is caught in the web, the spider injects it with digestive enzymes. The prey is consumed once it has liquefied.
Black widows build very irregular and tangled nests that may be located at ground level or under a protected ledge under wood piles or even under a porch. The female can often be seen hanging upside-down in the nest with the hourglass visible.
It is only the female black widow spider that is dangerous. Black widow venom contains latrotoxin and it may cause muscle pain, cramps, tachycardia, and hyperhidrosis. Black widow bites are rarely fatal, but the symptoms can last for weeks. Antivenom treatment can be used to relieve the pain.
Black widow spiders mate during the spring and early summer. Female black widow spiders are known to consume the male after mating, but this does not always happen. The female can produce many egg sacs throughout the summer. These sacs are protected until they hatch. Black widow eggs are gray, tan, or white and up to 15 mm in diameter. Each egg sac may have hundreds of eggs, but only a few dozen will survive. Spiderlings are cannibalistic and they will consume their siblings.
The spiderlings will go through several molts and spend the winter immature before maturing fully over the spring. The spiders look like adults except smaller and orange or white in color. Black widow spiders usually survive for up to 1 year, but they can live for up to 3 years.
If you have black widow spiders building nests around your home, contact Pest Defense Solutions today for a custom treatment plan to protect your family.