Let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of people who like spiders. By nature, their appearance makes them hard to love. Whether it's the hairy bodies and long creepy-crawly legs, or those eyes. It's a good thing that most spiders are quite harmless, and indeed helpful at reducing the levels of many much more harmful pests. Even so, it's easy to fear these eight-legged hunters, and not just because of their looks.
Two Species Of Dangerous Spiders In Texas
It's no secret that there are some species of spider that can be downright dangerous due to their venomous bites. Here in Texas, there are two species of spiders that you should be aware of: the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider.
Brown Recluse Spiders
The brown recluse spider is only found natively in a handful of mid-western and southern states, including Texas. The reason it is frightening is that its bite can cause necrosis, which means tissue death, and has in rare cases been fatal. The good thing is that you're unlikely to receive a brown recluse spider bite in the first place. They are not aggressive and usually only bite if they are forced into skin contact, such as being inside your shoe or in clothing that you put on. Even so, it can happen, and it's wise to know what to watch out for and what to do in the case of such an unfortunate accident.
If you are bitten, you should put an ice pack on the bite immediately and seek medical attention. If you can, bring the spider with you to the doctor or hospital. The bite isn't painful at first but in the hours and days following the bite, it can become very painful and pain medication is usually prescribed. These bites can also result in painful ulcers and secondary infections, which may be more of a threat than the venom itself if not cared for properly.
Identifying the brown recluse spider can be a little tricky because it has a similar look to many other spiders (which is why it’s a good idea to take the spider with you when you seek medical treatment). In general, brown recluse spiders are a little less than an inch in size, have a fuzzy-looking body, and unlike most spiders have only six eyes instead of the usual eight. Brown recluse spiders range in color from light to medium brown but can sometimes look whitish or even dark brown. Their body sections can be different colors and the eight spindly legs can be a different color than the body. These spiders can be identified from other similar-looking spiders found in our area of Texas by the violin or fiddle-shaped marking found on their body.
Black Widow Spiders
Black widow spiders are much more easily identifiable that the brown recluse. The female black widow has a black body and legs with a characteristic red hourglass shape on the abdomen while the males tend to have various red markings or stripes on their bodies. The females are much larger than the males, which are generally about a half-inch in size. Black widow spiders have a deadly reputation, but it’s unwarranted. While the bite is painful, it's almost never fatal. The latrotoxin in the venom can cause muscle pain, sweating, an irregular heartbeat, abdominal cramps and more. Symptoms can last from a few days to a week, occasionally longer but subside within 24 hours of treatment. Black widows are not aggressive and tend to stay hidden in dark animal holes, woodpiles, and other undisturbed places. If they do bite, it’s only when provoked. About 2,200 people are bitten by black widow spiders yearly.
Getting Rid Of Spiders
Even if the risk of these spider bites is minimal, it's not a chance worth taking. Suffering painful cramps or having necrosis of your skin isn’t exactly a pleasing thought, and taking the steps to ensure that your property is free of these harmful pests will give you a good feeling. An important note for both of these potentially dangerous spiders is that their nests can be very hard to find, as they are often in the most remote, hard to reach places in your house.
If you need help ridding your home of black widow or brown recluse spiders, Innovative Pest Control can help. We know where to look and what to do to get spiders out of your house, and will go even further, ensuring that any other pests that these spiders feed on are gone as well. We also look to prevention, sealing cracks and openings that spiders like to make their homes or use to gain entry indoors. The East Texas pest control experts at IPC is standing by with a year-round pest control program that will make your pest problems disappear and prevent future spider infestations from occurring.