Telling The Difference Between Texas Spiders
Here in Texas, we have a lot of spiders. Most are just a nuisance. But there are some that will do more than make webs all over your home, startle you when you open the curtains, and leave tiny red welts on your skin. Some Texas spiders have potent venom that can cause a severe reaction and also necrosis. That's why it is important to be able to tell the harmless spiders from the not-so-harmless ones. Hopefully, these descriptions will help you figure out what kind of spiders you're seeing on your Texas property, and whether or not you should take extra precautions or not.
What does a black widow look like?
Since this spider can cause a bite that can send you to the hospital, it is definitely worth looking at first. The black widow spider you're likely to see on your Texas property is the Southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans). It is jet black, shiny, and has a bright red hourglass symbol on the bottom of its abdomen. If you see this spider from the top down, don't worry, you're not likely to mistake it for another spider. The black widow is quite distinct. But, it is important to know that black widows hide during the day, and will be walking around at night, which can make them extremely hard to see.
The only spider you're likely to mistake for a black widow spider is another black widow spider. What we mean is, male black widow spiders have the jet black coloring and shiny look of female black widows, and may be mistaken for a female. If you see a male black widow, you don't have much to worry about. He does not have the potent venom of his potential mate.
What does a brown recluse look like?
Here in Texas, we have more than one recluse spider. In the Southern portion of the state we have loxosceles devia (the Texas recluse). In the northern portion of the state we have loxosceles reclusa (the brown recluse). And to the west you may run into loxosceles blanda. All of these spiders are brown, mostly hairless, and have a dark brown violin shape on their backs. Some call this a fiddle shape. Either way, it is a mark you should get to know. None of these spiders should ever be welcome in your home.
What does a tarantula look like?
This is a fat spider that can be as large as 1 ½ inches long. So, you're not likely to miss this spider crawling around your home. It is a hairy spider that is usually dark brown in color. Though it has a reputation as being a dangerous spider, bites from Texas tarantulas are not generally serious to humans.
What does a house spider look like?
You are more likely to see the webs of the common house spider before you actually see this spider. House spiders create several webs on windows and in high places, which they travel between and tend for food. If you happen to find a house spider in its web, it will be 3/16 - 5/16 of an inch with yellowish brown coloring and a dirty white abdomen with several dark stripes that meet at an angle. If this spider bites you, it is likely to be while you're sleeping. But, fortunately, it only produces a small red bite wound.
What does a wolf spider look like?
This spider is often mistaken for the brown recluse because it can have a brown coloring, but wolf spiders are hairy, recluse spiders are not. Wolf spiders are also larger than recluse spiders. A typical wolf spider can be over an inch in size. They also do not have that hourglass marking on their back. Some wolf spiders have two dark lines on the cephalothorax to help identify them.
What does a jumping spider look like?
This spider has a thick, hairy body and thick legs, and is sometimes mistaken for a tarantula. But measuring between ⅛ and ¾ of an inch, they are hardly worthy of this mistaken identity. Jumping spiders are usually black but they can also be brown, tan, or gray. This coloring is mixed with a lighter pale or yellow color.
If you're finding spiders in your Texas home, reach out to Innovative Pest Control. Whether those spiders are harmful or not, it is always best to have a home that is spider-free. And getting rid of spiders is what we do--well, one of the things we do. For more information contact us today.