Telling The Difference Between Texas Spiders
Here in Texas, we have a lot of spiders. Most are simply a nuisance, but there are some that will do more than just 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 as well as 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 around them 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 spider 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 that 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 same jet black coloring and shiny look of the females, and may be mistaken for a female. If you see a male black widow, you don't have much to worry about as the males don't have the potent venom of their potential mates. If you spot a female black widow on your property, it's important to be cautious.
What does a brown recluse look like?
Here in Texas, we have more than one type of 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, also known as the brown recluse. And to the west, you may run into loxosceles blanda, the big bend recluse spider. All of these spiders are brown, mostly hairless, and have a dark brown violin or fiddle-shaped marking on their backs. Either way, it's a mark that you should get to know, as it will help you identify recluse spiders. 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 in your home. 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 to 5/16 of an inch with yellowish-brown coloring and a dirty white abdomen with several dark stripes that meet at an angle. If you are bitten by a common house spider, it is likely to be while you're sleeping. But, fortunately, these bites only produce a small red bite wound and pose no serious health threat.
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, while recluse spiders are not. Wolf spiders are also larger than recluse spiders. A typical wolf spider can be over an inch in size, while recluse spiders are typically 3/8 to 1/2 of an inch long. They also do not have that violin-shaped 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?
These spiders have thick, hairy bodies and legs, and are sometimes mistaken for tarantulas. But measuring between 1/8 and 3/4 of an inch, they are hardly worthy of this mistaken identity. Jumping spiders are usually black but can also be brown, tan, or gray mixed with a lighter pale or yellow color.
If you're finding spiders in your home, contact the Tyler and East Texas exterminators at IPC. Whether those spiders are harmful or not, it's always best to have a spider-free home. And getting rid of spiders is what we do — well, one of the things we do. If you need professional spider control, partner with Innovative Pest Control, serving Tyler, Flint, Jacksonville, Mineola, and Lindale. For more information about our services, reach out to us today!