You hear a scream and someone running for a paper towel or rolled-up newspaper. With nearly a third of Americans having a fear of spiders, who is the designated spider killer in your house? Are house spiders dangerous to you and your loved ones?
Before you start swatting, you should know that not all the creepy crawlies in your home are dangerous spiders. In fact, it’s useful to have most of them in your home because they keep away other dangerous and destructive pests.
Now we’re not saying you should leave every spider in your shower alone to do his business while you cower in fear, but the ones that live up in your attic or down in your basement? As long as those aren’t a dangerous variety, it’s best to leave them be.
But how do you tell the difference between types of spiders? And once you know which spiders are dangerous, how do you deal with them before they deal with you?
It’s important to stay safe when dealing with any foreign creature. So let this be your guide to the kinds of dangerous spiders.
How Dangerous Spiders Hurt
Nearly every kind of spider has venom. They use their venom to paralyze or kill their prey before sucking their blood.
Most spider venom isn’t strong enough to hurt people. The worst it’ll do is give you a big, itchy bug bite. But some spiders have a venom that can do some serious damage, especially to the elderly, the young, and the immunocompromised.
A serious spider bite can leave you with inflammation and blisters or respiratory and even cardiac arrest by affecting cells and tissues or the nervous system.
Keep reading to find out about the spiders with the most dangerous venom commonly found in Utah.
The black widow is practically a piece of American folklore. If you ask a child to name a dangerous spider, they’re most likely to name the black widow because of its iconic look, name, and place in popular culture.
Could you recognize a black widow?
Only female black widows bite, so it’s most important to recognize them. They are small, shiny, and black with a single red hourglass on their abdomens. The hourglass is on the underside of their bodies, but you should be able to get a 360-degree view when they’re on a web.
They are nocturnal, so you’ll probably find them in dark areas of your home, such as the attic, basement, or garage. They also prefer areas that are close to the exterior of a home.
A female black widow is most likely to bite when she feels that her eggs are in danger. They are not particularly aggressive otherwise, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the danger.
A black widow’s bite affects the nervous system. Within an hour, you’ll start to feel the effects. It starts with local pain to the bitten area. Then you may experience muscle cramps, abdominal pain, tightness of the chest, nausea, dizziness, fever, an increase in heart rate, and other unpleasant symptoms.
If you’ve been bitten by a black widow, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Hobo spiders are a little more tricky to recognize. Because they vary in size and have a fairly nondescript brown coloring, you might mistake one for a common house spider.
A hobo spider is never more than two inches long and has a brown thorax with darker brown markings. The best way to tell them apart from house spiders is to never have ring markings around their legs. Also, unlike house spiders, hobo spiders make a funnel or cone-shaped web.
They do not climb high, so you’re likely to find them on the floors of sheds, basements, and crawl spaces.
Not all bites from hobo spiders will hurt you. They have the ability to choose between delivering a bite with or without venom. If you do receive a bite with venom, it will, for the first 24 hours, appear no worse than a mosquito bite.
By the next day, the bite blister and ooze open. That lesion can expand and cause serious tissue loss. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a hobo spider, seek medical attention.
Are wolf spiders dangerous? Yes!
These spiders sometimes get mistaken for tarantulas, but it is most easy to recognize them by the arrangement of their eyes. Wolf spiders have eight distinct eyes arranged in three rows. You may also know them for carrying their young on the backs.
Some wolf spiders are large enough that their bite will actually tear the skin. Then you’ll experience redness and swelling lasting for 10 days. Your lymph nodes may also swell.
Although wolf spider bites are not as immediately dangerous as a black widow, you should still seek help to prevent further infection.
Yellow Sac Spider
You’re most likely to find a yellow sac spider in your home during the winter months. The rest of the year, they prefer to make their sac-shaped webs outside.
It’s easy to recognize them because they are very small with a large round abdomen and come in various yellow shades.
They are quicker to bite them some other types of spiders, but luckily their bites are usually just very painful and not life-threatening. You’ll experience redness, swelling, and intense searing pain. As always, seek medical attention just in case.
What to Do With Dangerous Spiders
Now you may still have questions. Are jumping spiders dangerous? Not usually. Are huntsman spiders dangerous? Yes! Very! But you won’t have to worry about them in Utah.
What do you do if you fear you have a spider infestation. Call a professional! Exterminators will be better than you at accurately identifying and taking care of any spider infestation your home may have.
Staying Safe from Spiders
As long as you can recognize these common dangerous spiders found in Utah, you should feel confident about knowing which are a threat to you and your family. You can always get rid of a spider even if it just makes you uncomfortable, but call a professional for any of these dangerous ones.
Think you have a spider problem? Contact us for an inspection today!