From time to time Humans have a run in with spiders, usually to the spider’s misfortune. Spiders seem to give a lot of people the creeps or scare the heck out of them. Here in my home state of North Carolina we have two venomous types of spiders to worry about. The venomous spiders in North Carolina are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. While most spiders have venom, these two are the ones to worry about in North Carolina.
The Black Widow
The Black Widow, thus named due to killing their mates, is common to North Carolina. They tend to live in cover of some sort. They like the underside of rocks or wood, sometimes living in dense brush. This is the easier recognized of the two poisonous spiders in North Carolina. The adult females are black with a red hourglass shape on their belly. However color of the hourglass can be from white to yellow as well.
Younger female Black Widows have the red markings on their backs because they travel looking for a area to set up shop in. The markings are to deter predators, the red shows danger. The older adult female having found a place for her web, has the markings on the abdomen. Males have similar markings but not as colorful, these are to deter birds and other predators while they search for a mate. The younger Black Widows are tan or gray in color.
When they have their web, an adult female will seldom leave the spot. They trap their prey in the web; bite it, which paralyzes it. After it dies they then eat it. They prey on insects but occasionally other spiders.
Danger to Humans
The Black Widow male can and does bite but has less venom than the infamous female.
The Black Widow’s bite is mild to most humans, sometimes you are not aware that you have been bitten. The venom attacks the nervous system ff humans. Pain in the lymph nodes, elevated blood pressure, nausea, sweating and tremors. The wound often appears to be a bluish red spot with white around it. Seek immediate medical treatment if you suspect you have been bitten by a Black Widow.
The Brown Recluse
The Brown Recluse is also a poisonous spider found in North Carolina. They have a fiddle shaped marking on their back. Other non poisonous spiders have similar markings however. According to Brownreclusespider.org the Brown Recluse has 6 eyes in 3 sets of twos. I however to not intend to get close enough to one to count them!
The Brown Recluse is a night time hunter and like dark places to live. They live under woodpiles, rocks, and other cover when living outdoors. If they move in with you they tend to like bathrooms, basements and attics. They like to hide cardboard boxes and in clothes or shoes in closets, which leads to the most common reason of a human being bitten by one. The Brown Recluse actually leaves it web to hunt, so there are very possibly some prowling your home, while you sleep!
Danger to Humans
This spider can really cause a lot of damage. It is most urgent to get immediate medical attention if you suspect a bite by one. After a few hours a bite will swell up and turn red. The wound will blister and the skin around the wound will often die and require surgery. A victim will offer suffer from nausea and may be feverous. This bite can also lead to MRSA, which is a deadly bacteria. MRSA can also be confused as a spider bite when there has been no bite.I personally know a woman who died almost a year after being bitten by a Brown Recluse. She kept getting infections and her condition kept getting worse until she finally died. One man I saw shortly (within an hour) after being bitten by one, was staggering around and appeared drunk. We were at work and the supervisor was going to fire him for drinking, before it was determined he had been bitten.
How to prevent spider bites
When working in the garden or yard, watch where you put your hands. If you have to move rocks or wood, wear work gloves. Inside don’t put your hands into a dark space without checking it first. The same goes with cardboard boxes or bags stored somewhere. Shake any clothes or shoes that have been on the floor, look into your shoes before putting your feet in them. Don’t tease them in their webs, leave em alone and they will do the same for you.
Keeping them out of your house
It is very difficult to do, however there are some steps to take. Tape boxes closed, and don’t store them next to a wall. Keep your grass cut, and don’t have plants right next to your home. Seal cracks in windows or walls to keep them from entering that way. But do keep in mind that spiders do more good than harm, by eating insects that can become a pest. And in most situations a spider will not bite if not bothered.