Texas has two poisonous species of spiders, the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) and the black widow (Latrodectus mactans). These poisonous spider species can be found indoors and outdoors throughout Texas.
Black Widow Spiders in Texas
You can identify the female black widow by its black color and rounded abdomen. On the underside of the abdomen, you will see its trademark orange or red hourglass. The makes are smaller in size and brown in color.
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Are black widow spiders dangerous?
The black widow spider is aptly named for the female who occasionally eats the male after mating. The venom of the black widow is quite dangerous. It is a neurotoxin and may result in severe systemic reactions and death in some rare cases.
Is the black widow spider poisonous?
The black widow’s venom is highly toxic. It is reported to be 15 times more toxic than the venom of a prairie rattlesnake. Even though only a tiny quantity of venom is injected with each bite, reactions to the venom can be quite severe.
Children and the elderly are more at risk for adverse reactions to the black widow’s venom. You could find black widow spiders in and around undisturbed areas, woodpiles, meter boxes, outdoor toilets, and under eaves.
What are the symptoms of a black widow spider bite?
The severity of your reaction to a black widow spider’s bite depends on the area of the body bitten, the depth of the bite, the amount of venom injected, your age and other factors.
Additionally, not all spider bites are not always painful. Often, the bite of a black widow spider can go unnoticed or feel like a pin-prick.
Black Widow Bite Symptoms
- Abdominal cramping
- Abdominal rigidity
- Lesion at site of bite
- Profuse sweating
Brown Recluse Spiders in Texas
Brown recluse spiders are golden brown and can be identified by a black fiddle-shaped pattern on the head region, right above the legs. The characteristic violin shape is much darker than the surrounding area.
Is the brown recluse spider poisonous?
The brown recluse spider’s venom contains necrotizing enzymes. As a result, the venom may cause systemic or local reactions. The brown recluse spider normally lives in garages and basements of houses. You can find these poisonous spiders hiding in undisturbed areas, clothes in the dark, between boards, boxes, and old towels.
Brown Recluse Spider Bite Symptoms
- Blue lesion and redness at the bite site
- Necrosis at the bite site
Are these poisonous spiders aggressive?
Neither the brown recluse nor the black widow spiders are aggressive. In fact, they are shy, but they will bite when accidentally threatened, trapped, or disturbed.
Are poisonous spiders common in Texas?
Poisonous spiders are not common in Texas. In fact, most spiders in Texas are harmless. And even the poisonous spiders are shy and nonaggressive.
Venomous spiders can be most dangerous when you are working outdoors. However, black widows and brown recluse spiders can find their way inside your home.
Most spiders aren’t aggressive, and bites usually occur accidentally.
Spider Bite Prevention in Texas
Prevention is the most optimal treatment of all for poisonous spider bites. You can choose between chemical and non-chemical spider controls to reduce the risk of being bitten by spiders.
You can control spiders by introducing non-chemical measures. A simple way to keep spiders away is to reduce bright outdoor lighting that attracts bugs and insects. Since spiders feed on insects, more light attracts them, resulting in more spiders. Reduce the spiders’ food supply, and you will reduce the number of spiders.
Exclusion is an effective spider control measure. Caulk or seal outside openings that may provide spiders with easy entryways to your home.
If you trim grass and weeds on your property, you will discourage spiders from living nearby. The same goes for removing trash and debris from your yard.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove spider webs, egg sacs, and spiders inside your home, garage, and attic.
Wear work gloves when you work in areas with poisonous spiders. Shake out linens, shoes, clothes, and towels before use, especially if they haven’t been used for extended periods.
Chemical spider control is an extremely effective for getting rid of poisonous spiders. You should hire a professional to apply a residual pesticide inside and around your home.
Unfortunately, over-the-counter pesticides are not strong enough to effectively control poisonous spiders. When you talk to a pest control professional, ask about contact pesticides.