Most spider species do not bite humans unless when guarding their egg sac, or in the early years of development. The venom of most species of spiders is usually not fatal, but it does cause inflammation, swelling and an itching sensation. Certain species such as the Brown Recluse, Hobo and Black Widow Spider have more potent venom. A bite from one of these spiders can result in tissue damage and in very rare cases for very young children, death.
PROPERTY THREAT: Minimal to none.
Unlike mosquitoes, spiders do not actively seek our people to bite them. They only bite humans if they have been squeezed, lain on or provoked. A spider might also bite a human if they have disturbed its web, biting by instinct because it thinks an insect has been caught.
IS A SPIDER BITE DANGEROUS?
The severity of a spider bite depends on these factors:
- Type of Spider
- The amount of venom injected
- The age and health of the person bitten.
In most cases, spider bites may result in itching, redness, stiffness, swelling and pain-at worst, usually no more severe than a bee sting. However, some people may be allergic to spider venom, causing more severe reactions. The best thing to do when experiencing a severe reaction to a spider bite, is to capture the spider and bring it with you to the nearest emergency room.
TYPES OF SPIDERS
There are two types of spiders, hunting spiders and web-building spiders. These two types are distinct in their approach to capturing prey. Hunting spiders rely on webs only as a way to provide shelter. Web-building spiders specifically use their web to catch their prey. However, both species are capable of biting humans.
Jumping Spiders are named for their ability to leap 10 to 40 times their body length. They can live in various climates, such as mountains and deserts. For homeowners, this means Jumping Spiders can nest in various places inside and outside of your home. Unlike other spiders, Jumping Spiders are particularly curious and will not scuttle away from humans. Rather, they will come closer and may even jump into your hand if offered. Fortunately, Jumping Spiders are not particularly aggressive, and will only bite if they feel threatened. Their bite is rarely hazardous, unless the victim is allergic to spider venom.
Traits of a Jumping Spider
- Appearance: Many species are ornate, brightly colored and are strikingly patterned
- Body Shape: Stout bodies with short legs
- Eyes: Are distinct by their large pair of eyes on the front of the face
Wolf Spiders are the nomads of the spider family. Some may have a certain habitat they call home, but most wander from place to place, and as a result can be found both indoors and outdoors. If continually provoked, this spider will bite releasing venom that causes swelling, pain and itching.
Traits of a Wolf Spider
- Appearance: Dark-colored to match their environment, usually brown or gray with white markings
- Size: Medium to large-sized (1/4 - 3/4 inch long)
- They are unique in carrying their egg sac with them, attached at the end of their abdomen
Fishing Spiders are usually found near sources of water. These spiders use their incredibly long legs to "skate” across and drive into water to capture prey. While this spider may be feared due to its large size, its bite is not serious for humans.
Sac Spiders are commonly found indoors. Instead of a traditional web, Sac Spiders build small "retreats” for themselves made of silk that resemble a tube or sac. Favorite nesting spots for Sac Spiders are high up on walls, near ceiling or outdoors beneath foliage or attached to the underside of a stone.
Traits of a Sac Spider
- Appearance: Yellowish or light-colored
- Size: Small to medium-sized (1/5 - 2/5 inch long)
Crab Spiders tend to stay outdoors. They are named for their ability to walk forwards, sideways, or backwards like a crab. These spiders wait for their prey to come to them, usually nesting on flowers, stems or leaves until an unsuspecting victim passes by.
Traits of a Crab Spider
- Appearance: Color ranges from yellow or red to brown or gray
- Body Shape: The first four legs are held out to the sides, like a crab, and are usually longer than the back four
- Size: Small to medium-sized (1/10 - 2/5 inch long)
Gnaphosid Spiders are most commonly found outdoors during the day, under stones or loose bark inside silken retreats, similar to the Sac Spider. At night, a specific type of gnaphosid, the parson Spider, has been known to enter homes, looking for prey. Indoors, they usually hide under objects or in cracks or crevices.
Traits of a Parson Spider
- Apperance: Brownish body, gray abdomen, marked with a white stripe
- Size: Medium-sized (1/2 inch long)