How To Tell If Spiders On Your San Jose Property Are Dangerous

Black Widow Spider in its web.

From the teeny tiny spider you spot crawling across your ceiling to the tarantula behind the glass at the zoo, every spider has fangs and venom. This fact probably does nothing to ease your fear or worry about these eight-legged creatures. Still, maybe this one will: there are only two species of spiders in the United States that are dangerous to humans. Still not feeling good about arachnids? Perhaps knowing how to identify worrisome spiders and how to react if you receive an unlucky bite will help ease your fears.

Identifying Black Widow Spiders

Not to be confused with the comic book villain, the black widow is considered the most venomous spider in North America. However, it is unlikely that coming into contact with this spider will provoke it to bite as their bites are usually defensive. It is doubtful that the average person purposely attempts to provoke any spider they happen to find lurking in their cabinet or underneath their stairs. If you come across a black widow spider, its important to know how to identify and eliminate this dangerous species.

If you find a black widow, it's important to identify whether or not its a male or a female. Females lay egg sacs that can contain hundreds of eggs. So even if you get rid of the spider, there is a high chance she already laid her eggs. Below are identifying characteristics of a female black widow spider.

  • Females have a distinct look of a shiny black body and a red hour-glass shape on their underside.
  • Females are about 1.5 inches long while their male counterparts are about half the size and can be black or grey with a series of red dots on their abdomen.
  • Unlike other spider species who weave intricate webs, black widows weave a haphazard mess of silk that they use to capture their prey.

A bite from a black widow will cause uncomfortable symptoms such as perfuse sweating, nausea, hypertension, muscle aches, pain in the back and stomach, and trouble breathing. If you fear you have been bitten by a black widow, it is vital to seek medical attention. People that are most vulnerable to black widow venom are children and the elderly. If you suffer a black widow bite, seek medical attention.

Identifying And Misidentifying Brown Recluse Spiders

The second spider that is dangerous to humans is the brown recluse. This spider is a bit harder to accurately identify than the black widow. In fact, there are not many distinguishing qualities that would separate this spider from another less dangerous species. Nonetheless, it's important to rule out a brown recluse in your home by looking for the following characteristics:

  • One of the main characteristics you will encounter, especially through a web search, is the violin pattern, a dark violin shape on the cephalothorax. However, it is challenging for the average person to correctly identify a brown recluse through this characteristic.
  • Look at the eyes. This can be difficult as it requires a close look at a potentially dangerous spider species. A brown recluse has six eyes—one pair of eyes in the front and a pair on either side.
  • A brown recluse will not have any stripes or bands of different colors on their legs. Instead, their legs are a consistent light color with fine hairs. 
  • Like its legs, its abdomen will be uniformly colored. This can vary from cream to dark brown.
  • Its body will not be larger than ½ an inch. This smaller size 
  • As for the spider's web, a brown recluse will build a small web behind objects and never out in the open. So, for instance, if the spider's web is large and between two trees, you can eliminate it as not being from a brown recluse.

Just like the black widow, if you fear you've been bitten by a brown recluse, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Professional Spider Control For Your San Jose Property

If you see a black widow or a brown recluse spider in or around your house, call on the professionals at Bay Pest to inspect your property and formulate a plan for spider elimination and prevention. With over 40 years of experience, we know where to look for spider activity and how to mitigate other pest infestations that will help keep hunting spiders out of your San Jose home. By implementing a recurring residential pest control plan, you can rest assured knowing that spiders and other unwanted pests will no longer be a problem.  

Reach out to us today to learn more about our spider control options and to schedule your free inspection!

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