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Everything you need to know about spiders


Spiders can often be a big issue for people - especially for those who suffer from arachnophobia.

Although there are many positive things about these eight legged creatures, they have become a pest all around the globe due to their bites (which can be pose health risks in some cases, based on the species) and people’s irrational fear of them.

All about spiders

What are spiders?

Often mistaken for insects, spiders are actually arachnids. They have eight legs - not six like all insects - and they lack antennae.

Spiders belong to the arthropod family of animals. Like all arthropods, they are characterized by their exoskeleton, segmented body and jointed appendages. Spiders have chelicerae, which is a fancy scientific word to describe their mouthparts. Their mouthparts contain fangs that can inject venom! Nasty right?!

Regardless of the species of spider that you have around your property, there is a Western Exterminator spider control specialist nearby who can help you get rid of them and keep them away. Contact us today!

Spider species

Spiders come in many different shapes and sizes. It is estimated that there around 43,000 different species of spiders found across the globe.

It’s important to note that not all spiders are considered pests. Some of them live in tropical climates, deep in the forest far away from people, while others can be very beneficial to your garden, being predators to a handful of garden pests.

World’s deadliest spiders

Of the many different species of spiders, there are five regarded as the world’s most deadly due to the strength of the venom in their bite.

Black widow

Black widow

The black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) is probably the most well known venomous spider.

Identified by its black coloring and contrasting red, triangular and hourglass-shaped body markings, this spider’s bite can pack a punch. Although they generally prefer to hide from people in their webs, they will bite if their webs are disturbed.

Brown widow

Brown widow

A cousin of the black widow, the brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus) is another spider with a venomous bite.

Compared to the black widow, brown widows are usually lighter in color, ranging from tan to dark brown, although they can sometimes be black. Brown widows share the same hourglass-shaped markings, the markings on a brown widow are usually orange/yellow.

Red widow

Like other widow spiders, the red widow female’s venom is a neurotoxin that can be harmful to people.

As you’ve probably guessed, the red widow spider (Latrodectus bishopi) is a reddish color. It has a black abdomen and, unlike its cousins, it does not feature a complete hourglass marking, but rather a series of small red markings.

Redback spider

The redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti) is another member of the widow (Latrodectus) family of spiders.

The redback spider is native to Australia. It is black in color and can be identified by the prominent red stripe/hourglass-shaped mark on its back (although this can sometimes be absent or broken into spots in front with visible white lines).

Funnel-web spider

Funnel-web spiders refer to the Dipluridae family of spiders who get their name from the funnel-shaped webs they build.

These arachnids are usually large in size and a brownish/black color (this can vary depending on the species). The bites of some species can cause serious health complications.

Arachnophobia - the fear of spiders

A fear of spiders is something that is common among many, estimates suggest that around 30.5% of the US population. But why?

Fear of spiders

Well, believe it or not, research shows that our fear of spiders is built into our DNA!

This theory is all to do with our evolutionary history. Way back when, our ancestors used to come into regular contact with venomous spiders. Because of this, they developed a survival instinct to be wary of them. As evolution has progressed, this fear (arachnophobia) has stuck with us.

The definition of Arachnophobia is an extreme, irrational or persistent fear of arachnids such as spiders and scorpions. It is considered to be one of the top 10 phobias experienced around the world.

Spider bites

The potential for a spider to give a nasty bite can be a big concern for both homeowners and businesses.

However, it’s important to note that spiders rarely bite humans and only do so if they feel threatened or provoked. In some cases, the spider's fangs aren’t strong enough to pierce your skin.

Spider on leg

What do spider bites look like?

It can be difficult to diagnose spider bites as they often get mistaken for skin boils or infections. To add to this, the appearance of a spider bite can differ depending on the species of spider involved.

Spider bite symptoms

Like identifying spider bites, it is difficult to give a general description of spider bite symptoms. This is because they vary depending on the spider, as different species have different strengths of venom.

Spider bite symptoms range from a mild reaction, such as inflammation of the skin or minor swelling and itching, to a more severe reaction causing lots of pain, gangrene and even necrotic wounds. Sounds painful, right?

How to treat spider bites

You’ve probably guessed already, treatment for spider bites depends on the species.

For the most part, a spider bite requires little to no medical treatment. However, if you are bitten by a spider such as a black widow or a funnel-web spider, we strongly advise you to seek urgent medical attention and treatment.

Need help getting rid of spiders in your home and/or business? Get in touch with Western Exterminator today.

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