Many people fear spiders; it is probably a classic example of judging a book by its cover.  Though they look very different from all the other creatures we are accustomed to seeing, they are generally peaceful.  They are even beneficial because of their role as predators to other more dangerous pests. They feed on cockroaches, flies, ants, bugs, and even rodents.  Even the venomous types, like the black widow spider, are most likely just hidden somewhere they are not disturbed. It is not as if they get out of their way to bite humans.  


Spiders are arachnids.  While some people mistake them as insects, they are not.  They are characterized by their eight legs and two body parts: the head and the abdomen region.  Most spiders have venom which they use to kill their prey, but only a few species can actually affect humans.  

The two most common poisonous spiders in the United States

In the United States, there are two species that can poison humans: the Black Widow spider and the Brown Recluse spider.

The Black Widow spider is perhaps the most common poisonous spider in America.  It is actually reported that a black widow’s venom is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake’s.  Fortunately, their bites are not usually fatal. That being said, they still can cause harm to humans.

The female black widow has a shiny black body, slender black legs, and a red or orange hourglass- like mark on its underside.  Its body is 5 /16th to 5/8th inch long. The male black widow is one-half to two-thirds the length of a female. The males are incapable of biting human because of their small fangs.

The Brown Recluse spider s the only other poisonous spider that is found in the United States.  They have a violin-shaped mark on the top of their heads, six eyes arranged in pairs are formed in a semi-circle.  Like the black widow’s, the brown recluse’s bite is painful but rarely is it fatal. It tends to keep to itself, but when disturbed it can be harmful.  If bitten, place an ice pack on the bitten area and seek prompt medical care. If the spider can be captured, do so and put it in a container. The spider should be brought to the hospital along with the patient.

Control and Prevention

Having poisonous spiders in your homes is a scary thought.  Here are some tips to prevent it from happening:

  1. Seal off cracks and crevices.  These are potential entry points for these spiders.  
  2. Clean your house regularly.  Remove clutter as this might be used as the spiders’ hiding places.  As much as possible, dispose of old boxes or cartons.
  3. Remove vegetation away from your perimeter.  Plants attract spiders because it provides them a nice living area.
  4. If you see spider webs in your house, remove them with your vacuum cleaner.   Spider webs must be removed as you see them. If the spider web is too far out to reach, use a duster tied to a stick to reach it.  

These are a few tips to make sure your home is free from spiders.  For any questions, just dial 335-841-6111 for more expert advice.