Spiders are creepy crawly insects that no one wants to find lurking in their home or business. While you may find their webs art-like and beautiful, you likely do not want them creating one and moving in where you live or work. Spiders are not just a fear for many people, they can also pose a threat to your health. There are spiders whose bites can be deadly. What are the poisonous spiders of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan?
What are Spiders?
Before we can review the poisonous spiders that may live around us, we need to get a better understanding of the creatures all together.
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, chelicerae with fangs generally able to inject venom, and spinnerets that extrude silk. Spiders are arachnids, a class of arthropods that also includes scorpions, mites, and ticks. There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders, found in habitats all over the world.
Spiders differ from other arachnids because their body is divided into two regions separated by a narrow connection. The front part of a spider’s body is a combination of the head and thorax and the back half contains and abdomen with finger-like appendages.
Spiders eat and hunt by building webs and catching their prey (smaller bugs). Spiders can’t swallow their food whole, so they inject their prey with digestive fluids and then suck out the liquefied remains.
All spiders develop from eggs laid in a silk case. The spiderlings emerge from the case, cluster together for a few hours or days, then disperse to their new homes. Because there are thousands of different types of spiders, spider habitat varies depending on species. Some spiders are indoor spiders and others prefer outdoors. Regardless of where a spider lives or what type it is, its basic needs are the same: food, water, and shelter. Spiders typically like living in quiet, undisturbed areas where moisture and food are available (food, meaning other insects).
What are the poisonous spiders of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan?
Ohio and Michigan are home to more than 600 species of spiders and most of them are venomous. The good news is, the majority of spiders are not harmful to humans or pets, because the amount of venom they possess is minimal. In Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, there are two main groups of spiders that pose a potential hazard to humans; the recluse spiders and the widow spiders.
There are two species of recluse spiders found in our area. They include the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) and the Mediterranean recluse (Loxosceles rufescens). They are commonly referred to as “brown spiders” or “violin spiders.”
As the name “recluse” suggests, these are relatively shy spiders. You can distinguish a recluse spider by their pale brown to reddish-brown color, and their distinct long, thin, wide-spread legs that enable them to move forwards, backwards, and sideways. Unlike most other spiders, recluse spiders only have six eyes, as opposed to eight.
People are typically bitten by a recluse spider when the spider has crawled into an article of clothing, a pair of gloves, or a cardboard box. If the spider feels threatened and like its space is being taking away, they will bite.
The bite of a recluse spider is generally not painful at the time, but the pain can become severe after a few hours. A recluse bite also can be life-threatening. These bites contain a hemotoxic venom that can potentially lead to death of nearby tissue. If bitten by one of these critters, medical attention is recommended.
The southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) are both found in Ohio and Michigan.
Male widow spiders are not known to bite. Female widow spiders are the ones that bite and are larger than their male counterparts. Female widow spiders are usually shiny and black, with a red hourglass symbol on their abdomen. Male widows are smaller and lighter in color, with marks on their abdomen that are either orange or red outlined in white.
Widow spiders are usually found in abandoned structures and areas such as: barns, other wooden buildings, logs, shaded areas of woods, under rocks, and in rock beds.
The bite of a widow spider is like that of a recluse in that it isn’t exceptionally painful when it happens, but within hours, the venom can cause the victim to suffer from muscle spasms and cramps. Complete recovery is likely for healthy adults.
Delving Pest Control is Here to Help
The last thing you want to find in your home or business is a spider, let alone one of the poisonous spiders of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Even if you aren’t bit by one of these pest, they still make for unpleasant visitors.
At Delving Pest Control, we offer a range of discreet home pest control services to help you achieve the results you’re after. From creepy-crawly critters, to stinging bees and wasps, and even rodents, Delving is here.