Many people are afraid of spiders. This fear is partly due to myths and to the notoriety of harmful species such as the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. However, the vast majority of spiders are harmless to humans. Several species of “sac” spiders are suspected of being responsible for most spider bites, especially ones occurring indoors. Spiders are beneficial predators that reduce pest populations (flies, crickets, mites, etc.) in and around homes, yards, gardens, and crops.
Black Widow Spider
The black widow spider has a potent neurotoxic venom and is considered the most venomous spider in North America. However, the female injects such a small dose of venom that it rarely causes death. Reports indicate human mortality at well less than 1% from black widow spider bites.
The characteristic hourglass marking is on the adult female black widow spider. She has a shiny, jet black, spherical abdomen with two connected red triangles on the underside.
Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse belongs to a group of spiders that is officially known as the "recluse spiders". These spiders are also commonly referred to as "fiddleback" spiders or "violin" spiders because of the violin-shaped marking on their back. This feature can be very faint depending on the species of recluse spider.
The physical reaction to a brown recluse spider bite depends on the amount of venom injected and an individual's sensitivity to it. Some people are unaffected by a bite, whereas others experience immediate or delayed effects as the venom kills the tissues (necrosis) at the site of the bite. There is the possibility that bites can have serious effects and the bite site.
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