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Are All Spiders Venomous?

Written by Aptive Environmental March 18, 2020

When you think of dangerous spiders, you probably envision black widows and brown recluses. However, most people are surprised to learn that nearly all species of spiders are venomous – only a couple species lack venom glands. However, this doesn’t mean that all spiders are dangerous to humans. Keep reading to learn more about what makes certain spiders more dangerous and how to avoid them in your home.

Are All Spiders Venomous?

Nearly every spider has venom glands to hunt their prey and defend themselves. However, not all spiders bite or have strong enough venom to harm us. Many species aren’t able to bite because their fangs aren’t large enough to puncture human skin. For example, daddy long legs have a very toxic venom that they use to subdue their prey. This venom could actually kill humans, but their fangs can’t puncture human skin.

Even though some spiders can bite, it’s very rare to get a spider bite unless you’re provoking them or surprise them (such as if they got stuck in your clothes, were hiding in your shoe, or you invaded their habitat).

Dangerous Spiders

There are a few types of venomous spiders that can be dangerous to humans. A few examples include black widows, brown recluses, and funnel-web spiders. These are dangerous because their fangs can puncture human skin and their venom is toxic enough to harm humans. Side effects can include headaches, cramping muscles, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and heavy sweating. In rare cases, some of these spider bites can cause death if they aren’t treated correctly. However, most species of spiders we see every day are not harmful to humans.

Identifying Spider Bites

If you’re unsure what a bug bite is, it’s possible for it to be a spider bite (although pretty rare). There are plenty of other species that will bite you such as ticks, mosquitos, or bed bugs. Spiders don’t prey on human blood like some other bugs – their goal is to find prey and survive.

Spider Bite Characteristics

A spider bite will have two puncture marks with swelling or redness. A sore will develop and the bite will hurt in the beginning, getting a bit more painful over time. It can also be itchy. For more severe spider bites, you could experience side effects like muscle cramps or heavy sweating.

Treating Spider Bites

Since some spiders can be harmful and others are harmless, ideal treatment will vary. If you know you weren’t bitten by one of the top dangerous spiders or are unsure, here are a few cleaning tips. First, clean the bite with mild soapy water right as you notice the bite. Then, apply a cool compress or ice to the bite to reduce swelling and pain. If possible, elevate the area where you were bitten such as your arm or leg. Then, simply keep an eye on your bite to make sure it doesn’t get infected.

If you were bitten by a dangerous spider, make sure to seek medical attention immediately to avoid uncomfortable side effects (or even possible death if you leave it untreated). It’s more common for children to die from poisonous spider bites, so make sure to take your child to the hospital if they’ve been bitten by a brown recluse or similar species.

Understanding Spider Harmfulness

While many fear the presence of spiders, it’s important to distinguish between those that are dangerous and the vast majority which are less harmless or, at most, mildly troublesome. For instance, the common house spider—typically non-venomous and not aggressive—rarely bites. If it does, the bite is often less significant than a bee sting. Non-dangerous spiders like the large but gentle daddy long legs are vastly more common than their deadly counterparts such as the black widow or brown recluse. Most house spiders are non-venomous, and bites during the night are rare and usually accidental. On the whole, less harmful spiders vastly outnumber the venomous, dangerous ones, making everyday encounters with threatening spiders exceedingly uncommon.

Getting Rid of House Spiders

Spiders are a common insect found inside homes. Although they sometimes just crawl inside, they can also make nests in your home and require spider extermination before they get out of hand. Spiders reproduce very quickly – they can lay up to 1,000 eggs (depending on the species). Although harmless spiders can definitely be annoying when you find them all around your home, dangerous spider infestations can threaten you and your family. If you’re dealing with a dangerous spider infestation such as a black widow, you will definitely want to hire black widow extermination.

Aptive Environmental offers effective pest control services, with offices all over the United States. We are so confident in our services that, if the pest we exterminate comes back, we will too (at no additional cost)!

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