With it being October, we’re in the midst of “spooky season,” but instead of ghosts and goblins, we want to address a topic that most people find much scarier and are a much greater threat: venomous spiders in North Carolina. To help you recognize these dangerous pests, our spider extermination company is identifying what you need to look for.
What Does Venomous Mean?
Before we dive into these spiders, let’s look at what makes them dangerous – they’re venomous. This means they will actively inject or attack prey or a threat with a toxic substance. This differs from poison, in that someone has to come in contact with a poisonous substance (through touch or ingestion) to have an adverse reaction, like eating a plant. Poisonous is passive, venomous is active, and certain spiders, snakes, and wasps are considered venomous.
Black Widow Spiders in North Carolina
The black widow spider, or lactrodectus mactans, is generally the easiest spider to identify in North Carolina. It has a large, shiny, black body and a distinctive red hourglass shape on its abdomen. However, these markings are only present on adult females. Young spiders and males may have yellow markings or more brown-colored bodies. They tend to hide and seek protected areas, so you’ll most likely find them under rocks, in wood piles, hidden in crawlspaces, or in damp, dark areas if they are inside.
The black widow is the most dangerous spider in North America, and while their bite is rarely fatal, it can be especially dangerous to children, the elderly, and immune-compromised people. Black widow venom is a neurotoxin, meaning it affects the nervous system. If you have been bitten (or suspect you were), get medical treatment immediately.
Symptoms of a black widow bite include:
- Swelling, pain, and redness around the affected area
- Blue-red spot surrounded by white area;
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps and spasms near the bite, spreading and worsening over 6-12 hours
- Increased blood pressure
Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown recluse spiders are uncommon, but they can be found in North Carolina. These venomous spiders have brown bodies that are around a half inch in length with a violin shaped mark on their back and three pairs of eyes. Like black widows, they tend to hide away, making a habitat in wood piles, under rocks, or in trash piles. If they come inside, they will hide in boxes, shoes, or other dark, undisturbed areas, which is why hands and legs are most likely to be the areas bitten.
The bite from a brown recluse is very dangerous, causing the tissue around the area to die quickly, which is why seeking treatment is so important to a positive medical outcome. While it’s not often fatal, there can be serious complications.
Symptoms of a brown recluse bite include:
- Tissue decay at the site of the bite that turns purple in the center
- Joint pain
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Fever and chills
- Seizures and coma (rare, and only if the bite is left untreated)
False Widow Spiders
These spiders get their name because they look almost exactly like black widows. They have the shiny black bodies with large, rounded abdomens and thin legs, but they are missing the red hourglass mark. False widows are more likely to be found inside, primarily in basements, closets, and other out-of-the-way areas.
While the bite is not nearly as severe as a black widow’s bite, getting medical attention would be beneficial as it can get infected and cause unpleasant side effects.
Symptoms of a false widow spider bite include:
- Pain and swelling at bite
- Fever and chills
- Muscle aches
Yellow Sac Spiders
Yellow sac spiders are common in North Carolina with small yellow or cream-colored bodies and dark brown coloring around their head. While they tend to live outdoors, cool weather in the fall drives them indoors. You may find them in your closet, on your bed or in a dresser.
Yellow sac spiders are the most common cause of spider bites in North America. Fortunately, they generally aren’t severe, but some people are more sensitive to their venom and can develop more serious symptoms.
Symptoms of a yellow sac spider bite include:
- Muscle cramps
- Ulceration around the bite
Contact Us for Spider Control in Raleigh
If you have seen spiders in your home, whether they are venomous or not, call us immediately. We can get rid of them with effective extermination measures that will eliminate the issue and keep your home free from scary, dangerous pests. In addition to extermination, we also provide spider and pest control that will keep pests away from your home with packages starting at just $15 a month. To learn more, call us today at 919-231-3292 or fill out the form below.