Poisonous Spiders in the Southeast

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Poisonous spiders in Georgia - Spider extermination by Active Pest Control

Spiders are arthropods and are a predatory species; they have eight legs, two body segments, no antennae, and specialized mouthparts. These specialized mouthparts or fangs are hollow and contain or are connected to venomous glands. Spiders use their venom to paralyze their prey or to defend themselves. Spiders are beneficial to the environment because they feed on and keep down populations of nuisance insects. Most spider species are harmless to people and even though they bite their venom is not strong enough to harm a human. However, there are a few species living in Georgia that are considered to be venomous and whose venom is strong enough to pose a threat to people.

What Do Poisonous Spiders Look Like?

Two species of venomous spiders that can be found in the Southeast United States include the:

  1. Brown recluse: Brown recluse spiders are known for their violin-like pattern located on the top of their body. They have three pairs of eyes that are organized into a semi-circle pattern. Adults can grow to be ¼ to ½ of an inch in length. The brown recluse spiders abdomen is covered in gray hairs and their body is yellowish-gray to dark brown in color.
  2. Black widow: Black widows are shiny black in color and they have a red “hourglass-like” shape on their back, although this shape can be less defined on some spiders; their abdomen can also have light red or white spots on it. Adult black widow spiders can grow to be 1 ½ – 1 3/8th of an inch in length.

Are Poisonous Spiders Aggressive?

Despite what many people think, venomous spiders are not particularly aggressive.  They are shy and reclusive and prefer to hide dark undisturbed areas; they don’t want to see you, just as much as you don’t want to see them. Venomous spiders usually only bite a person if they are being directly handled or threatened:

  • As long as medical attention is sought, it is very rare that a bite from a black widow or brown recluse spider leads to severe complications or death.
  • The bite from a black widow spider can affect a person’s nervous system, and symptoms can include tremors, fevers, and difficulty breathing.
  • The venom from a brown recluse spider can cause severe tissue ulceration around the bite site that can take months to heal.
  • Again, if you think you have been bitten by a venomous spider you should seek immediate medical attention.

How Can I Prevent Problems with Poisonous Spiders?

Making changes around your home and property to deter venomous spiders and keep them out of your home is the best way to prevent them; along with having a pest control plan in place to reduce other insects on your property that they can use as a food source. Sealing cracks in the foundation, caulking around windows and doors, installing door sweeps, keeping storage areas clutter free can help to prevent problems with venomous spiders.  Placing woodpiles a distance away from your home, and removing piles of leaves and other debris from your property can help to deter them. Shaking out clothing and shoes before putting them on can also help to prevent bites.

How Do I Control Poisonous Spiders?

Because venomous spiders have the ability to bite and inject their venom into you, only a professional should handle and control venomous spiders that have entered into your home. If you are having a problems with venomous spiders in your home contact Active Pest Control today, our trained professionals will be able to correctly identify which species of spider has invaded your home and provide effective treatment services to eliminate them quickly and safely.

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