Whether you suffer from arachnophobia or just don't like them, spiders could easily be labeled as the most fear-inducing creepy crawly on the planet. However, among the 45,700 spider species in the world, only a small percentage poses a threat to humans. Two of these venomous spiders can be found in the state of California.
The recluse and widow species are two of the primary spiders that pose a threat to humans because their venomous bites are highly toxic. While many people group all recluses together and all widow spiders together, there are many forms of recluse and widow spiders. Here's a look at two of the types you may encounter in your California home that you should have properly eradicated if they're spotted.
1. Arizona Recluse
Often called fiddlers, fiddleback spiders and brown spiders, Arizona Recluse spiders can be found from Texas all the way to the California coast. This spider has a trademark violin-shaped marking on its back and is most often yellowish-brown to dark brown in color.
The Arizona Recluse spider is a dangerous species because its bite is known to cause necrotic lesions in the skin, which are basically large, gaping sores that seem to refuse to heal. The necrosis occurs because the spider's venom is severely toxic to the soft tissues and skin of the body. In the early stages after a spider bite, you may experience symptoms like these:
- A red irritated patch on your skin
- Small bumps, pimples, or blisters developing around the bite site
- Excessive perspiration
- Pain around the bite site that can radiate to other parts of your body
- Severe abdominal cramping or nausea
People react to bites from spiders in different ways. Reactions can also depend on the size of the spider that bit you and how much venom was actually delivered. Any time you suspect you have been bitten by an Arizona Recluse spider, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
2. Western Black Widow
The Western Black Widow spider is one of the most common venomous spiders in the United States. It can be found mostly in the southwestern part of the country but is common throughout many of the western states, including California. Western Black Widow spiders are fairly easy to recognize because they have:
- A leg span of 1.5 to 2 inches
- A relatively small body size
- A web that resembles a cobweb instead of an intricately designed circular web
- A mostly black body with a telltale red hourglass on their abdomen
- A tendency to hide out in dark places and retreat when approached
While the Western Black Widow is not aggressive, it is highly protective over its young and its eggs during reproductive cycles. If the spider feels threatened, it could attack and bite. Normally, a bite from a Black Widow will come when an unsuspecting victim sticks their fingers into a dark place that's concealing a spider's web.
A bite from a Western Black Widow - especially a female, which are known to be more poisonous - can be extremely dangerous, but is rarely deadly thanks to the availability of antivenin at most medical facilities. However, any spider bite should be immediately addressed by a medical practitioner, so make sure you know how to recognize the signs that you have been bitten by a spider.
Spiders are creepy and sneaky, and they often bite without a lot of warning, which makes them even more concerning to have around the house, living with you and your family. If you believe you have poisonous spiders in your home, contact us at Cliff's Pest Control, Inc. for help eliminating the problem.