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How to Identify Venomous House Spiders

What and What Not to be Afraid Of

"Oh my God, kill it! KILL IT!" Outbursts like these are common throughout much of the United States, and indeed, the world, when a spider’s cover is blown and they are forced to skitter this way and that along the wall or across the living room carpet to avoid being, as suggested above, speedily smashed.

What and What Not to be Afraid Of

“Oh my God, kill it! KILL IT!” Outbursts like these are common throughout much of the United States, and indeed, the world, when a spider’s cover is blown and they are forced to skitter this way and that along the wall or across the living room carpet to avoid being, as suggested above, speedily smashed.

It is unfortunate that so many of these harmless eight-legged critters have to pay such a price for our unfounded fears and instinctive squishing behaviors, especially since they work so hard to rid our homes of ever creepier (in the author’s personal opinion) pests such as silverfish, fleas, bed bugs, gnats, and flies.

I find that the basis for most fears of spiders is the fact that most people don’t know the different between those that are harmful to humans and those that are perfectly capable of coexisting with us peacefully. And so in the spirit of enlightenment, I have devised a way to help any and all who are curious enough to find a little bit more about those which do and do not pose a danger.

Biggest Threats:

The leading ladies and gentlemen on this list are of course the ever-beautiful female Latrodectus hesperus (black widow spider) and her renowned accomplice the Loxosceles reclusa (brown recluse spider). The runner-up and lesser known than these two is Tegenaria agrestis, or the hobo spider.

Black widow spider - Female black widows are perhaps the most easily identifiable spider in human history. The striking red markings on their undersides are a dead giveaway to their species, and whether it be in the shape of an hourglass or a simply a dot, it is safe to assume that any shiny black spider with a bulbous abdomen falls under this category and can be promptly avoided. The males of this species are smaller, shyer, and less venomous than their female counterparts, in fact there has been much speculation as to whether or not they are more venomous than the common garden spider at all! Also they look nothing like their women; they’re thin and usually mottled brown or gray.

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