Spiders are creepy crawly insects that no one wants to find lurking in their home. Arizona is home to many different types of spiders, including tarantulas, black widows, and more. While their webs may seem rather art-like and beautiful, you likely do not want them creating one and moving in where you and your family live. Spiders are not just a fear for many people, they can also pose a threat to your health. There are spiders whose bites can be deadly. So, what Arizona spiders are dangerous to you and your family?
What are Spiders?
Before we can review what Arizona spiders are dangerous, we need to get a better understanding of the creatures all together.
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, chelicerae with fangs generally able to inject venom, and spinnerets that extrude silk. Spiders are arachnids, a class of arthropods that also includes scorpions, mites, and ticks. There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders, found in habitats all over the world.
Spiders eat and hunt by building webs and catching their prey. They feed on insects, other spiders, and any other prey they are able to subdue. Spiders can’t swallow their food whole, so they inject their victim with digestive fluids and then suck out the liquefied remains.
There are thousands of different types of spiders, so spider habitats vary depending on species. Some spiders are indoor spiders and others prefer outdoors. Some spiders like moisture and are found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of buildings. Others like dry, warm areas such as subfloor air vents, upper corners of rooms and attics. They hide in dark areas. Regardless of where a spider lives or what type it is, its basic needs are the same: food, water, and shelter.
What Arizona Spiders are Dangerous?
Arizona is home to many different species of spiders, and while some may look scary and you don’t want to encounter them, like the tarantula, not all are dangerous to humans. Some of our Arizona spiders are however very dangerous to humans and could be deadly. Let’s review the 3 most common Arizona spiders that are dangerous for you and your family.
Most people have heard of the black widow spider before, and they are a common spider in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
Male widow spiders are not known to bite; however, female widow spiders do bite and are larger than their male counterparts. Female widow spiders are usually shiny and black, with a red hourglass symbol on their abdomen. Keep in mind that black widows are only about a half an inch long, and the red marking is even smaller, making it that much more difficult to see with the naked eye. If you happen to see a shiny, tiny, black spider around your Arizona home or yard, treat it as though it is a black widow.
Black widow spiders are dangerous. The bite of a widow spider isn’t exceptionally painful when it happens, but within hours, the venom can cause the victim to suffer from muscle spasms and cramps. If bitten, people can experience nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress, and fatal muscle failure. If the black widow spider bites a child or elderly family member, they are endangered more from the venom. Complete recovery is likely for healthy adults.
Black widow spiders are usually found in dark undisturbed areas, such as: barns, other wooden buildings, logs, shaded areas of woods, corners around your home, in boxes, closets, crawl spaces, under rocks, and in rock beds. They are common in Arizona, making it best to keep your distance from any small black spider you may encounter.
Arizona Brown Spider
Arizona Brown Spider is a species of brown recluse spiders found specifically in Arizona. The Arizona Brown Spider is a small, inconspicuous brown spider, with slightly darker brown markings on the head region. These markings vaguely resemble the shape of a violin, hence the common names “violin” or “fiddle” spider. The species native to Arizona is closely related to the infamous brown recluse of the Midwestern U.S., but the markings are less obvious and symptoms are not as severe.
The Arizona Brown Spider often resides in cinder block wall crevices, scraps of dead wood, wall voids, attics, dead cactus, packrat nests, wood piles, in clothing that has been left on the floor, and in other areas of the home with piles of trash or debris.
The bite of this spider is potentially dangerous to humans. The most common reaction is a spreading sore at the site of the bite, which, if untreated, may result in permanent tissue damage or necrosis. Their bite may start as something similar to a bee or wasp sting; however, it contains venom and will likely worsen with time after being bitten. Even healthy humans should avoid these venomous spiders at all costs.
Wolf spiders are another Arizona spider that is dangerous. They are robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight. They live mostly in solitude, hunt alone, and do not spin webs. These spiders hunt their prey instead of trapping it in a web; some pounce upon prey as they find it or chase it over short distances; others wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of a burrow. These spiders search for their prey at night.
Identifying wolf spiders can be challenging because they are commonly confused with the brown recluse, tarantula, huntsman and other spiders. With over 200 wolf spider species in the United States and Canada alone, identifying one takes careful observation of tiny features that set them apart from other spider types. Wolf spiders have eight eyes arranged in three rows and are considered to be larger spiders. Some can measure almost two inches long. They are usually gray with brown to dark gray markings.
Wolf spiders aren’t deadly to humans, but they can still bite and cause uncomfortable symptoms and are dangerous. These spiders don’t bite people often. Wolf spiders inject venom if continually provoked. If bitten, you may have severe pain and notice a red bump that is itchy and swollen. What is the most concerning part about a bite from one of these critters are the risks for swelling of the lymph nodes, allergic reaction, and secondary infections from the bite site.
Arizona Spider Prevention
While there are many other spiders in Arizona, the three we reviewed above are the most common Arizona spiders that are dangerous. Because it can be hard to tell the dangerous ones from the “safe” ones, you should treat all spiders as though they could cause harm to you and your family.
At Bucksworth Home Services we can help you protect your Phoenix and Tucson area home from spiders and other pests and rodents. At Bucksworth Home Services, our goal is to provide quality pest control services for your Arizona home, so that you can have peace of mind.
Contact us today to learn more and get started.