Venomous Spiders

For my daughter, a spider is a spider, is a spider. It doesn’t matter if it is poisonous or not. If she sees one near her, that poor thing made the wrong choice because it’s going to be dead in a matter of two seconds flat or she will just leave the room or, you know, burn the house down. In fact, back when she was about 14 years old she was home alone and a spider was in her room.


She posted this sign outside her room warning everyone about the spider and she refused to go back into her room until someone found it. Needless to say, by the time we got home from work that spider was long gone or hidden in something in her room, so I had to pretend that I found it and killed it. Like I said, it doesn’t matter what kind of spider it is, but the truth is that there are only two spiders in Arkansas capable of causing harm to us– the black widow and the brown recluse.


The black widow can be identified by its jet black body with the classic red or orange hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen. They are found throughout Arkansas. You can find them in dark places, typically outdoors in trash, rubble piles, and littered areas. If you have outbuildings such as sheds and garages take extra caution when you enter. If a black widow bites you, its venom is 15 times more toxic than that of a prairie rattlesnake! Yikes! Fortunately, they are only able to infect a human with a minute amount of the toxin. Their bites usually get progressively worse as time goes. The pain will normally end up being localized to the abdomen and back with severe cramps. Other symptoms include nausea, tremors, slight temperature, and speech problems.


The brown recluse spider or as my grandma used to call them, a “fiddleback spider”. It is often referred to as the latter due to its fiddle-looking shape. It is yellowish-tan to brown in color. Just like the black widow, it can be found hiding in dark niches and corners. If bitten, a small blister will form and the victim will have localized swelling in the bitten area and mild to severe pain up to eight hours later. Quite often, the bite area is hard to the touch as the venom affects the tissue by gradually sloughing it away exposing underlying muscles.

If you believe you have been bitten by either of these spiders, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention immediately. To avoid a spider infestation in your home, call Terminator Termite and Pest Control today.