Are The Spiders In Delaware A Danger To My Family And Pets?

a black widow spider crawling in its web

As predators, spiders are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Not only does the environment benefit from spiders, but people do too, as they help to reduce populations of nuisance insects. However, all of this doesn’t negate that spiders are still pests and can cause a host of problems for people. 

As arachnids, spiders have exoskeletons, two body regions, and eight legs. They have no wings or antenna but do have fangs that are used to inject venom into prey. While most species have eight eyes, others have six. For the most part, spiders are a nuisance and pose no real threat to people. That is except for two species, both of which are native to the Delaware area, which means as a resident, you should know how to spot them.

Are All Spiders Dangerous?

No, not all spiders are dangerous. But you might be wondering how all spiders can have venom but not be dangerous. This is because the purpose of a spider’s venom is to subdue their prey, which are insects and not humans for most species. So as much as we work ourselves up over spiders, they don’t want to bite people. Plus, a spider bite usually results in no pain or the equivalent of what a bee sting feels like. 

Another thing that distinguishes spiders from other “dangerous” pests is aggressiveness. Arachnophobia is one of the most common fears, but spiders are just as scared. For the most part, spiders only bite if they feel threatened. Unfortunately for us, though, this can be as simple as unknowingly sticking our hands in the wrong place.

So, while all spiders possess fangs and venom, most of them are not venomous to humans. The two species in North America that are, however, are the black widow and brown recluse. Medically, both of these species are dangerous to people because of the toxicity of their venom. But still, they are not aggressive creatures. And rarely are bites from these spiders fatal as treatment is readily available at hospitals. 

How To Tell If A Spider Is Dangerous

While identifying the black widow is relatively easy, the same cannot be said for the brown recluse, as this species is one of the most commonly misidentified. Sometimes, it is easier to identify the brown recluse by process of elimination. All of the information you need t identify both of these species is listed below.

The Black Widow Spider:

  • Only adult females are dangerous to people
  • Shiny black body
  • Females have a distinct hourglass marking on their abdomen, which is red or orange.
  • Females are .5 to 1.5 inches in size, with males being half the size.
  • They prefer dimly lit, secluded, and low to the ground places for their webs
  • They might be hiding in the corners of garages, basements, sheds, and woodpiles on a residential property.

The Brown Recluse Spider:

  • Although the dark violin pattern on the cephalothorax is an identifier of the species, it is not reliable
  • Six eyes, not eight
  • Fine hairs on their legs, not spines
  • Uniform colored abdomen and legs, not different shades or stripe patterns
  • Small, up to ½ an inch
  • They prefer dark and dry places for their web and never out in the open
  • Irregular and loosely constructed web, not a symmetrical wheel pattern.
  • Unlike other species, the brown recluse actively hunts for prey

If you believe you have been bitten by one of these spiders, it is best to seek medical attention. 

What To Do If You Need Professional Spider Control

Contact the professionals at M.A.D. Exterminators, Inc. for more advice or spider control assistance. Our trained technicians can assist you with eliminating spiders and other pests that might be attracting them to your property. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help your Delaware property.