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black widow spider on a web

Quick Facts

  • While brown recluse and black widows both spin messy webs, the brown recluse does not use webs to catch prey
  • Black widows process food outside their body
  • Black widow spiders are cannibalistic and may eat their eggs
  • Brown recluse are also known as brown spiders, violin spiders, and fiddle back spiders

There are several dangerous spiders in the United States. The most common are brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders. Dangerous spiders do reside here in South Carolina and while they do pose serious threats, they are generally very reclusive in nature.

What do dangerous spiders look like?

Brown Recluse Spiders
The brown recluse is a light to dark tan color. It also has a characteristic darker violin marking on its’ back. They are often found in well hidden areas with little to no human traffic and access to food.

Black Widow Spiders
Black widows are found throughout the United States. The black widow is primarily black with a red “hourglass” marking on its back. As with the brown recluse, they are often found in dark, well hidden areas.

Dangerous spiders' habits and behaviors

The brown recluse spider is nocturnal and eats other small bugs. They spin irregular webs, not to catch prey but more of a retreat for the spider. They live outdoors around rocks, utility boxes and woodpiles. Inside they can be found inside boxes, among papers, shoe boxes, and under furniture. They also like attics, crawl spaces and basements.

Black widows prefer warmer temperatures and are most active when it is 70 degrees or above. They also spin irregular webs mostly at night and at ground level. The spiders will then hang upside down in their webs. Black widows that live outdoors can be found under stones and in firewood piles. They will also be found in barns, outhouses and in sheds. Indoors, they prefer garages, basements and crawl spaces.

Are brown recluse and black widow spiders dangerous?

The brown recluse will bite if it is threatened. It does not bite humans instinctively. Both male and females can inject poisonous venom. Often the actual bite is not felt. Sometimes it is an initial stinging sensation followed by intense pain up to six to eight hours later. A small blister may appear at the bite location. Restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of a brown recluse bite.

Male black widows will rarely bite. Females are known to be more aggressive but still only will bite in defense. A black widow laying eggs or guarding her eggs is more likely to bite. A black widow also injects a poisonous venom. Symptoms include fever, sweating, nausea and an increased blood pressure.

In very rare cases, the bite of a poisonous spider can be fatal. It is important that if you believe you have been bitten by a poisonous spider to seek medical attention immediately.

Does Aiken treat dangerous spiders?

Yes, we do treat for black widow and brown recluse spiders. Please call us for more information on our home pest control services and how to get rid of dangerous spiders.

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Are There Dangerous Spiders In South Carolina


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