What Is the Most Poisonous Spider to Humans?

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The most poisonous spider to humans is the Brazilian wandering spider or the banana spider, but these spiders don't exist in the United States. Learn about the most poisonous spiders in the U.S., such as brown recluses and black widows, with help from a veterinarian in this free video on poisonous spiders.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Care & Information
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Video Transcript

The question is what is the most poisonous spider to humans? Outside the United States there are a couple that are considered the most poisonous or the most dangerous. The Australian funnel web spider is one, the Brazilian wandering spider or banana spider is another one that's from South America that is considered to be probably the most, they cause the most fatalities in humans. But however in the United States, these don't exist and so the two that we're most familiar with in the United States as far as danger is concerned is the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. Now the brown recluse is a small spider that gets it's name because it likes to be reclusive and hide out in dark, moist places. This spider has a necrotoxin and so when it bites usually the person does not feel a bit at all and may not see any reaction at all, however if there is a reaction that occurs, it's from the venom causing an immune reaction and that may be 8 to 12 hours later that can form a red spot or a very itchy spot and can form a necrotic spot. So brown recluses have a necrotoxin which means it dissolves tissue and so that can be very painful over time and take some people very, very long time to get over and can result in secondary infections. Black widows have a neurotoxin and so with black widow bites, people usually do feel that bite as a sting and eventually at some point, soon after the bite, they're going to be feeling neurologic effects, primarily in black widow bites, you're dealing with abdominal pain and or chest pain so people may think that they're having a heart attack or chest problems, breathing problems when it's actually a spider bite.


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