Venomous Spiders in Kansas

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You don't have to suffer from arachnophobia to feel at least a little uneasy around the eight-legged denizens of the world. Spiders are often a source of fear and discomfort for people. While technically, all spiders are venomous, the vast majority of spiders in Kansas are not dangerous to humans. This is usually because the spider is either unable to pierce human skin, or the venom is not powerful enough, or not delivered in enough quantities to affect humans.

Brown Recluse Spider

One of the more common venomous spiders in Kansas, the brown recluse has a notoriously wicked bite, and its venom can cause significant pain in people who are bit. The venom of the brown recluse can cause skin damage, including tissue loss and necrosis. These spiders usually range have a body length of between 1/4 inch and 3/4 inch. Brown recluse spiders sometimes have a dark, violin-shaped mark on the part of their body attached to their legs. Brown recluse spiders are very common in Kansas year round, and are often found indoors, sometimes in large numbers. These spiders are common household denizens, though their threat to humans is minimal.

Black Widow Spider

One of the most widely known and feared spider species, the black widow is one of the relative few spider species that can be deadly to humans. Fortunately, these spiders are easily identifiable, and their presence in Kansas is limited. The southern black widow spider can sometimes be found in the south or southeastern parts of the state, though it is not common. These spiders are active mostly at night, and can be found in out buildings, sheds, car ports or other structures. Cold Kansas winters can drive them indoors. The black widow is so named because the female of the species has a distinctive black body with a red hourglass shape on the bottom of her abdomen.

Yellow Sack Spider

One of the more common spiders found in the United States, the yellow sack spider (or yellow sac spider) has powerful fangs that allow it to pierce the skin of humans. These small spiders are common throughout Kansas, and can be found year round, especially in indoor environments where temperatures remain stable enough for them to breed. Female yellow sac spiders in Kansas tend to lay their egg sacks in October, withe the spider-lings emerging in the spring. These spiders tend to be of a yellowish, tan, or even greenish color, and can often be quite pale. They have longer front legs when compared to their other pairs of legs, and build funnel-like structures instead of webs. Their bite can be painful, though usually not dangerous.

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