In Texas, as well as areas across theUnited States, spiders commonly share our living spaces and dwell within our homes. Recognizing the type of spider that you are dealing with is important because knowing the species allows you to use a necessary level of caution. Spiders dwell in dark, undisturbed places and typically do not attack humans unless agitated.
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Five species of the recluse spider family are known to inhabit Texas and frequent Texas homes. While of the five species of recluse only two are poisonous, each recluse spider species bears a striking resemblance to the next. Because of this, it is best to treat them all with caution. Recluse spiders favor cluttered cellars, basements, bathrooms and closets. They often live in small crevices under furniture and behind baseboards. The recluse spider is most active during the night time, as it is a nocturnal hunter. Because of this, most recluse bites on humans are during the night, typically caused by accidentally rolling over on the spider. The bite will begin to swell and become quite painful; a blister will form over the area bitten while the tissue becomes necrotic. Healing the bite takes more than a month and can leave a severe scar.
Widow spiders, such as the black widow, are common throughout all of the United States, including Texas. All species of widows are dangerous and should be treated with extreme caution. The coloration on a widow spider can vary considerably; the color of their abdomen ranges from jet back to a reddish orange. The underside of their bellies bear a red hourglass-shaped marking regardless of the abdomen color. Widows frequent undisturbed places such as garages, cellars, bathrooms, window sills and ventilators. Widow bites most often occur when a human disturbs the spider’s web and agitates the spider. A widow bite often first appears as two red dots, marking where the fangs entered the skin. As the bite progresses, the area will swell, and the victim may experience tremors, vomiting, leg cramps and abdominal pain.
Southern House Spider
The southern house spider is a common, non-poisonous spider that frequents homes in Texas. The species resembles a brown recluse, though upon closer inspection, it has considerable differences. Even though the southern house spider is larger than the brown recluse and lacks its signature dual eye structure, they are commonly mistaken as a member of the recluse family. The southern house spider is commonly found in dark crevices under cabinets, under windowsills and behind baseboards. If bitten, the victim might experience slight swelling of the area and a severe itching; however, no further symptoms should occur.