The black widow spider is shiny and black with a distinct, reddish, hourglass-shaped mark on its belly. Found mostly in the warm southern and western states, the black widow stays in secluded spaces like piles of fallen leaves, woodpiles, and boxes in the attic.
Only the female black widow is toxic. Black widow bites can feel like a small pinprick or nothing at all, but your skin’s reaction will be immediate and you’ll be able to see the two puncture marks on your skin.
Symptoms of a black widow bite include:
- muscle cramping
- pain and burning at puncture site
- high blood pressure
- increase saliva and sweating
- nausea and vomiting
Prompt treatment is best, especially for children and older adults. In some cases, a healthcare professional will prescribe antivenin to remove the venom from your body.
Hobo spiders are common in the Pacific Northwest. They sit up high on long legs and run fast. Watch out if you’re cleaning window wells or sweeping out the garage, as they may attack when provoked. Hobo spiders lurk behind furniture, under baseboards, and in closets.
A bite from a hobo spider may be unnoticeable at first, but it will cause pain and numbness within 15 minutes. After one hour, the site will start to turn red. In eight hours, it will become hardened and swollen. After 24–26 hours, the wound may discharge fluids and eventually turn black.
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- a red or purple blister at the puncture site
- visual or aural disruption
- joint pain
- low blood cell count
Hobo spider bites are slow to heal. Seek immediate medical treatment if you suspect you’ve been bitten by a hobo spider. The treatment is similar to that of brown recluse spider bites and may involve corticosteroids, antibiotics, or surgery. It also works best if administered within 24 hours of the bite.
Southwest states with desert climates host tarantulas, but tarantulas may also be found as far east as the Mississippi River. They tend to hide under logs or stones, tree trunks, and in tunnels or burrows. You can usually identify them by their size (from 3 to 5 inches long), hairy texture, and visible fangs that hang down.
Tarantulas aren’t aggressive, and the venom of the spiders found in the United States isn’t considered dangerous. Their bite will feel like a bee sting, and the area will become warm and red.
Other potential symptoms include:
- rapid heart rate
- eyelid puffiness
- trouble breathing
- low blood pressure
Seek medical attention immediately.
Native to Central and South America, this spider moves quickly and aggressively. It can grow up to 5 inches long, and it’s considered one of the most poisonous spiders in the world.
The bite of a Brazilian wandering spider is extremely painful and can quickly result in heavy sweating and drooling. The skin around the bite will usually swell, turn red, and get hot. In severe cases, the bite can result in dead tissue or death.
Seek emergency treatment immediately. An antivenin is available for this spider’s bite.