If You Live in These States, Watch Out for This Venomous Spider

No one is ever excited about stumbling on a spider in their home. Thankfully, most of the spiders you come across in this case—American house spiders, wolf spiders, and daddy longlegs, among others—are harmless and keep other pests away. In fact, if you notice a lack of roaches, mosquitos, or flies in your home, you may have a house spider to thank. But that doesn’t mean that all spiders are benign, and there are a few species in the U.S. you’ll want to avoid. If you live in some states, you may need to watch out for one venomous spider in particular: the brown recluse.

RELATED: If You Live in These States, Watch Out for This Highly Venomous Snake.

Brown recluse spiders are one of only two venomous spiders in the U.S., according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This spider, also known as the violin spider, is brown with a dark violin-shaped marking on its head. Unlike most spiders, the brown recluse has only six eyes instead of eight.

According to the NIOSH, these spiders prefer secluded areas outdoors underneath structures or in piles of rocks or leaves. But if they do end up in your home, “they may be found in dark closets, shoes, or attics.” On the plus side, these spiders are not naturally aggressive, per WebMD. They prefer to be left alone—hence the name—but they will bite you if they end up feeling trapped. And a brown recluse spider can do real damage. According to WebMD, this spider produces harmful venom.

If bitten, you’ll likely develop a painful sore at the site, although the bite might not hurt or even leave a mark at first. Other symptoms can develop within the a day or two, such as pain or redness at the site of the bite, purple skin, fever, chills, nausea, joint pain, weakness, trouble breathing, and in rare cases, seizures or coma.

RELATED: For more bug news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

You should see a doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms. WebMD says that around 10 percent of brown recluse bites can cause ulcers or blisters that are so damaging to the skin, they require a doctor’s care—especially if you develop an infection, which will require antibiotics. Some of their bites may also have tetanus spores, so you might need a tetanus shot after being bitten.

“The venom actually contains the enzyme that breaks down the cells of the human body,” Rajani Katta, MD, a dermatologist and professor at both the Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Houston, told U.S. News & World Report. “After that happens, your body has its own defense system that springs into action to try to contain that injury. Sometimes, if you get enough of that dose of venom, you start to get more breakdown. And the more breakdown in your cells that occurs, the higher the chance of scarring.”

Recently, a 19-year-old British tourist had to get at least two fingers amputated after being bitten by a brown recluse spider in Ibiza, Spain. But in the U.S., this venomous spider only lives in a limited area. Outside of these parts of the country, “it is highly unlikely that you have a recluse spider,” per experts in the entomology department at the University of California, Riverside. Read on to find out if you could happen upon a brown recluse spider in your state.

RELATED: If You Live in These States, Prepare for More of This Deadly Spider, Experts Say.

1

Alabama

Montgomery, AlabamaMontgomery, Alabama
Shutterstock

2

Arkansas

little rock arkansaslittle rock arkansas
Shutterstock

3

Georgia

Aerial view downtown Atlanta skyline, done with 360 degrees imageAerial view downtown Atlanta skyline, done with 360 degrees image
iStock

4

Illinois

Aerial View of Chicago Cityscape in AutumnAerial View of Chicago Cityscape in Autumn
iStock

5

Indiana

IndianaIndiana
Shutterstock

6

Iowa

cityscape photo of the downtown area of Des Moines, Iowacityscape photo of the downtown area of Des Moines, Iowa
Shutterstock

7

Kansas

Aerial View of Downtown Hutchinson, Kansas in SummerAerial View of Downtown Hutchinson, Kansas in Summer
iStock

8

Kentucky

Louisville downtown skyline view with a park with trees in the foreground. Picture taken during autumn.Louisville downtown skyline view with a park with trees in the foreground. Picture taken during autumn.
iStock

RELATED: If You Never Clean This, You’re Inviting Black Widows Into Your Home.

9

Louisiana

shreveport louisiana skylineshreveport louisiana skyline
Shutterstock

10

Mississippi

Jackson is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi.Jackson is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi.
iStock

11

Missouri

The skyline of St. Louis, MissouriThe skyline of St. Louis, Missouri
iStock

12

Nebraska

lake, bridge, and buildings in the downtown Omaha, Nebraskalake, bridge, and buildings in the downtown Omaha, Nebraska
Shutterstock

13

Ohio

Dayton, Ohio downtown skyline, view taken during Autumn.Dayton, Ohio downtown skyline, view taken during Autumn.
Shutterstock

14

Oklahoma

Tulsa skyline with a park, pond, and fountains in the foreground.Tulsa skyline with a park, pond, and fountains in the foreground.
iStock

15

Texas

city skyline of Irving, Texas with Lake Carolyn in the foregroundcity skyline of Irving, Texas with Lake Carolyn in the foreground
Shutterstock

16

Tennessee

The skyline of beautiful Nashville, Tennessee, known as "Music City" along the banks of the Cumberland River.The skyline of beautiful Nashville, Tennessee, known as "Music City" along the banks of the Cumberland River.
iStock

RELATED: If You Live Here, Prepare to See Thousands of Tarantulas, Experts Say.

Leave a Reply