Generally, spiders are greatly feared animals and most people see them as terrifying and highly dangerous although these little animals rarely represent a major threat to humans. Even so, there are some spiders that can cause serious damage to humans if they feel threatened. All spiders are venomous, but some are considered to be more dangerous than others because of their aggressive venom or the quantity of venom they tend to inject into their victim. Such venomous spiders can inflict harmful bites and leave serious consequences to the bitten person. Presently, there are two dangerous spider species in Florida.
These are the widow spiders and the brown recluse spiders. Each species prefers dark, secluded areas such as attics, sheds and old closets as their habitats and they tend to hide under rocks and wooden boards. The symptoms of widow spider bites are similar. They all include muscle rigidity of the abdomen and legs, nausea, swelling and burning sensation in the area of the bite. The widow spiders are nocturnal and tend to hide in dark places, and they are frequently secluded in their web during the day. Only female widow spiders are dangerous and they vary in size as they can grow from 8 to 15 mm.
Three types of recluse spiders have been found in Florida:
- THE BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER
- THE MEDITERRANEAN RECLUSE SPIDER
- THE CHILEAN RECLUSE SPIDER
Recluse spiders bite if they feel threatened and since they prefer hiding in dark places it is not unusual to find them tangled in clothes, making it easy for them to feel disturbed and threatened. A recluse spider bite varies in intensity, since the bitten person may not even feel it or it may leave serious damage such as severe necrosis.
Serious symptoms usually include severe pain and the appearance of blisters which can leave deep scars on the skin. Any encounter with these spiders should be taken calmly and, in case of a bite, it is of great importance to seek prompt medical attention. In any case, it is very useful to know which spider bit you, so you can react as soon as possible if it was a venomous spider.
Dangerous species of spiders in Florida are: