Florida’s Dangerous Arachnids: Recluse Spiders
Florida is crawling with spiders, but only a few are venomous. One of these venomous spiders to look out for is the recluse spider. You can find three different recluse spider species in Florida, though none of them are native. Tampa pest control experts recommend keeping an eye out for these non-native pests.
Identifying Recluse Spiders
Recluse spiders are medium-sized brown or yellowish-brown. Their bodies are usually between 6 and 12 mm long. The three varieties of recluse spiders all have violin-shaped markings on their backs, though the coloring can vary. Brown recluses have a dark mark, while Mediterranean recluses have a lighter mark with parallel sides. Chilean recluses have a dark violin marking that’s wider in the front than in the back.
Many brown spiders can be mistaken for recluse spiders. The easiest way to identify a recluse spider (if you’re close enough) is to count its eyes. Most types of spiders have eight eyes, while recluse spiders only have six. Their six eyes are arranged in three pairs.
Recluse Spider Hiding Spots
These spiders tend to be found in out-of-the-way places, like in or under objects. They could be found lurking inside boxes, underneath furniture, or underneath clutter. Recluse spiders aren’t aggressive, but they may bite someone who inadvertently disturbs their hiding place. It’s a good idea to look before you reach your hand into any dark, undisturbed areas. If that’s not possible, make sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from spider bites.
Bites from Recluse Spiders
If you’re bitten by a recluse spider, you may not notice right away. These spiders have small fangs, and the initial bite is usually painless. Three to eight hours later, the bite site can become swollen and red. Most of the time, the bite heals within three weeks and doesn’t cause any serious complications. In rare cases, people can experience systemic reactions, with symptoms like chills, dizziness, and vomiting.
Other people are less lucky. Sometimes, a necrotic lesion can appear at the site of the bite. This lesion can grow up to several inches and persist for months. When the lesion finally heals, it can leave a deep scar.
Chilean recluse spiders are more dangerous than the other types, and in rare cases, their bites can be fatal. According to one study, these bites are fatal in about three to four percent of cases.
Recluse spiders aren’t native to Florida, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be found in the state. These sneaky spiders can easily hitch a ride to Florida with a traveler or shipment from out of state. If you’re worried about recluse spiders in your home, contact the Tampa pest control experts at Apex for help.