Though they’re not always pretty, the vast majority of spider species you might run across are not only harmless but actively helpful as they prey on insects that may damage your yard plants. However, there are a few species of spiders that you’ll want to keep clear of if you find them in your yard and seek treatment immediately if one of them bites. Read on to find out more about what they are, and how to identify them.
1. Brown Recluse
We thought we’d start with one of the most deadly spiders; The Brown Recluse. This mid-brown spider is most common in the south and can grow to over an inch in length. They are also known by another name–Fiddleback–as they have the shape of a violin on the back of their body with the tip pointing towards their abdomen. The venom of the Brown Recluse is necrotizing, which means it causes tissue death in the areas affected by the spider bite.
2. Black Widow
We all know what these spiders look like: a small, shiny blackbody with an orange or red hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen. You’re very unlikely to come across Black Widows in the open, but they love dark quiet places like sheds, garages, crawl spaces, woodpiles, and other similar areas. Black Widow venom is very dangerous, as it affects the nervous system and may cause nausea, headache, fever, abdominal pain, and hypertension. The good news is that Black Widow spiders are not aggressive, and will only bite if disturbed suddenly or threatened.
3. Hobo Spider
These spiders live primarily in the northwestern states such as Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming. They reach up to half an inch in body length and are dark brown with a chevron pattern on their abdomen. A bite from a Hobo Spider forms a blister, then breaks and turns into an oozing ulcer. Other symptoms include a bad headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, damaged eyesight, and short-term memory loss.
If you’re living somewhere with a warm climate and have a well-drained, dry yard, then it’s possible that your yard may be home to tarantulas. All tarantulas are venomous, but despite their venom and intimidating appearance, there are no recorded deaths as a result of a tarantula bite. However, it’s still a good idea to steer clear of them, as their bites can be very painful, and their bodies are covered in hairs that fall off and cause an itchy rash. Besides: no one wants to be that first recorded statistic!
5. Wolf Spider
If you have Wolf Spiders in your yard, you’re unlikely to see much of them, as they are a solitary nocturnal species and live in burrows in the ground. Their bodies may grow up to an inch and a half in length, and larger spiders hunt not just insects but also lizards and frogs. Despite their fearsome appearance, when threatened they are much more likely to retreat into their burrows than they are to bite. Wolf spider bites are very painful, being described as like the sting of a bee. Though the spiders in your yard are likely to be completely harmless, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and ready. Now you’ll be able to identify which spiders you want to avoid so you can safely enjoy your yard!