5 Spiders in Your Yard That Can Kill You

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.

4. Tarantula

If you’re living somewhere with a warm climate and have a well-drained, dry yard, then your yard may be home to tarantulas. All tarantulas are venomous, but despite their venom and intimidating appearance, no recorded deaths are resulting from 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, they are much more likely to retreat into their burrows than they are to bite when threatened. 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!

7 thoughts on “5 Spiders in Your Yard That Can Kill You”

  1. My kids once told the neighborhood kids that their mother could kill Jason (Friday 13th) with a wooden spoon. They also thought it was hilarious that when I was watching programs about spiders I’d inevitably pull my feet up on the couch so they weren’t ‘spider level’ and yes I know those little suckers can climb anything. I won’t kill them – but I do want them out of my house.

    1. Iva….. If you see a Brown Recluse, I’d suggest you killing it. They prefer cool dark area’s in the house like a bedroom closet. They will crawl up into your dresser drawers and inside shoes. I have never been a victim YET but I have friends that have been bit. The wound will slowly eat away and kill your skin leaving a huge gaping hole as a reminder for the rest of your life. IT IS UGLY any way you look at it. So my advice to you would be to KILL them.

  2. Jairee Counterman

    I was bitten by a brown recluse a little over 4 years ago and almost didn’t live to tell the tale – the bite was bad, wouldn’t heal, and then it got infected causing complications that landed me in ICU for three weeks. Please continue to spread the word that brown recluse spiders are NOT found only in the southwest. My bite happened in central Pennsylvania, and the spider that bit was was tiny – less 3/8 of an inch including the legs.

  3. I got bit by a brown recluse while stationed in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. I got bit on the inside portion of my left leg about mid calf. While I was sleeping, I think. I never even knew that I had been bitten. At first I didn’t think it was anything serious enough to get it medically checked out. It started out as just a small red spot. But, over the course of about 2 weeks, it began to develop into an actual hole in my leg. I finally went to get it looked at and was told that it was a brown recluse bite. They did emergency surgery and cut it out of my leg. They took approximately a 2 inch round plug out of my leg. I was told that if I had waited a couple of more days I could have lost my leg from the knee down. Luckily all I have is a scar to show off. Don’t mess around with a brown recluse bite. It really can cause serious damage or it can kill you if you are bit in the wrong place. Or if you don’t get it checked out.

  4. i have caught a large black widow that lived in my metal garbage can that was left at my shooting range, this spider was ferocious and had two hour glasses one on top and bottom, I showed this beast to my neighbors they screamed and said kill it- kill it i did the other thing and turned it loose.

  5. I like spiders generally and am the one that try’s to catch for release those spiders that present in a room full of people. I’ve never been bitten (I use a glass and paper to catch them) but an infected bite from a brown recluse would definitely get my attention!! Fortunately those that I have moved are the harmless kind. And I don’t give them a chance to bite – thus far! I’m 74 and vacation in the woods of New Hampshire.

  6. Hobo spiders will always be on my hit list. They’ve been on my hit list for decades. I rented one house one time years ago that had several Hobo spiders scattered about. The wood pile out back, the tool shed, the garage, the crawl space under the house… several areas, several spiders. I destroyed those that I found but eventually bought a house and moved out of that rental in a beach town. The only real spider bite I got was from a Brown Recluse back in the late 60’s. I was working at a gas station pumping gas in Western Washington state during a hot summer. Somehow, at that station I got nailed. I didn’t notice it until I got a festering sore on the back of my hand. It wouldn’t get any better so I went to the doc and he called it a spider bite, then said most likely a Brown Recluse after trying to treat it. It took awhile to heal but hey, I still have a scar. Those buggers are sneaky at best.

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