Poisonous Spiders in Michigan: Brown Recluse & Nightmare Fuel AKA Northern Black Widow Spider Bites & Facts

Spiders have an incredible amount of power of the general population. Typically the average human can jump three times their height and scream in octaves only heard by dogs when a spider crosses their path. Where that might be a slight exaggeration, a monumental amount of people are naturally terrified of spiders. Awkwardly enough the Michigan Department of Natural Resources report there are only two species of spiders that are poisonous found in Michigan. The brown recluse and the black widow. Both can make us tremble in our boots.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites

On the upside, the brown recluse cannot survive in temperatures colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s believed they hitched a ride on trucks coming from more of the southern states, so sightings are rare. This spider has a venomous bite, though its fangs are tiny enough it can’t get break through most fabric. Though they have a frightening appearance, they are ordinarily not aggressive. They will only bite when they are in contact with whatever they feel is a predator. If bitten it is wise to seek medical attention. If possible collecting the perpetrator is recommended for identification purposes. A clear tightly closed container is appreciated for inspection. Don’t be alarmed if a bite goes unnoticed initially and medical treatment is not applied. In most cases, bites are self limited and typically heal without treatment.

How to Identify a Brown Recluse Spider

If you don’t have time to interview the spider going through yours clothes or trying to hide in dormant areas of your home, you can try to classify it by description. Brown recluse spiders have six eyes instead of eight. They are set in pairs, one median pair and two lateral pairs. They do not have an obvious coloration pattern on their abdomen, legs or spine. However, the abdomen is covered with short fine hairs, making it look soft and fluffy. The leg joints, if you’re willing to get that close, may have a slightly lighter color.

Nightmare Fuel AKA Northern Black Widow Spider Facts

The nightmare fuel or the northern black widow is native to Michigan, and can be found throughout the state. They are small, if you include their legs they are only about an inch and half long. They are entirely black with the red hourglass shaped marking being the exception on females. The males do not carry the red hourglass shape marking, but do feature red or yellow bands on their back or abdomen. They are commonly found in wood piles. They also like to hunker down under eaves, in boxes, outdoor toilets, and meter boxes or anywhere that will go undisturbed for a period of time. If you have to bring some wood in for fire or conduct chores in these areas take precautions and wear gloves! Pay attention to the area and work cautiously. Despite the power these little pests have over us, they are really more afraid of you than you are of them. Naturally timid creatures, they would prefer to flee than stick around and bite.

Northern Black Widow Spider Bite

It is imperative you seek medical attention immediately if bitten. Do not be fooled into believing you will gain their abilities and become a super hero. Their bite will not go unrecognized. It is quite painful and can cause acute latrodectism, a condition in which the spiders’ venom spreads rapidly causing constant, strong painful muscle contractions in all major muscle groups and severe cramping. Dizziness, anxiety, teary eyes, headache, tremors and joint pain may also manifest. Death is rare in most cases, but medical treatment can alleviate the symptoms and make the three days it takes to move through your system a little more comfortable. Children and elderly are high risk to experience serious complications.

Most spiders in the region are not a threat, and some are even beneficial but you typically don’t want them in your home or office. If you are experiencing any kind of spider or pest infestation, get the advice of an expert. Knock ‘Em Out Pest Control know the species native to the area and can discuss the best course of action that will make you happy and comfortable in your home. And even if you don’t see any spiders or other pests, call us for a thorough pest inspection to help prevent them from moving in!

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