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Spiders are air-breathing arthropods or invertebrate animals with an exoskeleton and segmented bodies. While most people identify spiders as insects they are not the same, as the spiders belong to the order of Araneae.
Spiders are old and adaptable species that can be found all around the world, except for Antarctica. There are nearly 50,000 species of spiders found so far and most of them are able to live in rural and urban areas as long as there are hiding places and food supply.
Are All Spiders Dangerous?
While it’s not pleasant to see spiders in your home or in nature, most spiders are actually not a threat to humans. Their jaws and fangs are not strong enough to cause damage to people, but if someone is allergic to a spider bite, it can cause a severe reaction and require immediate medical assistance.
Most species are harmless to humans, but there are a few venomous spiders even in the United States that you should know about. Species like Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders can bite in defense if disturbed, and their venom is strong enough to cause nausea, fever, vomiting, increased blood pressure, and sweating.
The venomous bites might be terrifying, but it’s comforting to know that fatality rates are low as long as you seek proper medical treatment.
What Do Spiders Look Like?
There are many species of spiders with large variations in size, color, and look, but there are a few characteristics all spiders have such as:
Spiders have a unique look with two body parts and eight legs attached to them. The front of the body has fangs with venom to kill and consume the prey, and eight eyes but with low functionality considering the eyesight is quite poor.
In the back part of the body, spiders have reproductive and silk-producing organs that allow them to make intricate webs and trap potential prey. The webs spiders make are not all the same, and depend on the species, location, and purpose.
How Do Spiders Eat?
Most of the spider species are predatory but there are some that feed from plant-produced material and nectar. All species have a digestive tract that can only digest and use liquids, so the prey has to be captured and turned into a liquid form before consumption.
Spiders capture most of their prey with the sticky and carefully designed webs and then incase the captured victim into more of that silky but strong web. With their fangs and specialized glands, the spiders then inject the prey with enzymes from their digestive tract and dissolve the prey from the inside out.
Once the prey is in liquid form on the inside, the spider will feed and even use a specialized filtration system to keep out all the solids. Some spiders use their jaws to “chew” on the prey and consume them that way.
There are nearly 50,000 spider species all over the world with some being more common than others. Here are some of the most common and well-known species of spiders found in the United States:
Black Widow Spider
Known for its black body and the unusual red marking on the abdomen, the Black Widow spider is one of the most aggressive and dangerous pests. Male black widow spiders rarely bite, but females are very aggressive and protective when they have eggs.
In case a black widow spider bites you, seek medical attention immediately.
Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown Recluse spider, as the name suggests, has brownish hues and loves to hide in debris or wood piles in nature, or under furniture and in dark places in homes. This is one more dangerous and aggressive species that can and will bite humans if disturbed.
While fatalities are rare, this spider can cause fever, nausea, and other symptoms that need medical assistance.
The most common and pesky indoor spider, the House spider can lay more than 3,500 eggs in their lifetime. While they can bite on rare occasions, the house spider is not venomous and mainly causes disturbance with lots of webs in every corner of the house.
Jumping spiders are one of the rare spider species that love sunlight and unlike most spiders, they have decent vision during the day. Although they might look scary with the dense hair or scales in bright colors and bigger black bodies, they are not a threat to humans and don’t have a poisonous bite.
Common Treatments for Spiders
Spiders like warm and dry spaces with plenty of food (insects), so the best way to get rid of them is to keep the house clean and insect-free. Vacuum all the webs, spiders, and eggs frequently and put bug repellents and screen doors to minimize the number of insects.
If you notice many spiders or some that are considered dangerous it’s always a good idea to consult with professionals.