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Many of us fear spiders. Maybe not the ‘burn the house down there’s a spider in it’ kind of fear, but there's still a fear. Many of us know the truth about these spiders and whether they are dangerous or not, but we’re still not a huge fan of sharing our space with them. Here in Tennessee, we have a few spiders to be concerned about, and then we have the common ones that are not a concern but are more of a nuisance. We have heard your questions such as, are black widow spiders dangerous to humans? Many of you also ask, will a black widow bite kill you? Let's take a closer look.

Spiders of Concern in Tennessee:

The black widow and the brown recluse spiders are the only ones that reside here in Tennessee that is of actual concern. The bite from these spiders can really pack a punch.

  • The black widow spider is infamous for its black color and the red hourglass on its back. The female is the spider of concern. Their bite is venomous and can have different adverse reactions in people. The reactions/symptoms of a black widow spider bite can vary from a minor amount of burning pain and muscle cramping at the bite site to severe cramping and labored breathing. This is no spider to play with, nor is it a bite to ignore. If you think that you may have been bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention immediately.

  • The brown recluse spider is a brown ¼” to ¾” spider with a dark violin-shaped mark on the top of its body. These spiders also have a venomous bite. You may not notice that you have been bitten until about 2-8 hours after the bite occurs. The bite site will be red with a blister that has developed. Unfortunately, under that blister, the venom is destroying your skin and tissue. Often when the blister comes off there is a dark colored void of tissue where the venom has affected your skin tissues. Just like with the black widow spider, if you think that there’s a possibility that you have been bitten by a brown recluse, seek medical attention immediately.

Common Tennessee Spiders That Are Not So Dangerous:

The following spiders are common spiders that do not pose a real danger to you or your loved ones. These spiders are mostly a nuisance and present an issue with their fear factor!

  • American house spiders are the most common spiders that we encounter indoors. They range anywhere from 3/16th of an inch to 5/16th of an inch and are yellow or brown with distinctive dark chevron-like markings on their bodies. These spiders have the ability to bite, but only in defense - and it is rare that anyone has an adverse reaction to it.

  • Cellar spiders, a.k.a. Daddy Long Legs, are the type of spider that we all find in the dark and damp areas of buildings. These spiders range from pale yellow to tan, to dark gray. They are anywhere from ¼ of an inch to 3/8 of an inch with small bodies and long skinny legs. Their mouth is so weak that they can’t bite humans. They are truly just a nuisance.

  • The wolf spider is surely a frightful looking spider with its eight spiny legs and four small eyes, but they really want nothing to do with us. These spiders are nocturnal and are not web weavers, but they actually hunt for their prey at night. They are a quick-moving spider that really is quite shy and doesn’t care to interact with people. They can bite, but their bite is usually of no danger to us.

  • Zipper spiders are probably the most colorful looking spiders in this group. These yellow and black spiders are sometimes called “yellow garden spiders”. These spiders create circular webs with zig-zag patterns in the center of them. They are most commonly found in gardens and fields. Again, these spiders are not aggressive and only bite in defense. Their bite may sting a bit and may swell and turn red, but it is extremely rare for a person to have an allergic or more severe reaction to it.

These six spiders are the spiders that most of us here in Tennessee deal with. You may be wondering if there’s anything that you can do to keep them out of your home or business. There are a few steps that you can take to help keep them outside which include:

  • Repair or replace damaged insect screens in windows, doors, and vents.

  • Fill holes or cracks in the foundation or exterior walls, especially around utility entrances.

  • Replace door sweeps and damaged door bottoms on all exterior doors.

While these general prevention tips will help with spider control, it will most likely not keep them away 100%. The best way to keep your Tennessee home, business or property free from spiders is with a year-round pest control program from All-American Pest Control. We offer a variety of programs that are designed to fit any residential or commercial situation. We even offer a free evaluation! This enables us to inform you of your pest control issues and concerns without any financial obligation from you. We know you have questions about dangerous spiders, and there are many myths about spiders out there, give us a call today to learn more about these dangerous pests and what we can do to help you avoid them!

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