In the Tucson area, there are many species of spiders that make themselves unwelcome house guests. While some are fairly harmless pests, such as the tiny jumping spider and the hulking tarantula, there are some arachnids you really need to look out for. Today we are looking into how to identify some of the most dangerous species of spiders that make southeastern Arizona home.

The Black Widow

black widow spiderYou would think that this famous spider with its iconic red-hourglass marking would be easy to identify, but it can be difficult with the naked eye. This marking is only found on the female of the species, and the average Black Widow is only a half-inch long. When looking at a black widow (Latrodectus mactans) on the ground from a standing position, it may be difficult to see the spider at all, much less the tiny marking. In fact, if you can see it you may be too close. The Black Widow has a potentially deadly venomous bite that can cause a painful lesion accompanied by muscular failure, vomiting, nausea, and respiratory distress. Children and the elderly can be endangered by this spider, and any shiny deep-black small spider should be treated as one until proven otherwise.

Wolf Spider

wolf spiderThe wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) might just be the most intimidating local spider. They are a hunter spider like tarantulas that wander looking for prey at night and you may be able to see a green eye shine when shining a light on them at night. They are large spiders whose body alone can measure 1.4 inches and vary in color from gray to dark brown with an additional flash of peach or orange color at the anterior portion of the chelicerae. Their bites can be extraordinarily painful as their large mandibles tear the skin, but the most serious concern is from secondary infections and some swelling of the lymph nodes.

Arizona Brown Spider

arizona brown spiderThe Arizona brown spider (Loxoceles arizonicus) is a relative of the more infamous brown recluse. It is a funnel-web spider that is usually found burrowed into the ground or hiding underneath objects in dark areas of the home. When observed, they may seem like a fairly unremarkable brown spider that measures about 1.5 inches in total leg span. Upon closer examination, the distinctive “fiddle” marking that the species is known for is present but so faint that it is difficult to see without magnification. The venom of its bite is intended to liquify prey, and it may seem no more serious than a bee sting at first but can cause severe tissue necrosis that may require surgery or even amputation as a result of secondary infections. To avoid the possibility of these potential medical emergencies, Arizona brown spider bites are to be avoided even by healthy adult individuals.

For more information on identifying dangerous and destructive pests in the Tucson area or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at University Termite and Pest Control today!

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