• More than 35,000 species of spiders
occur in the world. Of these, about
3,400 species in 64 families are found
in North America.
• In North America, primary concerns
are the Black Widow and Brown
Spiders in the USA
• Black Widows
• Brown Recluses
The Black Widow
• The most venomous spider
in North America.
• Generally not deadly
unless victim is very
young or old.
• Identifiable by shiny black
body and red “hourglass”
• Relatively small, usually
around 1.5” in size.
Where They Live
• Seldom disturbed
• Stock piles
• Storage Areas
• Shoes left outside
• Freshly cleared sites
• Cobwebs can be a
sign (but not always)
• Venom is 15 times more potent
than that of a rattlesnake (relatively
much less is injected).
• Only 63 deaths were reported in
the United States between 1950
• Bite is often not painful and may
go unnoticed at first.
• Symptoms include: abdominal pain
similar to appendicitis, pain to
muscles or the soles of the feet,
alternating salivation and dry
mouth, paralysis of the diaphragm,
profuse sweating and swollen
• If Bitten:
-Apply ice pack to bite
location and keep elevated to
about heart level.
-Try to collect spider
specimen in jar or bag for
positive identification and
treatment (even if you have
-Call the Poison Control
Center for more info:
-Bite can be very painful,
victim should go to doctor
immediately for treatment.
• Be Careful!
• Wear Gloves and Pay Attention to where you
put your hands and feet (check your boots!).
• Remove all materials where they might hide.
• Knock down webs, egg sacks and spiders.
• This spider is resistant to insecticides.
• Avoid storing materials outdoors for an
extended period of time.
The Brown Recluse
• Identifiable by “violin” on back.
• ¼” to ½” long.
• Dark brown, yellow, or greenish-yellow
• Likes to hide in small dark areas
• Attracted to areas with lots of insects
(i.e. near outdoor artificial lighting).
Notice the Violin on the back
Where They Live
• Dark, undisturbed
• Often in cardboard
shoes, and behind
• Also beneath logs,
loose stones, and
stacks of lumber.
• Some may not be aware of the
bite for 2-8 hrs.
• Many bites cause just a little red
mark that heals without event.
• For some, the venom kills the
tissues (necrosis) at the site of
• Can result in a painful, deep
wound that takes a long time to
heal (can be deadly for the very
young and old).
• Can also cause a “volcano
• If bitten, remain calm
and seek immediate
• Collect spider for
and proper treatment.
• Rubbing alcohol can
help preserve what is
left of the spider.
Harmless Brown Recluse Look-alikes
Wolf Spider Southern House Spider
• Check boots, gloves, tool belts, etc. before
• Wear gloves when handling lumber, rocks,
landscape trimmings, etc.
• Exercise care when handling cardboard
boxes (they are often found in the space
under the folded cardboard flaps).
• Recluses and Widows are very resistant to
• In fact, recent studies have shown that insecticides
can worsen spider problems since Recluses tend to
be scavengers and are drawn by the high numbers
of killed insects.
• Make sure the chemical you use is designed to
eliminate these spiders.
• Good housekeeping and “Just-In-Time” delivery
are great ways to reduce the presence of spiders.
Spiders and OSHA
• OSHA regulations do not go into detail with
• 1926.21 - In job site areas where harmful plants or
animals are present, employees who may be
exposed shall be instructed regarding the potential
hazards, and how to avoid injury, and the first aid
procedures to be used in the event of injury.
• 1926.250 (c) - Storage areas shall be kept free
from accumulation of materials that constitute
hazards from tripping, fire, explosion, or pest
• Brown Recluse Information:
• Black Widow Information: