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                                                                NAME:   Black Widow Spider
                                                                (Latrodectus mactans)
                                                                RANGE: Every state except Alaska.
                                                                SIZE: Body is about 1⁄2 inch long.
                                                                CHARACTERISTICS: Shiny black with a red
NAME:   Brown Recluse Spider                                    “hourglass” on the bottom of the abdomen.
(Loxosceles reclusa)                                            VENOM: Little or no pain, redness or swelling
RANGE: Common in the South and Midwest, but they                at the bite site to start, but a small, red bump
probably exist in all 50 states.                                may form later. Within 30 to 60 minutes, how-
SIZE: Reaches about 11⁄2 inches across.                         ever, the venom attacks. Severe muscular
CHARACTERISTICS: Pale brown to reddish, with long               cramping often centers in the abdomen and
slender legs and usually with a violin or fiddle shape on        back. Anxiety becomes intense. Headache,
the top front portion of the body.                              nausea, vomiting, dizziness, heavy sweating
VENOM: Within one to five hours, a painful red blister           are common reactions.
appears where the fangs did their damage. Watch for             TREATMENT: Stay calm. Clean the site of
the development of a bluish circle around the blister           the bite, and apply ice (or something cold)
and a red, irritated circle beyond that — the charac-           periodically. Find a doctor.
teristic “bull’s-eye” wound of the recluse. The victim          NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED: 0 to 4 every year.
might suffer chills, fever and weakness.                        THE FACTS: Only the female black widow is
TREATMENT: Stay calm. Clean the site of the bite and            seriously venomous, and she packs the most
keep it clean, and apply ice (or something cold) periodi-       deadly venom in the United States. Victims
cally. Find a doctor.                                           almost never feel the bite, although some have
NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED: 0 to 1 every year.                     reported immediate sharp pain. But then the
THE FACTS: Instead of building webs, recluse spiders            terrible cramps start. Victims say it feels like
come out at night to hunt. They don’t mind living near          they are going to die, but black widows kill few
humans, and they can live under furniture, within curtains      humans. Those who die are almost alw
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