Spiders can be beneficial but can also pack a painful or even poisonous punch if they bite.
Spiders are everywhere, and they’re not easy to control. Many of them are beneficial, because they eat insect pests. But some people think these eight-legged arthropods are too creepy and dangerous to have around. Or, they don’t like the messy and unsightly webs that spiders weave. Black widows and brown recluse spiders are just two of the many common spiders we find here in East Texas.
Black Widow Spiders
The red hourglass shape under their abdomen is the most recognized feature of the black widow spider. These spiders are black in color and females are usually larger than males. However, the popular belief that the female black widow spider always eats the male after mating is faulty, as this is actually a rare occurrence. Black widow spiders prefer dark and secluded areas including crevices and woodpiles. This species is known to be abundant in the American South and thrives mostly in temperate climates. If a black widow makes its way indoors, they will typically hide in dim locations such as basements and other sheltered areas.
Brown Recluse Spiders
Found in the central part of the U.S., the brown recluse spider dwells in dark sheltered places. This spider, which can vary in color from dull yellow to tawny, dark brown, has a characteristic dark brown violin marking on its back with no stripes or spots on its abdomen. It measures roughly the size of a quarter. Outdoors, the brown recluse spider will infest cedar shake roofs or barns and commonly spin irregular webs near ground level, although this web is not intended to catch prey as this spider is a hunter.