Texas is home to two venomous spiders. The black widow and the brown recluse. Both of these species of spiders can be found indoors and outdoors throughout the state.
Black Widow Spiders Habitat & Other Facts
The female black widow is considered the most venomous spider in North America. The venom of a black widow is 15 times as toxic as the venom of the prairie rattlesnake. The female is the dangerous sex. She will, on occasion kill and eat the male after mating is completed. The female black widow is about ½ an inch long and about 1 ½ inches long when the legs are spread. The male is about half that size. The female is the only one that has the reddish hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen. Outdoors you should remove and reduce trash from your yard and keep the perimeter of the home free of tall grass, weeds and shrubs, especially near the foundation. Make sure to wear protective clothing and gloves when working outdoors. Always check items that have been in storage for hiding spiders. Pesticides only work on direct contact. You can spray a spider or egg sac you see to kill it but spraying baseboards or areas where they may crawl will not keep them away. This is because spiders do not absorb chemicals through their legs or feet like ants, roaches and other insects do. Sticky traps work and can give you some idea of the population you may be dealing with. Routine pest control to reduce other insects and bugs that are their food source will also help.
How to Identify & Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders
The brown recluse spider is only found in the south and central United States. The adult species of this spider can vary in color from dull orange to tawny. The abdomen has no stripes or spots. The adult brown recluse can measure ¼ inch to 7/16 of an inch in body length. At the widest span with their legs, they are about the size of a United States quarter. The giveaway sign that you’re dealing with a brown recluse is the violin-shaped mark on the spider’s abdomen. They like to dwell in dark, sheltered places such as inside barns, homes and basements. This spider is a hunter and the web is not intended to catch prey. To prevent brown recluse spiders there will need to be a combination of chemical treatments and vigorous sanitation to significantly reduce or eliminate a well-developed infestation. Keep the yard, garage, garden shed, or house clean. Look for ¾- inch-wide sacs and knock them down to prevent bugs getting caught in the webs for food. Don’t let them bite. They are shy but will bite if they feel trapped inside shoes, clothing or any tight spot. Insecticide sprays around window and door casings and other entry points into the home will create a barrier to keep brown recluse spiders out. Once established in a structure, brown recluses are difficult to control. There may be hundreds of brown recluses within a home, but they may not be easily seen due to their reclusive, nocturnal habits.