If you’re the type of person that typically spends a majority of your time indoors, especially in the winter and spring, you might come across more and more spiders. It’s a common misconception that spiders move indoors in the winter to seek warmth. The truth is that those spiders have been living inside of your home all along. You’re just noticing them more because you spend more time indoors.
While most spiders in Ohio are harmless, but there are a couple of species to watch out for.
The females are most well-known for their dark (almost black colored) bodies and distinct red, hourglass-shaped mark, as shown below.
Widow spiders usually build their webs away from humans and typically hide in abandoned or rarely used areas.
Black widow bites are typically immediately painful and as the venom’s toxin takes effect, it can cause severe pain, muscle spasms, and shortness of breath. While the spiders bites are very rarely lethal in healthy adults, the elderly and people with comprised immunity are more at risk for complications.
Two species of recluse, the brown recluse and the Mediterranean recluse can be found in Ohio. They are usually between ¼” to ½” long. Their bodies are light brown with a distinct dark colored violin shape on their backs.
Recluse spiders are reclusive and tend to hide away in dark, infrequently traveled areas of a home. They’re typically found inside buildings, especially in the cooler months.
If bitten by a recluse, you might not experience immediate pain. The days following a bite, the toxin in the spider’s venom causes skin tissue around the bite to die (necrosis).
If you think you’ve been bitten by a widow or recluse spider, seek medical attention immediately! Use ice on the site to treat swelling and an OTC pain reliever to help with any pain and fever.
There are a few species of biting spiders that sometimes bite humans. While the venom of these spiders rarely causes a severe reaction, people who are particular sensitive may have mild pain and swelling associated with their bites.
Yellow Sac Spider
The yellow sac spider is less than ½” long. It has a light colored body that is more of a creamy orange color than bright yellow with black tips on the ends of their feet. They are nocturnal and typically hide during the day.
These albino-looking spiders are most often found in homes, high up on walls or ceilings. Yellow sac spiders are a more aggressive species of spiders than black widows or brown recluse. They will bite immediately and often repeatedly when threatened.
If bitten by a yellow sac spider, the bite or bites may be painful, with a small red bump forming soon after that will typically fade after a couple of weeks. For most people, the yellow sac spider bite is not deadly. That being said, some people experience swelling, burning, and intense pain that can result in a serious but incredibly uncommon skin infection.
The parson spider is about ½” long. It has a dark colored body with pale markings. They’re very fast and usually hide under things.
Female grass spiders are usually about 8/10″ long, males are about 7/10″. Both sexes have long legs. They’re medium brown with dark brown stripes on their backs. They typically build a funnel shaped web in lush grassy lawns but will resort to building webs in indoor crevices when the cold drives them inside.