Louisiana is home to numerous spider species that would certainly give arachnophobes quite a scare. With the exception of the black widow and the brown recluse species, spiders in Louisiana do not pose a medical threat to humans. Even the black widow and brown recluse species are generally shy around humans, and their bites do not always require a visit to the doctor. But in rare cases, brown recluse venom can cause tissue-necrosis to occur at the site of a bite wound, and black widow venom can cause unpleasant systemic symptoms after entering the human bloodstream. While both of these highly venomous species may not be pleasant for many people to look at, most spider experts would agree that many other arachnid species in Louisiana are far more intimidating in appearance. For example, the Kukulcania hibernalis species, or the southern house spider, as it is more commonly known, is one of the most commonly encountered spider species within indoor locations in southern Louisiana. This species appears large in size, and they are often mistaken for brown recluse spiders. These spiders are known for invading indoor spaces in large number, especially indoor spaces that see little human traffic. Large infestations of these spiders take form indoors due to the relatively long 8 year lifespan of females, as well as this species’ ability to maintain a year round presence indoors.
Southern house spider adults are either plain brown or grayish-brown in color, and like most spider species, males are significantly smaller in body size than females. Males of this species can grow to be nearly half an inch in body length, while females can grow to be nearly three fourths of an inch in body length. Although this may seem small, southern house spiders appear to be particularly large when their legs are extended. Southern house spiders are relatively docile, and their venom is not considered to be medically significant. Indoor southern house spider populations rapidly grow in number in cluttered areas of a home or building, and they are particularly abundant in warehouses and sheds. Pest control professionals consider the presence of tangled webs in the corners of a room to be a good sign that a home contains southern house spiders.
Have you ever found a spider that you were too afraid to kill or remove from your home on your own?