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Archive for the ‘Spiders’ Category

Southern House Spiders Dwell Year Round Within Louisiana Homes Where They Can Establish A Significant Presence That Residents Often Mistake For Brown Recluse Infestations

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?

 

The Highly Venomous Spider Species That Are Known For Biting People Indoors In Louisiana

With the exception of two small spider families that don’t possess venom glands, all spiders are technically venomous, but not all spiders are capable of biting humans. This is because some spider species possess fangs that are too small to puncture human skin. And since spiders did not evolve venom to subdue humans, the vast majority of spider species produce venom that would have no ill effects on the human nervous system.

Of the 50,000 or so spider species that have been documented around the world, there only exists 25 species that can inflict medically significant venomous bites to humans. The abundance and diversity of venomous spider species obviously varies by region, but in any given area, a person can expect to find between 0 and, at most, 3 venomous spider species.

The United States is home to around 3,000 spider species, only two of which, the brown recluse and the black widow, are considered “medically significant” spider species. However, around 80 percent of all hospitalizations that result from spider bites involve bite victims who had a serious allergic reaction to venom. Unfortunately, the state of Louisiana is home to several potentially dangerous spider species that are often spotted in homes.

The most venomous spider species in the US, the black widow, is found in Louisiana, but this species does not enter homes often, and most bites are sustained while outdoors. The non-native brown widow, on the other hand, is being found more and more within Louisiana homes, but this species produces venom that is less potent than black widow venom. Yellow sac spiders may be responsible for the greatest amount of problematic indoor spider bites. Although sac spider bites are painful, and bite wounds can take weeks to heal, their bites are never fatal.

Several jumping spider species can be found in Louisiana including the twin-flagged jumping spider. This species inflicts painful bites and they are found in Louisiana homes frequently. Bites from this species are never fatal but allergic reactions to their venom can send some bite victims to the hospital. The brown recluse is also found inhabiting cluttered areas of a home that are not often frequented by humans. These areas include garages, attics and storage areas. These spiders are shy, but their bites can cause necrotic lesions that require medical attention.

Have you ever sustained a bite from a spider that you did not recognize as a particular species?

Two Brown Recluse Spider Species Commonly Infest Homes And Buildings In Louisiana

Black widow and brown recluse spiders are currently recognized as being the only two groups of spiders in the United States that have the potential to inflict medically significant bites to humans. However, both black widows and brown recluse spiders are not each their own species; instead, each of these spiders consists of numerous species that span the entire US. For example, widow spider species include northern, southern and western black widows, just to name a few. But their currently exists 11 documented native recluse species as well as two non-native recluse species in the US. The name “brown recluse” is often applied to all recluse species, but in truth, the term “brown recluse” is a common nickname for only one recluse species, L. reclusa. The state of Louisiana is home to two recluse species, one of which is native, the other of which is non-native. These two species are the brown recluse and the Mediterranean recluse, respectively.

Both the brown recluse and the mediterranean recluse are, as you can guess, brown-colored species that exist almost exclusively in the northern half of Louisiana. However, the mediterranean recluse, which is not as abundant as its native counterpart, has been found in New Orleans, and experts believe that this species dwells in isolated pockets throughout the state. Given the Mediterranean recluse’s tolerance of hot coastal habitats, it was not surprising to find this species in the south of the state, especially in urban environments where it arrived via cargo shipments from Europe. The brown recluse invades homes in northern Louisiana frequently, and the Mediterranean recluse is almost always found near or within homes and buildings. Despite their commonality within homes and buildings, the rate of medically significant brown recluse envenomations are surprisingly low in the state. Pest controllers in Louisiana combat indoor infestations of recluse spiders often, but they urge residents not to be alarmed the spider’s indoor presence, as they are generally shy creatures that only enter homes by accident due to their habit of wandering long distances in search of food.

Have you ever encountered a brown recluse species in your home?

Which Spider Species Are Most Commonly Encountered In Louisiana Homes And Buildings?

There exists around 46,000 documented spider species in the world, the vast majority of which are not dangerous to humans. The United States is home to 3,000 spider species, some of which are known to inflict medically significant bites. For example, the black widow is regarded as the most venomous spider in the US, and the brown recluse has been found to inflict bite wounds that sometimes lead to tissue necrosis. There exists several other potentially dangerous spider species in the US, such as the brown widow and the hobo spider. Spiders are a common sight in Louisiana neighborhoods, especially in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the state is notable for being home to several highly venomous spider species, including the black widow and the brown recluse. But are these venomous spiders commonly found in Louisiana homes?

The Parasteatoda tepidariorum species, or the common house spider, is aptly named, as these spiders are frequently encountered within homes. Luckily, these spiders are considered harmless to humans and pets. Unfortunately, the brown widow spider is dangerous to humans, and these spiders are especially common in New Orleans where they are often spotted on park benches, streets and in homes. These spiders were accidentally introduced into the United States from either Africa or South America. Brown widow venom is weaker than black widow venom, but several severe brown widow bite cases have been documented.

Another spider commonly found within Louisiana homes is the Twin-flagged jumping spider. These spiders are small but frightening to look at, and they are known for leaping at their prey before inflicting a venomous bite. These spider are generally recognized as being harmless to humans. The dreaded black widow spider is prevalent throughout Louisiana and they are often found beneath rocks and in dry locations that lack light, such as garages, sheds and open air toilets. The brown recluse is also a common sighting within Louisiana homes, and while these spiders will not bite unless provoked, they possess compounds in their venom that have been implicated in causing tissue necrosis. So you will want to avoid these creepy-crawlies.

Have you ever spotted any of the above spiders within your home?

 

 

Which Spiders Are Most Commonly Spotted In Louisiana Homes?

Spiders are everywhere. You may subscribe to the notion that at all times there are spiders around three to ten feet away from you. Whether these figures are correct or just a common rumour, you can bet that they are never very far away from you, whether you are inside or outside. Scientists have discovered 46,000 species of spider in the world to date, so it’s not hard to conclude that there are always at least a few nearby. Most spiders are not harmful to humans even though some of those might have venom, but there are only a few venomous spiders that can actually cause harm to us. Thankfully, spider bites are fairly rare, as spiders certainly aren’t after us for a meal, unlike other insects such as mosquitos, so it’s not like they are searching us out or stalking us – even those that live in our homes. Louisiana neighborhoods are filled with spiders, with certain spiders living in people’s homes and others in more natural habitats in the state. Here are some of the most common spiders you are likely to find in Louisiana.

One spider that every human is bound to run across at some point or another is the common house spider, also known as Parasteatoda tepidariorum. These common spiders are recognizable by their cobweb-like homes, which are not circular, but rather asymmetrical, and are usually found along fences and under the eave of your porch. The other spider you are likely to come across at home is the cobweb spider, or steatoda triangulosa, which are a bit smaller than the common house spider, and are generally found indoors and under furniture with their webs close to the ground. You may also notice the wall spider in your home. These are tiny little spiders, around 2-3 millimeters long, and they tend to build their tiny webs in the corners where walls meet, hiding there from any human predators. They also eat ants, so they can actually be helpful keeping them out of your home.

There are also some larger spiders that like to settle in people’s homes. One of these is the Twinflagged jumping spider, which doesn’t build a web to catch its prey, but uses its speed and incredible jumping ability to leap at their prey, grabbing it at the same time it bites down to prevent it from escaping its clutches. These spiders have amazing eyesight, able to see up to a foot away from them. Considering their size, that is a long distance for their little eyes to be able to see clearly. The crevice weaver spider builds its white, wooly webs in the cracks in walls and dust-filled hideaways that conceal them and their web. When a meal gets caught in their web, they quickly rush out of their hideaway to grab it. These spiders don’t move around a lot, and will stay in the same place with the same web usually fixed onto a ceiling or wall as long as the prey keep coming there. This can end up being a long time, as the females can live 11 years. They are commonly found in barns or sheds.

What spiders have you caught residing in your house? Do you know what kind of spider it was?

 

 

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