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Poisonous Spiders in Michigan

Serving Kalamazoo | Grand Rapids | Livonia | Lansing

Michigan is home to a variety of spiders, but the vast majority are harmless to humans. However, there are two types of spiders to be aware of – the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow – which have venom that is toxic enough to affect humans 

As Michigan’s leading pest control experts, we want to help you stay informed. In this guide, we’ll provide a simple overview of these two poisonous spiders in Michigan and essential safety tips you should consider.

Michigan is home to several spider species, but most of them are harmless and rarely bite humans. The two spider species of potential concern in Michigan are the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow.

  • Brown Recluse Spider: This spider is known for its venomous bite, which can cause tissue damage and necrosis. However, Brown Recluse bites are relatively rare in Michigan, and most suspected cases turn out to be caused by other factors.
  • Black Widow Spider: Black Widow bites can be painful and may cause symptoms like muscle cramps and nausea. However, they rarely result in severe medical issues.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of spider species in Michigan are harmless and pose no threat to humans. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a spider and experience severe symptoms, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. Identifying the spider responsible for the bite can be challenging, so it’s best to consult with a medical professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

The brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is a venomous recluse spider native to the southeastern US.

Like most spiders, the brown recluse is considered very shy. They’ll go out of their way to avoid humans and would rather run away than act aggressively when confronted. Most brown recluses spend daytime hiding in dry, dark areas and hunt for food at night.

They build small, asymmetrical webs but don’t use these webs to hunt their prey. Instead, they hunt by lunging and using their venom to immobilize and kill it. Their webs are built out of sight and used as a retreat.

Brown recluse spiders are well-adapted to living indoors and will produce offspring in homes. Their eggs are off-white or tan-colored and can be found in round or cone-shaped egg sacs. Each sac can contain up to 300 eggs. A good incentive for spider control measures!

Brown recluse spiders are uniformly tan to dark brown in color. Both the legs and torso lack any banding, spines, or mottling. All adult brown recluses have a distinctive dark “violin-shaped” mark on their backs which often prompts the nickname “violin” or “fiddleback” spider.

Unlike most spiders, brown recluses have six eyes instead of eight. The eyes are arranged in pairs – one in front and one on each side of their head. The spider’s legs are long, thin, and covered with fine hairs but not spikes.

Because of their size, brown recluse spider identification can be tricky. A pest control expert can help identify a brown recluse or any other spider species in your home.

Black widow spiders are a type of spider belonging to the Latrodectus genus. There are three species of Black widow spiders in North America. The only one of these three species ever encountered in Michigan is the Northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus). 

This spider is about 1.5” long and .25” in diameter, making it about the size of a paper clip. They are completely black except for the infamously distinctive red hourglass-shaped marking on their abdomen.

Northern black widows also have a series of red spots along the middle of their abdomens. Some may possess white stripes on their abdomens.

Northern black widows tend to build large, expansive webs which they use to catch prey and tend to eggs. They build these webs in low-lying areas near where they can catch insect prey. You may find them around window wells, garages, pools, grills, or wood piles. They tend to be most active between April and October.

Fortunately, most spiders, including the brown recluse and black widow, are generally reluctant to bite unless provoked. However, taking precautions is essential, especially in high-risk areas like crawl spaces. Here are a few things you can do in order to prevent spider bites:

  • Shake Things Up: Before putting on clothes or shoes that have been untouched, give them a good shake to dislodge hidden spiders.
  • Inspect First: When working in crawl spaces or garages, check for spider activity before entering, and wear protective clothing.
  • Storage Safety: Be cautious when dealing with stored items like boxes or firewood. Use gloves and take care not to disturb any potential residents.
  • Keep It Clean: Regularly clean and declutter your living spaces. Spiders prefer to avoid homes that lack hiding spots and a stable food source.
  • Consider Pest Control Services: Professional pest control services can help keep spiders, including potentially venomous ones, out of your home. This is especially important in areas where such spiders are occasionally found.

If you have questions or concerns about spiders in Michigan and want to ensure your home or business remains spider-free, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Griffin Pest Solutions. Our expert spider control services provide targeted solutions you can rely on to address your worries and maintain a safe environment.

Poisonous Spiders in Michigan Serving Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids

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