While North America may not be home to any giant spiders like Tolkien’s Shelob or Rowling’s Aragog, our continent has quite a few creepy arachnids of its own. While most are harmless if left alone, their attributes make them terrifying predators to their prey and uniquely fascinating creatures of the animal kingdom.
Check out which spectacular spiders made our list!
1. The Brown Recluse: Give Them Space
A brown recluse’s bite can have severe consequences if not treated properly. Bites typically occur when these spiders are accidentally disturbed, as brown recluses live up to their name and tend to occupy secluded areas.
If you do get bitten by one of these spiders hiding in your shoes, clothes, or a box of stored items, seek emergency medical attention! Their venom kills blood vessel walls around the site of the bite. Severe reactions can result in an open wound surrounded by gangrenous tissue that takes several weeks to heal!
2. The Carolina Wolf Spider: A Giant Predator
Also known as the giant Carolina wolf spider, this arachnid is considered to be North America’s largest spider. These spiders range in size from 0.70 inches to 1.37 inches (for reference, a quarter coin measures 0.955 inches wide, and a half-dollar coin measures 1.205 inches). Like other wolf-spiders, this giant will actively hunt and sprint after its prey, rather than waiting for it to land in a web.
3. The Feather-Legged Orb Weaver: Free Hugs
Even without using any venom, this spider can be considered one of the creepiest spiders in North America. The feather-legged orb weaver crafts a cotton-candy-like web to trap its prey and then uses the web silk and its strong legs to squeeze the life out of its future dinner. The spider then feeds by injecting its prey with digestive enzymes and sucking out the now pre-digested insides.
4. The Bold Jumper: An Arachnid Brainiac
While this spider may not solve that Sudoku that’s been stumping you for the past few days, the bold jumper is among several jumping spiders known to master puzzles. While many spiders rely on vibrations to detect prey, jumping spiders like the bold jumper use their eyesight and can even think ahead to stalk their dinner, rather than waiting for it to land in a web.
5. The Black Widow: North America’s Most Venomous Spider
Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without the infamous black widow. According to North Carolina State University, a female black widow spider’s venom is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s—fortunately, their bites don’t inject nearly as much venom into a human as a rattlesnake’s bite.
That being said, the venom will still affect your nervous system, and within minutes of being bit, you’ll feel acute pain, burning, and swelling at the bite site. Other symptoms may include:
- Muscle aches and stiffness, typically within 8 hours
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal cramping, nausea, or vomiting
- Tremors and weakness
- Rashes and itching
- Swollen eyelids
In severe cases, you may not be able to move your legs. This is one spider bite that packs a punch.
Need help with a spider infestation on your property? Contact Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc. today: (800) 615-3920!