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Dangerous Spider Myths
Sticky trap with spiders

Spiders seldom need controlling and pesticides are not the best way to do so. Sticky traps or better yet, physical exclusion work best.


Spider bite cases resulting in amputation are sometimes reported, but no such case has confirmation of actual spider involvement.


Several studies show that only in rare cases do spider fangs carry lesion-causing microorganisms. Antibiotics help only if it's not a bite.


Few if any physicians can correctly ID spiders from bite symptoms alone. Spiders caught biting should be ID'd by arachnologists.

White-tailed spider

Inadequate studies claimed that wolf spiders, "yellow" sac spiders, woodlouse spiders and white-tailed spiders were dangerous. They aren't!

Hobo spider

Hobo spiders are neither aggressive nor are they true house spiders; the inflammatory name "agressive house spider" is a reject.

Hobo spider illustration

A chevron pattern, boxing-glove palps or a funnel web do not mean it's a hobo spider; you need a microscope to determine that.

Eye arrangement diagrams

Contrary to what you've heard, you cannot recognize a "brown recluse" spider by a violin shape. Numerous other spiders have one too!

Distribution map of Brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa

Brown recluse spider bites occur only in 15 states. Hundreds reported from other states and Canada are all false reports.

Steatoda nobilis spider

British media hype about "killer" false widow spiders is irresponsible and wildly exaggerated; the rare bites are mostly just painful.

Brazilian Wandering Spider, Phoneutria nigriventer

The most notorious "deadly" spiders of Australia and Brazil are not as toxic as their reputation; very few deaths have ever been recorded.


There is no spider on earth whose bite is likely to cause death in humans, especially with medical treatment.


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