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Old 06-20-2007, 07:19 AM
 
67 posts, read 412,237 times
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Default Poisionous spiders in Virginia

Upon moving to Spotsylvania from Woodbridge, I am noticing some pretty darn big spiders in my house.

Is VA known for poisonous spiders?

Thanks
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
260 posts, read 1,190,428 times
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The only important ones we have are black widows and brown recluse spiders. Most of the large hunting spiders, while menacing, aren't all that poisonous.

VA Tech's Spider info page: Spider (http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/factsheets/spiders.html - broken link)
Brown recluse spider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Black widow spider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:49 AM
 
67 posts, read 412,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb124 View Post
The only important ones we have are black widows and brown recluse spiders. Most of the large hunting spiders, while menacing, aren't all that poisonous.

VA Tech's Spider info page: Spider (http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/factsheets/spiders.html - broken link)
Brown recluse spider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Black widow spider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thanks for this.
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
737 posts, read 2,687,405 times
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You may be seeing Wolf Spiders... They like to hide in the woods, wood piles, and even garages and maybe basements if they can get in. They are HUGE. The body can be about an inch long, with over 2 inch legs... It's a beefy spider. It's not venomus, but their bite can hurt a LOT, and I hear that they may bite easily, if you try to grab them or get too close.

Wolf spider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

U usually hit them with a shovel, but then spider guts go all over the place.... but hitting it with a shovel is always my first instinct. lol I have seen some black widows, as the last poster has noted... They are smaller than I had thought before seeing one. I guess whenever you see them on TV, they're really zoomed in.

What stinks is that a small-er wolf spider can look like a brown recluse... I wouldn't want to be bit by either though.

I'd be more worried with copperheads and cottonmouths than spiders, but that's just me.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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or rabbid foxes,racoons....maybe we need a bubble to be safe?
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:09 PM
 
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Poisonous spiders don't go looking for you. Avoid where they are, usually dark places (wood piles, basement corners) and they won't bother you. Wolf spiders are very common in basements here, but I never knew they bite. We had them in our previous home's basement but never had a problem. Here they apparently treated for everything when this house was built and I never see living bugs in our house.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
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On my horse farm, I see black widows several times a week. They like to nest underneath rubber grain pans and water troughs. Being a Vermonter transplanted to Virginia, the first few times I stumbled over them it was quite thrilling! After the first dozen or so, the magic wore off I've only ever seen _dead_ brown recluse spiders; they're REALLY reclusive. I'd love to find a living brown recluse.

If I haven't been bit by a black widow or a wolf spider yet, then I wouldn't worry about it. But if you're in your basement moving boxes around, or moving logs from a wood pile, then cheap and easy insurance would take the form of a pair of work gloves.

Sean
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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Occasionally, you'll find black widows hidden away in out of the way places. Their bites aren't terribly dangerous, but can make you sick if you do something careless like put your hands somewhere undistrubed without checking first.

Brown Recluse spiders don't live in Virginia at all, humans have a nasty habit of labeling any brownish, medium-sized spider with some sort of marking that even looks vaguely like a fiddle as a brown recluse. The fact of the matter is that they don't live this far north and east, and to identify one you'll need to get a stereoscopic microscope and dissect it to determine it's internal structure.


References:

[url=http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/brownrecluse.html]Spider Myths: My aunt was bitten by one...[/url]

And

[url=http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/fiddleback.html]Spider Myths: The dreaded sign of the fiddle![/url]

(I apologize for the faulty URL tags, I can't seem to get rid of them. Deleting the tags and the text does nothing, it would seem. Just copy and past the URL into your browser to see the references.)

In general, you don't have to worry too much about spiders in Virginia. I'd worry more about rattlesnakes, and even they're pretty tame compared to venomous snakes that live elsewhere in the world.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Virginia
181 posts, read 704,735 times
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I beg to differ with you while the Brown recluse was not native to Virginia, they have been brought in through people moving from other areas. 20 years ago my son spent 8 hours in the ER of Alleghany Regional Hospital while the doctors were running test and the CDC in Atalnta were confirming that he'd been bitten by a Brown recluse. Also 3 yeaars ago we had a gentleman die in our town from a Brown Recluse bite that was not taken serious until too late.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:51 AM
 
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I find that very hard to believe, considering that they can't survive in Virginia for very long, and the fact that brown recluse bites have an extremely low fatality rate even when untreated. Bees kill a higher percentage of people than brown recluse spiders.

But if you can show me a news story where someone was bitten, the offending spider caught, and the spider was verified by an arachnologist to be a Loxosceles reclusa, then I will believe it. Until then, I'm going to agree with the scientists over two vague personal accounts from some random person on the internet.
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