Did you know that there are over 58 species of spiders living with us in Florida? In this Spiders in Florida Series, we take a look at the most dangerous venomous domestic house spiders:
In this series, we already covered the Most Common Domestic House Spiders in Florida.
Below we discuss the Red Widow Spider in the Tampa Bay area:
There are four species of widow spiders that you might find in Florida, three of them native and one of them introduced.
Not much is known about the venom of Red Widow spiders, but it is assumed that it is similar to that of other species of widow spiders. The female of the species is considered very dangerous as is with all widow spiders. The much smaller male is considered harmless.
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Theridiidae (Cobweb Spiders)
Genus Latrodectus (Widow Spiders)
Species bishopi (Red Widow)
This spider is indigenous to south and central Florida.
The red widow spider has a black abdomen and reddish-orange head, thorax and legs. The top of the abdomen usually has a row of red spots with yellow borders. This spider does not have a complete hourglass on the underside of the abdomen. Instead, it usually has one or two small red marks. The egg sac is white and smooth.
Adult red widow spider females specialize in capturing flying insects. Spiderlings eat flightless fruit flies, and pinhead crickets. Adults eat crickets, and other large insects.
The red widow spider is very uncommon and is a member of the black widow family, which is highly venomous. This spider can be harmful to people. The female’s venom is a neurotoxin which causes sustained muscle spasm rather than local tissue injury.
With all of the widow spiders, the venom ranges from 10-25% more potent than a rattlesnake. The volume of the venom that it delivers is much less than a rattlesnake. The widow spiders’ venom is a neurotoxin which causes sustained muscle spasm rather than local tissue injury. Fortunately, outcomes are very good. However, there have been reported deaths in the very young and very old with this bite. The puncture wounds are usually very small, but many symptoms are reported.
The symptoms of a red widow spider bite are high blood pressure, sweating, vomiting, respiratory muscle weakness, and possible seizures. The patient usually presents with a very stiff abdomen that may mimic appendicitis. The worst pain is generally in the first 8-12 hours. Other symptoms may remain for several days.
Patients usually do very well, and anti-venom is available in the United States from Merck and Company.
We have different maintenance programs for unwanted pests like termites, roaches, ants, bed bugs, silverfish, fleas, spiders, and more. We offer same day, one-time, monthly, quarterly, and yearly extermination service programs which are all very effective pest control programs.
If you suspect a roach problem, contact a local experienced pest control company for an inspection immediately before they spread diseases?
Drive-Bye Exterminators offers home and commercial pest control services in Clearwater, Florida, and the surrounding areas. Family owned and operated for over 25 years, Drive-Bye Exterminators has state certified inspectors, and exterminators provide roach, subterranean termite, dry wood termite, roaches, spider, ant, and flea services to both commercial and residential clients. Whether a business owner needs help getting rid of a termite infestation, or a homeowner wants to rid their kitchen of ants, Drive-Bye Exterminators offers each client the same level of professionalism and excellence.
Request a FREE Pest Control or Termite Inspection today with the Professionals of Drive-Bye Exterminators. Contact Us Today at 727-787-2127.