There are many spiders that can get into your Raleigh home. Whether the spider you're seeing is dangerous or not depends on the spider. While all spiders have fangs, not all spiders are able to bite you. And, while all spiders have venom, not all venom is toxic to you. More than this, there are many spiders that are docile toward humans. Wolf spiders are a great example of docile spiders. They look scary because they're hairy spiders that tend to be larger than other spiders that get into Raleigh homes, but it is possible to handle a wolf spider without the spider biting you—though we don't recommend testing this. A wolf spider bite can be unpleasant. The point we're making is that most Raleigh spiders aren't dangerous. If you see a spider zipping across your rug, clinging to a wall, or hanging out in a web inside your home, you have little to fear. This being said, let's take a look at two spiders in our area that can be dangerous.

brown recluse spider on a piece of wood
black widow spider on a web

Black Widow Spiders

If you see a tangled web in a brush pile, or under your deck, you should be cautious; that web might be a black widow spider's web. You may also find these spiders creating webs in the voids within objects found in your yard. If you find a web, there is a way to tell if it was made by a black widow.

  • The threads of a black widow spider web are strong and may make a plucking noise when broken.

  • These webs will most often be found in low-lying and protected areas, particularly near organic materials.

  • Often, the female spider will sit in the midst of her web, waiting for prey. If you see a black spider with a red marking on the abdomen, it is likely to be a black widow. This marking may be in the shape of an hourglass.

Black widow spiders are a concern because they have potent venom. If you are bitten and you experience symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately, all black widow bites are not a threat. Sometimes widow spiders bite as a warning and don't inject venom into the wound. This is called a dry bite. A dry bite will be painful for less than an hour. If a dose of venom is injected, the pain can last longer than 24 hours and there can be many symptoms—some of which have the potential to be serious.

We're happy to say that black widows don't like to live with you. If they get in, they usually don't stay inside for long. It is only in rare cases, when conditions are ideal, that they remain indoors. 

Brown Recluse Spiders

If you see a tangled web that is low to the ground or inside a ground hole, you could have a brown recluse spider problem. The web of a recluse spider won't be nearly as strong as the web of a black widow. Why? Because brown recluse spiders don't use their webs to catch prey. They are hunter spiders. They go prowling for their food. The webs they create are used to conceal brown recluse spiders when they retreat from danger.

Things to know about a brown recluse spider:

  • These spiders are very reclusive. They don't prefer to be where you are and they don't prefer to roam in disturbed locations. When they get into your home, they're likely to be found in attic spaces, basements, and wall voids.

  • Brown recluse spider bites have necrotic properties which may result in a disfiguring wound, but the majority of bites don't amount to much (that is, assuming they bite you at all). If bitten, it is wise to have a physician monitor the bite, but you don't need to be fearful.

  • Brown recluse spiders can do quite well inside your home. The number of brown recluse spiders found in some infestations has been in the thousands.

How To Keep All Spiders Out Of Your Home

Whether spiders are dangerous or not, it can be unpleasant to have them around. If you want to reduce your encounters with spiders, there are a few things you can do:

  • Reduce spider habitats near your home. You can do this by removing leaf litter, removing brush piles, removing general clutter, and reducing moisture.

  • Reduce insects near your home. These are a food source for spiders. You can do this by reducing exterior lights or replacing white lighting with yellow lighting. Yellow light is more resistant to insects.

  • Seal gaps and cracks in your exterior, such as gaps around pipes, cracks in your foundation, and wood holes created by wood-destroying pests.

Consider Pest Control

Remember that Go-Forth Pest Control is always available to assist you with the control of insects and spiders around your Raleigh home. There is no better way to keep pests out than to have routine visits from one of our licensed pest professionals. Connect with us today to learn more.


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