There are about 3,000 species of spiders roaming around North America, but only two in the southern and western United States can cause serious harm when accidentally disturbed — the black widow and brown recluse.
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Female black widow spiders have a red hourglass shape on their backs. Males have white spots on their sides. Males only live about a year, but the female can live up to 3 years. Hungry female black widow spiders have been known to kill the male spider after mating, but that isn’t always the case. Geographically, black widow spiders can be found in the Eastern, Central and Western United States.
Black widow spiders eat other pests. Sometimes they even eat other spiders!
Black widow spiders tend to live in cellars and in piles of wood or trash.
The bite of a female black widow spider can be poisonous but not deadly to humans. The male black widow spider does not bite. A black widow spider bite is pale in the middle with a red ring around it and is followed by severe cramping, weakness, sweating, headache, anxiety, itching, nausea, vomiting, difficult breathing and increased blood pressure.
Find spider information for kids and teachers alike at the official NPMA website.
Brown recluse spiders get their name because of their tendency to hide in corners. They are identified by the dark brown violin shaped markings on their back. Native to Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, they are nocturnal pests. Keep reading to find more kid-friendly facts on these fascinating arachnids.
Brown recluse spiders eat other bugs like cockroaches and crickets.
Brown recluse spiders live in cellars and in piles of wood or trash.
The brown recluse spider only bites to protect itself. Its bite is painful and can produce an open, ulcerating sore. The center of their bite becomes a blister surrounded by an angry-looking red ring, which is then surrounded by a white ring. A red, itchy rash usually appears in the first 24-48 hours of being bitten. Other symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches.
Can’t find what you were looking for on PestWorld for Kids? Parents and students can find even more arachnid facts and information for kids and adults at the official NPMA website.