How dangerous are the spiders in your home?

(KRQE) – There are well over 100 species of spiders in New Mexico alone, so it’s likely that many Americans won’t encounter the same species twice in their lifetime. But do any of them pose a threat to you?

Jason Schaller, curator of entomology at ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque, says it can be difficult to figure out which is which.

“The thing is, there are so many little brown species that all look kind of similar, but come from a variety of different families, superfamilies and genera,” says Shaller. “There’s a lot of different spiders — that’s sort of the bottom line.”

One spider that people in Albuquerque see frequently is the Apache recluse spider—not the brown recluse spider it’s often confused with. “In the US, there are about four out of every five recluse spiders. The brown recluse spider is the largest and most venomous — it’s native to Texas and the Southeast,” says Schaller. “In the Southwest there is the Apache hermit, which is in central New Mexico; Central and Southeastern Arizona and New Mexico.”

Schaller says that the Apache recluse is medically significant, just like the western black widow, but its bite is extremely rare. “It’s hard to get them to bite; it’s usually a coincidence. Sticking a finger in a crevice someone is hiding in and holding your finger against it so they can actually get their fangs in,” says Schaller.

Regarding black widows, Schaller says the number of confirmed deaths attributed solely to black widow bites is zero. “…Often the death of a black widow is suspected or related to underlying medical conditions – [being] older people, heart disease,” says Schaller. “So it’s really not a spider to be afraid of at all.”

Basically, the chances of being bitten by a black widow are slim and if you get bitten, you don’t need to see a doctor. Schaller says most black widow bites cause fever, pain, muscle spasms, and convulsions, and most people get sick for about a day. “So it’s a bad bite, but it won’t kill you,” he says.

The recluse bite differs from the widow’s bite in that there are cytotoxins that do not cause pain but create an open wound that usually heals within a few weeks. According to Schaller, there has only been one documented death of a brown recluse, and that was that of a young child.

Schaller says that while all spiders are venomous, everything but the recluse and black widow are nowhere near dangerous to humans. “Any spider that you see around you really can’t hurt you at all,” says Schaller.

What about the myth that humans swallow a certain number of spiders in their sleep every year? Schaller says it’s entirely made up.

“You’re probably eating more spiders than you realize, just in your food and stuff, because there’s only tiny spiders, small species, babies of small species that kind of go everywhere, so you probably ate one without even knowing it” , says Schaller. He equates it with the likelihood of eating dust or small pieces of floating material.

Even if they look spooky or spooky from the corner of your eye, spiders are simply trying to survive in and around your home. If anything, think of the company as a small pest control business working 24/7 to keep your home bug-free.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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