Along with spring come the creepy-crawlers many people detest. One of the most hated living things is the spider. University of Nebraska Lincoln Entomologist Jim Kalish says in Nebraska, we have our share of spiders.
“We have so many. We have about 60 or 70 common ones. In the springtime we have the warm up that occurs and spiders that have over-wintered in the home structure become active. That is where most of the alarm is generated because all of a sudden “hey, why are all of these spiders crawling on these walls or gravitating around my nightlight at night”. They are getting active and actually want to move outdoors but that is hard to navigate, I guess.”
Kalish says most of the spiders we have inside our homes are not dangerous at all.
“They are usually sack spiders or what we call cobweb weavers or funnel weavers and none of them are considered to be poisonous but nobody wants to be bitten by them. People have different reactions to their venom.”
However, there are two that we need to be very careful of crossing paths with. Kalish says there are Black Widow’s in Nebraska.
“Black Widow’s are predominantly in the western part of the state and more-so outdoors. Sometimes they are in and around outbuildings, might be around homes. In the eastern part of the state we usually don’t have any usually unless they are brought up from the south. Black Widows are a fairly large spider but that hourglass shape on the underside of the body, that red hourglass is distinctive. Anytime one is observed warrants some caution or safety. Probably just getting rid of it and following up with some type of treatment. Their toxins are very powerful. They are neurotoxin and so their symptoms can be rather severe.”
Much more common is the Brown Recluse.
“They are not aggressive at all but if they are in a living quarters, perhaps in a bedroom prowling around at night, which is their habit. If they happen to drop in the bed and you roll over on it or they get in that heap of clothes you left on the floor and you put that on and presses up against the skin, they can bite. Their venoms are hemolytic, which means it destroys living tissue. The wound has a very difficult time of healing.”
Kalish says if one of these spiders is found near your home or living space, treat the area immediately to get rid of them. If you are bitten, seek a physician’s help immediately.