Know Your Eight-Legged Friends
It is a little known fact that most spiders are not only harmless, but beneficial. We fear what we do not understand, and a little spider knowledge can catapult you from former average-joe to amateur entomologist.
The tarantula is well known and inhabits a wide range in the U.S, — in the southwestwern, midwestern and southeastern states. They do have fangs, but are usually gentle and their bite does not sicken or kill humans (at least in this country). Non-tropical tarantulas generally grow from 2 – 4” in leg length, and come in a range of colors and patterns, mostly variations of brown and black
Another relatively large breed, the wolf spider, can also be intimidating at first sight. Plus, they jump. They tend to lurk outside your house, have a black and white striped pattern covering their somewhat furry bodies. Wolf spiders are very beneficial, as they dine exclusively on other bugs.
The cellar spider, sometimes confused at first glance with the fiddleback (or brown recluse) spider, is also not dangerous. This variety tends to be found on or near the ceiling and preys on other spiders.
The black widow is dangerous to humans, and can kill – although rarely. They are black, glossy and bulbous with a tell-tale red hourglass on their abdomens. Although their bite is poisonous, they are generally shy and will only bite when aggressively provoked.
The brown recluse is also dangerous, and is more likely to be aggressive than a black widow. They live in dark corners, and about 25% of people bitten will develop a sore that can become quite serious.