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Brown recluses and black widows are two common spider species found in the United States. The two not only differ in appearance, they also differ in behavior and the symptoms caused by their bites. Let’s take a close look at these two spiders and the differences between them.
One of the most obvious differences between brown recluses and black widows is their size. Brown recluses are typically smaller than black widows, with an average body length of around 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch. Black widows, on the other hand, are larger, with an average body length of around 1/2 to 1 inch.
Another key difference between the two species is their appearance. Brown recluses are light to medium brown in color and have a distinctive violin-shaped marking on their back. Black widows are shiny black in color and have a distinctive hourglass-shaped marking on their bulbous abdomen.
In terms of behavior, brown recluses and black widows have some minor differences. Brown recluses are reclusive and tend to avoid contact with humans. They are typically found in secluded areas, such as attics, crawl spaces, and basements, and are active at night. Black widows, on the other hand, can be more aggressive. They are typically found in webs that they spin in dark, secluded areas and are active at night.
Finally, there are also differences in the venom of these two spider species. Brown recluses have venom that can cause necrosis, or tissue death, at the site of the bite. While serious reactions to brown recluse bites are rare, they can be serious and may require medical attention. Black widows, on the other hand, have a neurotoxin which attacks the nervous system. It can lead to severe stomach pain and headache, and in serious cases they result in unconsciousness, respiratory arrest and death. Overall, the two spider bites have a similar hospitalization and death rate, but these rates are still very low thanks to potent antivenoms.
If you have either of these spiders in your home, it’s important to call a pest control professional right away so he can remove the infestation as quickly as possible. For more information on black widows and brown recluses, or if you have one of these spiders in your home, contact us today and one of our team members will help you out.