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Brown Recluse

Body: uniformly-colored abdomens that can vary from a tan to dark brown. In many species there is a characteristic darkened violin-shaped pattern which occurs on the front half of the head region 

The Brown Recluse spider is not, nor is any recluse spider, native to Florida. However, but three species have been intercepted, and occasionally have established populations in single buildings at scattered locations. The recluse spiders (also known as violin, fiddleback, or brown spiders) belong to the genus Loxosceles (Family: Sicariidae). These spiders are found worldwide, most commonly in the tropics, with some species reaching temperate latitudes. Recluse spiders are medium-sized (6-12 mm body length). Similar to widow spiders, recluse spiders usually bite only when they become trapped next to the victim's skin. Recluse bites range in intensity from no noticeable effect to severe necrosis.

Black Widow

Body: shiny black with hourglass-shaped red spot on bottom of abdomen

Black widow spiders are common around wood piles, and are frequently encountered when homeowners carry firewood into the house. Also found under eaves, in boxes, outdoor toilets, meter boxes, and other unbothered places. The female eats the male after mating. She hangs belly upward and rarely leaves the web. The black widow is not aggressive. It will, however, bite instinctively when touched or pressed. Black widow bites are sharp and painful, and the victim should go to the doctor immediately for treatment as the venom has been known to be fatal, but usually just makes the host extremely sick, experiencing nauseau and painful headaches and stomach cramps.

Wolf Spiders

In the North Texas region, wolf spiders grow from one to three inches in length, including their legs, but the Carolina wolf spider can span more than four inches with its legs. They don’t spin webs but instead run down or ambush their prey.

They have eight eyes, eight hairy legs and two sharp fangs that inject a mild venom — nonlethal to humans, although the bite may cause swelling or a slight fever, comparable to a wasp sting.

Wolf spiders are the only spiders known to carry their spiderlings. A mother spider can have more than 100 babies clinging to her abdomen. If the mother is disturbed, however, the babies often flee in all directions.

The best way to keep wolf spiders out of your home is to caulk cracks and holes in the foundation and outer walls, and to add weather stripping to doors and windows. Spraying insecticides around the outside of a house can create a barrier for spiders, but chemical barriers are less effective than physical barriers because they wash away if they aren’t applied frequently. Mixing a few drops of pure peppermint oil, which can repel spiders, with water and spraying the mixture indoors (kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and other areas you’d prefer to be spider-free) could also be effective. A citrus oil mixture might also work if you’re not a fan of peppermint.