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Poisonous Wood Spiders

By Eva David ; Updated July 27, 2017

While there is not an actual species of spider called a "wood" spider, various types of spider are known to inhabit woodpiles and other hidden places found outdoors. Some people refer to these types as wood spiders. Some of these types are poisonous. A bite is rarely known to cause death, but should surely be avoided.

Brown Recluse

The Loxosceles reculsa, more commonly known as the brown recluse spider, is most common in southern and central locations of the United States. It can be found both indoors and outdoors and prefers dark damp spaces, such as a closet, garage or woodpile. It is very small in size and brown in color. The recluse has an identifying mark on the top of its back shaped like a violin. The violin is a darker brown shade than the rest of the spider's body. The bite causes a necrotic reaction, which means the tissue around the bite deteriorates. Initially, the bite is painless, but within the days that follow, a blister forms as the flesh is compromised. In rare untreated cases, liver or kidney damage can result.

Huntsman spider

The huntsman spider, or Heteropoda maxima, can be found in the southern regions of the United States, as well as several other countries. It is primarily found in Australia. Sometimes referred to as wood or cane spiders, they prefer to live in trees, woodpiles and mine shafts. Their color is generally brown or gray. With a long, crablike leg span, they can grow to very large sizes. Normally, they are not known as being aggressive, but when provoked can move very fast and will cling to their attacker.

Black Widow

There are actually three different species of black widow: northern, western and southern. All can be found within the United States. They have been divided due to their adaption to the individual region they reside in. Black widows are black, with a distinctive red hourglass shape on their belly. They are smaller in size than other wood spiders, usually measuring under half an inch. Their bite causes a red welt and is accompanied by nausea, difficulty breathing, pain and sweating. A small child or elderly person could die from the bite if it is left untreated.

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