2 types of venomous spiders found in Florida - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

2 types of venomous spiders found in Florida

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The brown widow spider. Photo courtesy Florida Dept. of Agriculture The brown widow spider. Photo courtesy Florida Dept. of Agriculture

Would you be able to identify a venomous spider if you saw one?

Florida is home to two types of venomous spiders: widow spiders and recluse spiders.

Both type of spiders are often found under objects. To stay safe, the Florida Dept. of Agriculture recommends that when people can not see where they are placing their hands (like when you are lifting a board or firewood or reaching into a storage box) they should wear gloves to prevent from being bitten by a spider that may be hiding.

Sometimes spiders even make their home in clothing that has not been worn for a long time.

Widow Spiders

  • There are four types of widow spiders found in Florida: southern black widow, northern black widow, red widow and brown widow.
  • Widow spiders are nocturnal
  • Most are found under rocks and logs, but can also be found in outbuildings, water meter holes, plant pots or under any item, like a barbecue, slide or sand box, that has not been used for a while. They can also hide in shoes, clothing and gloves.
  • Widow spiders are generally timid and only bite in self-defense when they accidentally contact humans, according to the Florida Dept. of Agriculture.

Recluse Spiders

  • There are three types of recluse spiders in Florida: brown recluse, Mediterranean recluse and the Chilean recluse.
  • The brown recluse has been found in Alachua, Bay, Duval, Jefferson and Leon counties. It typically has a dark violin-shaped mark, although the color is variable, according to the Florida Dept. of Agriculture.
  • The Mediterranean recluse has been found in Dade, Escambia, Orange and Osceola counties. It looks similar to the brown recluse, but the violin mark tends to be lighter and has parallel sides.
  • The Chilean recluse has only recently been found in Florida, in Polk County. It is the largest and most dangerous of the recluse species. The violin mark of this species is dark and wider in front than behind.
  • One way to a recluse spiders is by looking at the spider's eyes. Most spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four, but recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in three pairs
  • Most recluse bites occur when sleeping humans roll onto the spider or put on clothes into which the spider has crawled.

This information was obtained from the Florida Dept. of Agriculture website.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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