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The Common Southern House Spider Produces Venom That Contains Proteins Found In Brown Recluse Venom

The Common Southern House Spider Produces Venom That Contains Proteins Found In Brown Recluse Venom

Kukulcania hibernalis, or the “southern house spider, may be the most frequently encountered spider species within homes located in the southern US states, with the possible exception of cobweb spiders. According to an online survey, of the 120 separate southern house spider sightings documented by citizen scientists, 98 occurred indoors, and most of the remaining 22 sightings occurred near homes. These spiders commonly nestle into crevices on the exterior walls of homes before covering the crevice with their silk webbing for shelter. Adult males are brown in color and can grow to half an inch in length, not counting leg span, while black females can grow to be ¾ of an inch in length, making these spiders relatively large in size.

Southern house spiders are very common in all structures in Arizona, but particularly older structures. The are also somewhat similar to brown recluse spiders in appearance, but southern house spiders are generally dismissed as being largely harmless to humans. However, recent research suggests that the venom produced by these common spiders may be more toxic to humans than previously thought, and many experts believe that a large number of brown recluse bites documented in the past may have been misdiagnosed southern house spider bites.

One of the first studies to find similarities between southern house spider venom and brown recluse venom was carried out in 2002 when researchers were working to find a treatment for tissue necrosis caused by brown recluse bites. The study compared venoms produced by several different spider species, and it turned out that the venom of southern house spiders shared a significant number of proteins found in brown recluse venom. Today, many researchers believe that the southern house spider is responsible for inflicting bites that induce tissue necrosis around the wound. Southern house spiders invade homes in Arizona all year round, and their indoor presence can be recognized by webs in corners and largely uninhabited areas within homes. They are most frequently found hidden behind and underneath furniture, crawl spaces, attics, garages and basements. Despite recent findings concerning southern house spider venom, they are very rarely responsible for inflicting harmful bites, and are not nearly as dangerous as brown recluse spiders.

Have you ever found what you believed were southern house spiders in your home?

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Multiple Recluse Species In Arizona Are Now Known To Inflict Necrotic Bite Wounds, And One Species Is Frequently Found Within And Near Homes In The State

Multiple Recluse Species In Arizona Are Now Known To Inflict Necrotic Bite Wounds, And One Species Is Frequently Found Within And Near Homes In The State

The venomous brown recluse spider is notorious for inflicting painful bites to humans that sometimes cause tissue necrosis at the wound. In other words, brown recluse bites can cause skin to rot and literally fall off, exposing the muscle underneath. Luckily, brown recluse spiders are not found in Arizona, but a few of their close relatives can be found in the state. For example, the desert recluse and the aptly named Arizona recluse are the two most widespread recluse species in Arizona, and recent evidence has revealed that these two species inflict bites that cause tissue necrosis just like their well known cousin. Furthermore, the desert recluse is most often found within and around houses, but they don’t look as intimidating as many would suspect.

While the desert recluse is a native species that is well established throughout Arizona, the Arizona recluse can only be found in the southern half of the state, including Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Bisbee. Desert recluse spiders are often encountered indoors and in yards where they frequently bite due to their preference for nesting beneath wood, leaf litter, rocks, and items lying in the yard that are likely to be picked up. This spider species inflicts wounds that develop necrotic tissue, and in most cases, the dead tissue must be surgically removed, leaving behind a nasty hold where skin used to be. However, bites from the desert recluse do not cause significant systemic symptoms, unlike bites from the brown recluse.

Female desert recluse spiders are around ⅓ of an inch in length, making it slightly smaller than the brown recluse, but the desert recluse possesses longer legs. This makes the spiders look much larger than they are, and they tend to be spotted quickly do to their brown-colored exterior, which makes them stand out in front of white walls.

Do you believe that you have encountered a recluse spider species in your home in the past?

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What Attracts Spiders Into Homes? And How Residents Can Prevent Spiders From Setting Up Camp In A Home?

Many Arizona residents have learned from experience that warm spring weather tends to bring spiders of all sorts into homes. The reason for this trend is no mystery, as many people are aware that web-spinning spiders prey on flying insects, such as mosquitoes and common houseflies. Several flying insect species become abundant in urban and suburban areas come spring, and spiders naturally gravitate to areas where they can find food. In other words, as the flying insect population increases in residential areas, so do spider populations.

While spiders may be intimidating to look at, their mosquito, gnat and fly prey are far more dangerous to humans. For example, many common urban fly species, such as houseflies, are well known to spread numerous diseases to humans due to their filthy breeding and feeding habits. In addition to flies, urban mosquitoes have recently brought the west Nile virus into Maricopa County where the disease is now a permanent part of southern Arizona’s ecosystem. The last few years have seen urban mosquitoes in southern Arizona skyrocket in numbers, and this year many residents have reported finding mosquitoes within their home. Therefore, it should not be surprising to find an unusually high number of spiders within homes in the region. In fact, spiders perform a free pest control service by feeding on airborne fly pests around homes.

Luckily, very few spider species in southern Arizona are known for inflicting potentially dangerous bites. Only a small number of spider species in the region produce venom that can trigger severe allergic reactions. However, spiders can be a source of anxiety when they are frequently found within homes, and abundant indoor spider webs can become a nuisance. In order to prevent spiders from inhabiting a home, it is often necessary to first have a home inspected for insect pests that may be attracting spiders indoors. Spiders tend to remain in cluttered areas that are typically avoided by humans. Simply dusting curtains, ceiling fans, skylights, doorway entrances and areas behind furniture will help to keep spiders from becoming indoor pests.

Have you found any spiders within your home this summer?

 

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Tarantula Rights On Hollywood Movie Sets

There was a time when a film about an enormous 50 foot tall mutant tarantula would have been a guaranteed hit. But B movies such as these are not too popular in our contemporary post-atomic age. And this may be a good thing, as it is apparently difficult to make a horror movie about swarms of killer tarantulas without killing a whole lot of the spiders in real life too. This is what occurred during the 1977 filming of the low budget B horror movie called Kingdom of the Spiders. Amazingly, much of the footage showing unlawful arachnid killings and abuse incidents were included within the movie itself. Due to the frequent incidents of indiscriminate mass tarantula killings and other inhumane acts toward spiders during the film’s production, movie productions today are required to conform to numerous regulations concerning humane spider treatment and spider safety.

It is accurately believed that a film like Kingdom of the Spiders could not be made today due to the emergence of an intricate legal framework concerning spider rights in Hollywood. In fact, it was this 1977 film that prompted the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to push for regulations concerning humane spider treatment on film sets. This institutional response is understandable considering the many inhumane actions committed against spiders by actors and crew members while on set. For example, during one scene in the film, two characters are being surrounded by hundreds of living tarantulas within a lodge. During the scene, the actors could clearly be seen stomping on large groups of clustered tarantulas while fulfilling their roles as frightened tourists. During a scene where the tarantulas are attacking a town, hundreds of tarantulas were carelessly stomped on by crowds of extras. In one unforgivable scene of tarantula cruelty, a police cruiser drives on a street covered in real-life tarantulas, resulting in their real-life deaths. The appalled reaction that animal rights activists had toward the film prompted the enactment of spider safety regulations on Hollywood sets. For example,13 years after Kingdom was released, another horror film about killer spiders, Arachnophobia, was released. During the filming of this movie, killing spiders was prohibited, so the crew used the corpses of spiders that died of natural causes to fill in as freshly squashed spider victims. When a spider was killed on screen, a rubber model was used in place of actual spider-murder.

Have you ever witnessed arthropod mistreatment in a movie?

 

Why Researchers Are Fascinated With The Spider Species That Eats Only Termites

Why Researchers Are Fascinated With The Spider Species That Eats Only Termites

Animal Predators can be either picky or indiscriminate when it comes to their feeding choices. There does not exist any predators that can eat just anything, as every predator species has its own tastes. Researchers have also never discovered any predatory animals that only consume one single species, except for one. Recently researchers discovered the very first monophagous true predator, which is a predator that consumes only one particular species of animal. The predator in question is a type of spider that belongs to the Ammoxenidae genus. Researchers have demonstrated that at least one spider species in the Ammoxenidae family preys upon, and consumes only one termite species. This termite species is known as Hodotermes mossambicus.

The Hodotermes mossambicus species of termite is more commonly referred to as the harvester termite, and they can be highly destructive to grassland and other forms of vegetation. Ammoxenid spiders live both in and out of soil and they are sometimes called sand divers due to their ability to dive headfirst into the ground when threatened. Since these termites and spiders both inhabit South African soil, they naturally encounter each other often, and these encounters never end well for the harvester termites. The spiders are always found to be concentrated in regions that are also highly populated with harvester termites, as the harvesters are their only food source. Ammoxenid spiders are able to detect termites either through vibrations or chemical cues. Once a young Ammoxenid spider is given its first harvester termite prey, the spider picks up on tactile cues from this initial encounter in order to locate more harvester termites on its own in the future.

The spider will first attack a harvester by biting one in between its head and cephalothorax. The harvester is then pulled beneath the soil’s surface where it is sucked of all its innards. Since harvester termites are not active year round, the spiders must collect enough harvester prey to keep on reserve during the termites off season. The spiders collect extra harvester termites by placing them in silken sacs for later consumption. The Ammoxenid spiders and their silken sacs are often found habitating abandoned harvester termite mounds.

Do you think that there are more spiders or insects that prey upon one particular species, but scientist have yet to discover them?

 

 

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A Brown Recluse Spider Bite Caused A Woman To Hallucinate And Become Paralyzed, And There Are Dozens More Hiding In Her Home

The brown recluse spider may not look intimidating, but it is one of the most dangerous spider species in the United States. According to medical experts, around ten percent of brown recluse spider bites to humans result in tissue death, but negative health consequences can be felt by bite victims who never develop serious infections. For example, last summer a Tennessee woman, Angela Wright, experienced hallucinations and temporary paralysis in response to brown recluse venom alone. In fact, the one bite that Angela sustained nearly gave her a fatal stroke.

Wright woke one morning with pain in one of her arms and small bumps on her chest. Angela eventually visited the doctor where she was prescribed medication for the bumps, but her symptoms became worse. Soon after, Angela began to hallucinate and she developed seemingly bizarre symptoms such as sharp chest pains, flu-like symptoms and eventual paralysis. It turned out that the bite had formed two blood clots within Angela’s lungs. These clots brought Angela dangerously close to having a stroke. The doctors who treated Angela claimed that the neurotoxic components within brown recluse venom caused her to experience hallucinations.

Angela refused to sleep within her apartment for one more night, as she had found dozens of the spiders infesting her apartment unit before she visited the hospital. Angela had complained to the apartment managers about the infestation, and the managers responded by sending a pest control professional to her room to spray insecticide, but the spiders remained. Sadly, this one bite may have caused lasting medical problems, as doctors believe that Angela will have to remain on blood-thinning medication for her entire life as a result of the clots. Angela is also experiencing sudden bouts of pain in her chest. Due to the risks associated with blood clots, Angela’s doctors recommended that she avoid having children for life.

Have you ever killed a brown recluse spider that you found indoors?

 

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Dangerous Spiders Imported From Canary Island Bananas May Have Caused One Medical Emergency That Nearly Ended In Tragedy

Spider bites used to be shrugged off by parents from previous generations, but due to an increase in dangerous and exotic spiders in regions where they are not native, medical professionals are beginning to treat spider bites with a greater amount of concern. Dangerous spiders are relatively uncommon in the United States, but they are abundant in South America and even Mexico. Given the dramatic increase in global trade during recent years, the chances of finding a dangerous non-native spider in your town is now much more probable than it ever has been. You may be surprised by how often non-native spiders and insects are found by grocery store employees while unpacking food shipments from South America. Of course, the US is not the only recipient of agricultural food shipments from South America. The fruits that westerners have become used to having all season long are usually imported from South America. Europe also collects fruit shipments from South America and Island regions around the horn of Africa. In fact, a recent incident involving a British girl hospitalized as the result of a spider bite may have occurred as the result of spider-contaminated fruit shipments from the Canary Islands.

After a small area of skin on a girl’s forearm seemed to melt away in response to a spider bite, she was rushed to a hospital where she was promptly put on an emergency IV drip of antibiotics. The girl’s wound, which was initially no larger than a fifty cent piece, was immediately recognized by doctors as a false widow bite. The surgeon who met with the young bite victim claimed to have suffered a false widow bite himself, and he recently treated another British girl who also sustained a bite from the nasty spider. Upon the girl’s first examination, doctors believed that she would have to undergo surgery in order to have the affected area of skin removed. However, a heavy dose of three different antibiotics healed the wound, making surgery unnecessary. According to the doctors who treated the young girl, cases of false widow bites have been increasing in Britain, and it is being theorized that the spiders are arriving in Britain from banana shipments imported from the Canary Islands.

Do you ever wonder if the fruit that you buy from the store contains exotic insects from the fruit’s home country?

Spider Sightings Increase in Fall Months

Spider Sightings Increase in Fall Months | Phoenix Spider Control Experts

Spiders aren’t a seasonal pest, but many homeowners tend to notice an increased presence in their homes in the early fall months as the arachnids become more obvious while they search for a mate. Even though most spider species in the United States don’t pose health risks to humans, most people aren’t comfortable with any species sharing their living space. Magic Pest Control reminds homeowners that the best way to prevent spider infestations is to remove harborage sites within their homes.

Spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal, which means attics, basements and seldom used closets could be harboring these pests. Spiders can also crawl into homes through damaged window screens or cracks in the siding, meaning homeowners should conduct periodic checks of these areas to reduce spider problems.

It’s important to note that the black widow and brown recluse spiders are two species found in the United States that do pose health risks to humans when disturbed or feeling threatened.

The brown recluse spider typically does not bite humans unless threatened, but their bites can be painful and result in open sores. Measuring about a half inch with a dark brown violin marking on its back, brown recluse spiders build their webs in warm, dry and dark environments, notably basements and closets. Similarly, black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. However, when they do bite, they can cause extremely painful bites, especially for children and the elderly. Recognized for its red hourglass shape under the abdomen, these spiders spin their webs close to the ground and are most often found in woodpiles and undisturbed areas.

Magic Pest Control offers the following tips to help prevent contact with spiders:

  • Avoid keeping clothing and shoes on the floor, especially if in an area known for spiders; consider storing inside plastic containers.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around the home.
  • Vacuum/sweep away webs in and around the home.
  • Shake out all clothing that has been in the laundry basket before wearing/washing.
  • Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free.
  • If a spider bites you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.
  • If you have an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.