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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.

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?