Types of Common Spiders in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is home to dozens of spider species, the vast majority of which pose no serious threat to humans. But among those minor threats are a couple more serious spiders with enough venom to seriously injure a person, or even cause a fatality.
If you are bitten by one of these spiders, it's important to know which require quick medical attention. Even if you haven't been bit, Oklahoma residents would be wise to know the difference between a "safe" spider and one to be kept at a distance.
This is especially true if you have spiders living in your home. It's normal to find an occasional spider in corners or behind furniture, but certain spiders shouldn't be welcome—and may require removal by a pest control specialist. Here's an overview of the most common spiders in Oklahoma, and whether you should worry about them in your home.
Common Poisonous Spiders in Oklahoma
When it comes to spiders that could seriously wound or even kill a person, there are two to watch out for in Oklahoma:
The black widow. The most venomous spider in North America happens to call Oklahoma home. This black spider, marked by a red spot on the abdomen, leaves a small bite mark while injecting a neurotoxic venom that causes vomiting, chills, partial paralysis, breathing problems, muscle spasms, and other intense reactions within hours. Most individuals bitten by black widows recover within one to five days, however, these bites have been fatal in a small number of cases. Fortunately, black widows are rarely found indoors, preferring piles of debris, barns, and other outdoor settings. Even so, be on the lookout for these black spiders in Oklahoma homes, and out in the wild.
The brown recluse. Like the black widow, the brown recluse isn't aggressive by nature—but if pinched or attacked, it will bite, injecting a cytotoxic venom that kills skin and muscle slowly over time. In severe cases, the venom can lead to lesions as large as a half-dollar and may require corticosteroids or other treatments to counteract the venom and promote healing. If you see these brown spiders in Oklahoma, keep a safe distance. The challenge with this spider is that it loves nesting in clothing, storage areas, shoes, and other secluded spaces that humans may disrupt, shocking the spider and raising the risk of a bite.
Other Types of Spiders in Oklahoma
In addition to the two poisonous spiders mentioned above, Oklahoma is home to several types of spiders you may identify inside or outside your home, including:
Jumping spiders: There are a few different types of jumping spider in Oklahoma, including the Bold Jumper and the Tan Jumping Spider. These species can seem scary due to their fast movements and jumping capabilities but are not aggressive toward humans, and their bite is not considered a serious health concern.
Tarantula: The tarantula is the biggest spider in Oklahoma, and while its size and hairy legs may be terrifying to some, its appearance is betrayed by a mild bite. The bite may hurt, but the venom doesn't pose a serious risk to humans. When keeping tarantulas as pets, they need to be in a fully enclosed space, as their legs are capable of scaling glass or plastic walls and escaping an enclosure.
Wolf spider: The "wolf-like" appearance of these spiders can be intimidating, and they're frequently found in Oklahoma homes. Despite their appearance, the spiders aren't dangerous, although they may become a nuisance if regularly found in the home.
Orb weavers: Orb weavers typically appear in gardens and outdoor spaces, but are sometimes found in homes. Several species of orb weavers can be seen in Oklahoma. The biggest problem with these spiders is that their webbing can be annoying when weaved in high-traffic locations.
Oklahoma Spider Identification: When to Seek Professional Help
Many homes will host the occasional spider taking up residence in corners or other locations where it can spin a web and be left largely alone. In some cases, though, the number of spiders found in your home can be pervasive and difficult to manage—especially if a combination of time and neglect has allowed your home's spider population to soar.
Infestations may require the help of a pest control company to curb the spider population in your home. The need for pest control services will also depend on the types of spiders taking up residence: If you notice poisonous spiders like a brown recluse, for example, you may want to call in professionals before the population of this dangerous spider is given time to grow.
If you have a spider problem in your home, it's important to understand whether you're facing an imminent safety threat, or just dealing with a plague of pests you need to get under control. Whatever the reason, seek out the help of a pest control service to ensure they get out of your home and stay out.