One byproduct of our changing environment may be an inadvertent migration of black widow spiders up north. According to scientists, black widow spiders–traditionally found in the southeast–can now be found as far north as Canada.

Maryland lies right in the middle of the black widow’s habitat, being one of the most common poisonous spiders in Maryland. However, there are several different types of spiders in Maryland, some that are poisonous and some that are not.

To help you avoid any venomous bites or creepy encounters, we’ve listed every single poisonous spider in Maryland, plus some safety tips to avoid being bit.

Overview of Poisonous Spiders in Maryland

While spider bites are quite rare, it does not mean that you are not at risk of a poisonous bite from a black widow or brown recluse at some point in your life.

The most poisonous spiders in Maryland are the black widow and brown recluse spiders. If left untreated, the bites of black widow and brown recluse spiders can lead to serious health complications, such as localized pain and abdominal distress.

Apart from these two venomous arachnids, other spiders like wolf spiders and house spiders also inhabit Maryland in large numbers but pose lesser threats due to their generally non-aggressive behavior towards humans.

How to Identify Poisonous Spiders in Maryland

You’ll be able to identify many of these poisonous spiders by their distinct appearance, such as the black widow’s red, hourglass appearance.

Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus mactans):

  • Identification: Shiny black with a red hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen.
  • Habitat: Found in dark, sheltered areas like woodpiles, sheds, or under eaves.Caution: Females are venomous, and their bites can cause discomfort. Seek medical attention if bitten.

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa):

  • Identification: Light to dark brown with a distinctive violin-shaped marking on the cephalothorax.
  • Habitat: Often found in undisturbed areas, closets, or dark corners.
  • Caution: Bites can cause necrotic skin lesions. Seek medical attention if bitten.

Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium spp.):

  • Identification: Pale yellow to light green, with a sac-like retreat for shelter.
  • Habitat: Found in vegetation, indoors, or under bark.
  • Caution: Bites may cause mild pain and redness; rare cases of necrotic reactions reported.

Wolf Spider (Family Lycosidae):

  • Identification: Brown or gray, with distinctive eye arrangement (two large eyes in front).
  • Habitat: Common in grassy or wooded areas, may enter homes.
  • Caution: Bites are typically not harmful but can cause mild reactions; seek medical attention if severe symptoms occur.

Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae):

  • Identification: Compact, with short legs; often brightly colored or patterned.
  • Habitat: Found on vegetation, walls, or indoors.
  • Caution: Generally harmless to humans; bites may cause minor irritation.

What to Do If You Are Bit By a Poisonous Spider

If you find yourself bitten by a poisonous spider, take immediate and appropriate action to minimize potential risks. Wash the affected area with mild soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. Applying a cold compress can help alleviate pain and swelling. Refrain from using a tourniquet or attempting to suck out the venom, as these measures can worsen the situation. Seek prompt medical attention, especially if the spider is identified as a black widow or brown recluse.

Remember to provide healthcare professionals with as much information as possible about the spider, its appearance, and the circumstances of the bite. If possible, capture the spider (without putting yourself at further risk) to aid in accurate identification.

Spider Prevention and Safety Tips in Maryland

Fortunately, most spider bites only occur when spiders feel trapped. We’ve outlined a few tips to keep spiders away, including poisonous spiders that may prop up in your home or lawn occasionally.

  • Seal up any entry points. This includes using caulk and spray forma to seal any gaps in your home’s exterior.
  • Place diatomaceous earth around entry points, including windowsills, to kill these creatures before they enter your home.
  • Be vigilant of your environment to avoid spiders. This includes shaking out shoes, towels, and clothing before putting them on. It’s easy for a spider to sneak into these items when they’re left undisturbed.
  • Always wear gloves when working outside or moving stored items. You never know where a black widow or brown recluse might be hiding. Spiders like dark corners and storage areas, so make sure you are vigilant in these places.
  • Lighting up secluded locations can also deter spiders from making themselves at home there.
  • Seek professional help to deal with an advanced infestation.

Comprehensive pest control services can detect any potential threats, monitor their activities, and eliminate the problem efficiently. So remember: awareness coupled with professional assistance keeps those creepy crawlies away.

FAQs: Poisonous Spiders in Maryland

What happens if a brown recluse bite goes untreated?

If not treated, a brown recluse spider’s bite can lead to necrosis–death of skin and tissue around the bite.

How do I differentiate between venomous and non-venomous spiders?

One key visual cue is to observe the spider’s markings and coloration. Venomous spiders often have distinctive patterns, such as the red hourglass on the abdomen of a black widow or the violin-shaped mark on a brown recluse.

What do male black widow spiders look like?

Male black widows are smaller than females, have lighter coloration, and lack the distinctive red hourglass shape on their belly.