ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The 2 Most Dangerous Spiders in Texas

Updated on December 26, 2017
SuperBrainwave profile image

Since completing university in England, Paul has worked as a bookseller, librarian and freelance writer. He currently lives in Florida.

Southern Black Widow Spider.  The female of the species is the one to watch out for, as she is far more venomous than the male.  This spider is recognizable by the jet black body and distinctive red hour-glass shape on the under body.
Southern Black Widow Spider. The female of the species is the one to watch out for, as she is far more venomous than the male. This spider is recognizable by the jet black body and distinctive red hour-glass shape on the under body. | Source

As far as the most dangerous spiders in Texas go, there are essentially two types that people should be aware of. The first is the black widow spider and the second is the brown recluse.

Both of these spiders pack enough strong venom in their bites to seriously injure, or even kill in extreme circumstances, and both can be found living indoors and outdoors all over Texas.

In general terms, you can minimize your chances of being bitten by one of these spiders by:

  • Being able to identify each of them
  • Being aware of the sorts of places that they like to live
  • Wearing gloves when you are reaching into spaces that you cannot see, such as shelving and recesses, especially in places like sheds and outhouses.
  • Shake out old clothes, towels, linen, etc. that hasn’t been used for some time, before you wear them.

Below in detail is a full description of each spider, their typical habitats, behaviors, and their poisonous bites.

Black Widow Spiders

The black widow (Latrodectus mactans) has a dangerous reputation, but it is important to remember that the bite is rarely fatal if treated.

The female of the species is the one to look out for, as her venom sacs are much bigger than those of the male. An adult female typically measures around 1.5 inches in length and has a glossy, jet black body with a distinctive marking on the underside of her abdomen which resembles a red hourglass.

The males are much smaller, about a quarter of the size of the female, and usually grey or brown in color. Their bite is not considered dangerous.

Black Widow Spider With Insect Wrapped in Silk.  Widow webs are often three dimensional and chaotic in structure.
Black Widow Spider With Insect Wrapped in Silk. Widow webs are often three dimensional and chaotic in structure. | Source

Widow spiders are nocturnal and build irregular, three-dimensional, tangled webs where they stay during the daytime.

They will typically hang upside down near the center of the web, until they sense an insect getting caught (usually through vibration, rather than by sight), then they run over and bite the insect, before covering it in silk.

Widow spiders are generally timid and will attempt to escape from people if they feel threatened. They usually only bite defensively, sometimes when a female is guarding her eggs, but more often when they are accidentally pinched or pressed against. This can happen if, for example, someone puts on an article of clothing such as a glove or shoe and there is a widow spider inside it, or if feels around in an area where a widow is hiding, for example on a high or dark shelf.

Effects of a Widow Bite

Be aware that the bite itself may feel like a tiny pin prick, or may not even noticed at the time. Symptoms don’t generally begin until 1 to 3 hours after the bite and can include:

  • Intense pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle and abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions and tremors
  • Profuse sweating
  • Lesions at the site of the bite
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

Initially the venom just affects the area of the bite, but is gradually spread around the body by the lymphatic system, followed by the bloodstream. Symptoms normally last around 3 – 5 days at the most. If you receive medical treatment, you are very unlikely to die from a black widow bite.

Did You Know?

  • On average, 4 people die each year from venomous spider bites in the USA.
  • Aside from widows and recluses, the most dangerous spiders in North America are the Hobo Spider and the Yellow Sac Spider.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Also known as brown spiders , reapers, violin spiders and fiddle-back spiders, brown recluse spiders are to be found in many parts of the southern USA, including Texas.

These spiders are fairly small, they typically measure 6–20 mm (14 in and 34in) in size.

Their coloring is light to medium brown and they have a distinctive violin-shaped marking on their back (hence their “fiddle-back” and “violin” monikers).

There are other spiders which have a similar violin pattern on their back, so a more accurate way of identifying a brown recluse is by its eyes.

Most spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows but the recluse has six eyes arranged in pairs.

Where do Recluses Live?

Humans are most likely to encounter brown recluses in garages or the basements of houses.

The spiders like hiding between boards, boxes, and amongst old clothing in dark, undisturbed areas.

As with widows, brown recluses are not naturally aggressive, but will bite if they feel threatened or trapped.

Brown Recluse Spider
Brown Recluse Spider | Source

Effects of a Recluse Bite

The effects of a brown recluse bite can vary greatly in intensity, from virtually no effect, all the way up to death (in extreme circumstances).

Symptoms of a brown recluse bite usually begin between 2 and 6 hours after the bite and may include:

  • Blistering
  • Intense pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Necrosis at the bite site
  • Lesion at the bite site

There is no effective antivenom available for victims of a brown recluse bite, but medical help should still be sought as quickly as possible.

© 2013 Paul Goodman


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)