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There are a handful of spiders in New Jersey that could be considered dangerous that might be trying to make their way into warmer climates (like your house!) as the weather turns colder.

I'll caution you now that if you aren't a fan of spiders, this blog might make you a bit uneasy.

I've seen some conflicting information about the exact number of venomous or dangerous spiders that live in the Garden State, so I'll do my best to sort through some of the information that I found (I really wanted to use the phrase "web of lies" here, but I didn't).

So, let's dive in...

Wolf Spider

Wolf spider - female with an egg sac
MOONFLASH-LONDON
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Wolf spiders are pretty common. In fact, I've seen them all over my garden and even in my house already this month (there's nothing better than sitting on your couch in the morning drinking coffee and seeing one run across your living room carpet). They don't use a web to capture their prey, they instead hunt it like a wolf.

Wolf spiders are known to enter homes as close as possible to ground level. Because of this, people usually find wolf spiders in crawlspaces, basements, and breezeway.

Or your living room rug.

Wolf spiders can be quite large and in different shades of brown, grey, orange, or black. Female Wolf spiders are very good at taking care of their young.

One pest control company says, "wolf spiders are not aggressive but may bite if provoked."

In other words, if you leave them alone, they'll probably leave you alone.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider
benjaminjk
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These spiders aren't too big and they have dark brown or pale-yellow bodies.

The most distinctive characteristic is the violin- or fiddle-shaped mark on the spider's back, extending from the front segment of the spider.

Fun fact: these spiders only have six eyes. Most have eight. Regardless, you probably shouldn't try to count them.

Once inside your home, you'll probably find them hanging out in dark places like basements and hiding under your sofa. And they also hunt for their food.

You do need to watch out for these. One website says,

A bite from a brown recluse spider may go undetected until symptoms start to appear several hours later. In serious cases, tissue damage, cell death -- called necrosis -- and/or open wounds that won’t heal can occur from a brown recluse bite. The bite also poses a fatal risk to children, elderly people and individuals suffering from a weak immune system.

Yellow Sac Spider

Rhys Leonard
Rhys Leonard
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These guys seem to be a little more dangerous.

They're rather small and can be green, tan, or pale yellow with a dark mark down their abdomen.

Sac spiders keep their eggs and rest in tubular silk sacs, which can be found under leaves and shrubs outside, but inside, you may find them in the blinds on your windows, in drapery folds, and behind pictures.

Warning: this might make you uncomfortable...

Yellow sac spiders are active hunters and are known to be very aggressive. They hunt at night and during these nighttime hunting trips, they often encounter humans and bite when they become trapped between a person’s skin and sheets.

Their bite can be something very minor all the way up to more painful than a bee sting or a bite from a Black Widow.

Cramps, nausea, malaise and fever are all common symptoms of a sac spider bite.

Black Widow

A Black Widow Spider spinning a web in an oak tree.
JasonOndreicka
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Yes, black widow spiders live in New Jersey.

Black widows can be identified by their dark color and hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens.

Experts say they're not very aggressive but their venom is much stronger. If you are bitten by one, you may experience muscle aches, nausea, and a, "paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult." And deadly complications can result to some.

What to do if bitten by a spider?

According to the Mayo Clinic, seek immediate medical care if you,

  • You were bitten by a dangerous spider, such as a black widow or a brown recluse
  • You're unsure whether the bite was from a dangerous spider
  • You have severe pain, abdominal cramping or a growing wound at the bite site
  • You're having problems breathing or swallowing
  • The area of the sore has spreading redness or red streaks

Good luck sleeping tonight

Since you probably won't be sleeping tonight because you'll be thinking about spiders in your bed, keep scrolling to clear your mind...

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