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Dangerous Spiders

Technically, all spiders have poison. That’s how they’re able to kill the insects they eat. Only a few have poison strong enough to hurt people.These include:

  • Brown recluse spider
    These spiders are yellow-orange to brown with a violin-shaped marking on the body. Brown recluse spiders hide in closets, over door frames, in basements and in corners.
  • Black widow spider
    These have a shiny black body with a red hourglass on the underside. Black widow spiders prefer dark, quiet places like garages, meter boxes or furniture.
  • Hobo spider
    Hobo spiders are medium-sized and brown. Their abdomens have markings on them. Hobo spiders are not usually found in Kansas or Missouri. Their bite can cause skin reactions.
  • Yellow sac spider
    These pale spiders are greenish, tan or light brown. Their front legs are longer than the other three pairs. Instead of webs, yellow sac spiders build sac-like tubes in leaves, under logs, in shrubs or in the junction of walls and ceilings. Their bite is painful and can cause skin reactions.

24-hour Poison Control Center hotline: 1-800-222-1222

Symptoms of spider bites

Reactions to spider bites vary widely, depending on the type of spider, the amount of venom released and the person who was bitten. Reactions can include:

  • Anaphylactic shock, which can cause breathing difficulties
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever and chills
  • Itching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Stiff, achy joints
  • Vomiting


Prevent spider bites

To keep your family safe, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Shake your clothes before getting dressed.
  • Move your bed away from the wall.
  • Install tight fitting screens on windows and doors.
  • Seal cracks and crevices.
  • Remove debris near the foundation of your house.
  • Vacuum up spiders and webs and dispose of the vacuum bag.
  • Call an exterminator.


What to do for spider bites

If someone you know gets bitten by a spider, contact The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If you can capture and kill the spider, save it so you can describe it.


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