Afraid of spiders? Your aversion might actually be wise. Though the many-legged insects are a great deal smaller than we are, some can be extremely dangerous with bites that could end a human life.
No need to fear too much if you walk through a web though, not all spiders are so threatening. And, even for the ones that are, advances in anti-venom technology have made treatment more effective.
Understanding the true danger of certain spiders requires a few myths to be busted first. Here’s everything you need to know about which arachnids to avoid from daddy long legs to tarantulas to black widows.
What is the deadliest spider in the world?
The funnel web spider is widely regarded as the most dangerous arachnid. This Australian spider has a venom that is packed with 40 different toxic proteins.
Though a bite from one of these creatures is certainly capable of killing a human, no deaths have been reported from a funnel web spider in Australia since 1980.
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Are daddy long legs poisonous?
Not in any dangerous way. But wait, aren’t daddy long legs the most dangerous spider in the world? No, this is a myth. While it is true that daddy long legs are venomous, all this means is they anatomically have specific glands used for the production of venom.
“Daddy long legs” is actually an umbrella term that can refer to three different groups: pholcid house spiders, crane flies, and harvestmen. The last two have no venom at all while the first does carry venom but not any that is especially dangerous or has been reported to cause a reaction in humans. This form of “daddy long legs” does have fangs and can therefore likely bite you, but there is no evidence showing it will be harmful.
What are the deadliest spiders?
There is some debate around this topic. But, according to CBS News, ten of the deadliest spiders include:
Encyclopedia Britannica adds Yellow Sac spiders, Red Widow spiders, and Wolf spiders to that list.
Can a black widow kill you?
Rarely. A black widow bite only poses a high health risk for young children and the elderly, especially given advancements in anti-venom medical technology.
Black widows are indeed the most venomous spider in North America though (Australian spiders have a special claim to fame). Their venom has a chemical called alpha-latrotoxin which causes intense pain, cramping, swelling, sweating and chills.
If you visit a doctor, they might give you antivenom to treat the bite which will neutralize the venom and relieve some of the pain.
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Are banana spiders poisonous?
Banana spider are not poisonous and are generally not considered a grave danger to humans, though their bite can be painful.
There is one type of banana spider known as the Brazilian wandering spider which can, in rare cases, cause intense symptoms. This is not a spider usually found in the U.S.
Are wolf spiders poisonous?
Wolf spiders, like banana spiders are venomous but not poisonous. Their bites are not known to cause serious harm to humans.
People can have allergic reactions to the venom, but this is not common.
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Are tarantulas poisonous?
Tarantulas do not pose a major health risk. Their venom has very low toxicity to humans. So, despite their unsettling appearance, there’s very little reason to fear these furry creatures.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is the deadliest spider in the world? It’s not what you think.
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