Article by By Laura Allard and Dr. Frey published by USU HUMAN WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS
Biology and Identification
“There are several spider species that live within the state of Utah, specifically Black Widows, Hobo Spiders, Wolf Spiders, and Yellow Sac Spiders. Some of these spiders are improperly labelled as dangerous, while others truly pack a venomous punch!”
Bite Protection and Management
***One important thing to note if bitten by a spider: capture/collect it for identification!
Many spiders look very similar to one another. It is a good idea to collect the spider and have it identified by professionals for both proper healthcare of your bite, and for proper scientific knowledge of spider bites. There is still much to learn about spiders, including ones living close to us here in Utah!***
The easiest way to avoid spider bites is to check storage areas carefully and frequently. Most encounters with these spiders are in garages, basements, attics, storage facilities, pantries, workshops, etc. where there are many cluttered items left alone for long periods of time. Here are other tips to help protect yourself from bites, and keep spiders away:
- Do not handle firewood, hay/straw, or other debris where spiders might hide without use of gloves
- Do not walk barefoot in areas where spiders are likely to hide
- Make sure windows and door edges are properly sealed from the outside, including use of finely-strung window screens
- Clean/vacuum around windows, under furniture, and in corners of rooms often
Of course using a pest control spray service once or twice a year can also help keep spiders away. If you suspect you or a loved-one of susceptible immunity or age has been bitten by one of the venomous spiders mentioned, seek medical attention to asses the bite severity, and apply regular first aid measures such as washing the wound, use of ice to reduce swelling, and use of analgesics as appropriate.