Michigan Has False Widow Spiders…I Found One on My Neck
Have you wakened in the morning only to find mysterious bites on your body? And have you wondered what those bites are from? Hmmm…they sure don’t look like skeeter bites, don’t look like flea bites - what else could it…ohhh. SPIDERS.
Yeah, spiders will crawl from out of the corners of your room, down from the ceiling light, out from under the window and up under your covers, in search of a tasty midnight snack. I’ve had some welts thanks to these little guys…who, by the way, should be doing their job and killing the other insects in the house. That’s what we pay ‘em for, right?
The other day I was having a conversation with my significant other when she noticed something on my neck. She reached over and swatted it off. We could see it was a spider, but what kind? We stuck it in a jar, examined it, and looked for the species online. We found out it was a False Widow…in other words, ones that look similar to a Black Widow Spider, but not as deadly. After we found out more about it, we let it go outside so it could set up house somewhere else instead of on my neck.
False Widows are more common than expected…they will come into your house beginning in the fall, looking for someplace warm to hole up. Yeah, they bite, they have venom, but they’re harmless to humans. The welt you’d get from a bite may last up to 24 hours, but at least you’ll live. It’s kind of like getting stung by a wasp…..and they’ll bite if trapped against your skin, like stuck inside your sock or underwear band.
There are a few different types of False Widows, but the more interesting one is the Noble, which has the skull-shaped marking on its back, making it more terrifying to those who freeze up when spotting a spider.
Spider scientists urge people not to kill these spiders…their silk has been used to make bullet-proof vests and the venom is used for pain relief. Don’t smash ‘em, skwush ‘em, or flush ‘em. Just put ‘em outside.
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