Good afternoon. And thank you for joining us today for another episode of Ben’s Pest Control podcast. My name is Ben Sell. I’m the owner of Ben’s Pest Control right here on the Treasure Coast in Florida. And today, I want to talk to you about spiders. Spiders in Florida are a very interesting topic. And most importantly, I guess what I should say is I’m going to talk to you about poisonous spiders in Florida. So now, based on all of the literature, I have read and seen in my 27 years of doing pest control. There are two poisonous spiders in Florida. One is the brown recluse. And the other is the black widow, which actually has a subspecies the southern Black Widow, but they’re in the Black Widow family. So the first thing I want to do is actually share a story about spiders with you. And I’m going to state right in front of I’m not sure this is true, but it’s one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever heard since I’ve been in the pest control industry when regards to spiders. And that is when I worked in Orlando, we had a person there who had a client and they had moved from Arizona. And they had brought a cactus with them. And the story went that the cactus started moving on its own just started moving. And so one night they called up and said our cactus is really just moving and we do not know what is going on here we are freaked out. Well, the story I was told was that the the guy who ran the service department had gotten the call and he had happened to be and had worked in Arizona. And he told them you need to put the cactus in a garbage bag and get it out of your house and seal it up as quickly as possible and just get it as far far away from you. And the story that that we were told was that supposedly some trenchless had made a nest inside of the cactus. And that in the evening time when the people were sitting there watching TV and the commercials would come on the sound something about the sounds in the TV would get the the spiders all stirred up and they would just start running around and it made the cactus actually shake. Anyways, the story had a good ending because the people got it out and the trenchless didn’t hatch out in their house, thank goodness. But again, I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s just one of those interesting stories that I’ve heard and a kinda has stuck with me over the years. So anyways, back to Florida, poisonous spiders. So now the the most common spider that I have seen is the black widow spider and the black widow spider, as hopefully most people know have a red hourglass underneath it. They have a poisonous bite. Now I have not heard of people in Florida dying from the black widow spider. One of the things that I have noticed a lot of some areas the black widow spider seem to be very numerous. In our area when we first moved here, our zip code 234 93 seems to have a lot of black widow spiders. I know we had them at our house. So I know we had them at my children’s school. And though it’s not always the case, but they seem to like to stay lower to the ground in shaded areas. In our case, the house we bought we had them around the pool, we had a screen room and the bottom bar that ran parallel to the ground, they would get in the corners up underneath that bar. And that’s where we would find most of them at our house in the patio. At our children’s school. They had them underneath the benches that the kids would wait to before they got on to the school bus at the end of the day. And that was kind of scary. But again, the benches were kind of low to the ground. I’ve seen them under railings, they they seem to like darker places that are closer to the ground.
For their nesting sites. Now we have seen occasions and just in the last few years since one community went up in tradition, there were a lot of people who reported them and in a lot of cases all the way around their eaves. We do not know obviously what prompted such an outbreak of them in this neighborhood. But for us, we probably had 10 or 15 customers who called up and we’re like, I got these black widow spiders around my house and I need someone to come out here and you know do something about these. So they can go a little bit higher. It doesn’t seem to be quite as common. And again, though they are poisonous. I have not heard of people having a deadly reaction to them. Of course, I would never want to test that theory because everybody reacts differently. And that’s the crazy thing about bites and stings with incomes insects is that you just never know how a person is going to react. So, I would tell you that keep your eyes out for them because they are around. And if you notice the red hourglass, you definitely want to do something to to kill them. The other thing that is very noticeable is that the black widow spider has an egg sack. And I don’t know if this description is going to help you, but it’s kind of an off white. And I consider to look like one of those minds from the old world war two movies that they use for submarines that have like little spikes on them. And they’re kind of like rounded little round balls and, and they have little barbs on them. And they those egg sacks are usually pretty noticeable. So if you see an egg sack like that, where I want to say it’s probably about a quarter to maybe half an inch egg sack, and it’s got little spikes on it. That very well could be potentially could be the egg sack from a black widow spider. So the other spider, as I mentioned is the brown recluse spider. And let me just state that this is this is another situation that is it’s kind of strange for me to talk about because there’s there’s a couple of different logics that we see. I have known a lot of people in Florida over the years who have gone to the doctor with spider bites, and the doctors told them, you’re a bit by a brown recluse. And even in some cases, the reaction. I had one gentleman in Port St. Lucie, I mean, it was unbelievable the way his wound was, it literally looked to me, like there was something eating the flesh around the wound where he was bit. And he very clearly stated to me that he was bit by a brown recluse, that’s what the doctor told him. He was going to the doctor every day of the week, in the morning, they were cleaning out the wound, and they were reapplying antibiotics to the wound. And I mean, it was it was pretty bad. Now, the reason I say it’s kind of hard for me to tell you is because the state of Florida, on the other hand, had released an article they had written where they wanted to try to get an idea of how bad the brown recluse population in the state was. So they asked medical centers to send in samples of the venom, collect samples of the venom from the bites that people had received and send it to them so they could test it. Now the state of Florida claims they were only able to prove the presence of brown recluse spiders up in the furthest western part of the panhandle, which is also kind of where a lot of the books and magazines say that the brown
recluse are limited to in Florida is just the western panhandle. So I really don’t know what to say, because I know that there are a lot of people who have had bites. And it kind of goes back to what I talked about a little bit with the black widow spider is it’s it’s very hard to say how a person is going to react, every person reacts differently. So do I know for a fact that the local people haven’t been bitten by a brown recluse? No, I do not. Do I know for a fact that they were no I do not. I just know that we have kind of two different stories. And I can tell you that I have seen some pretty bad bites, where people have been in very bad shape. So you should always take it seriously, especially if you’re bitten by a spider. You don’t know what it is. If your body seems to be reacting, and you’re you’re having a hard time or a lot of pain, get to the emergency room, have it checked out, get treated, because there there are some nasty, nasty bites from spiders in the state of Florida. And they don’t always have to be poisonous. It could just be the way you as a person reacts to that specific bite. And it could be a bad situation for you. So I’m sure that some of this information hopefully helps you. Some of it might be confusing like it is for me trying to figure out what the truth is when it comes to recluse are in Florida. But hopefully, more than not we were able to help. If you have any questions or if you’d like we offer a free 58 point pest inspection analysis of your home or you can give us a call at 772-878-1972 for a free estimate a free evaluation. Thank you and have a great day.