Although they are often confused for insects, spiders belong to the classification of arachnids, which means they have an external skeleton, segmented body and eight legs, and do not have a backbone. There are hundreds of types of spiders all with distinguishing marks, but few spiders are brown with orange spots.
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Wolf spiders are a very common household spider. They are spotted mostly in the fall, when they start looking for a warm place to live through the winter. Most commonly wolf spiders can be spotted around doors and windows, in garages and basements, as well as in houseplants. These spiders, unlike most others, do not form webs but run very quickly to catch their prey. Wolf spiders can be identified as a large dark brown spider with a light-coloured pattern on their backs. Wolf spiders are most noticeable by the distinctive pattern of their eyes. According to the University of Nebraska website, "Their eyes are arranged in two rows with four small eyes in the bottom row and upper row is curved with a large pair of middle eyes directed forward and a smaller pair of lateral eyes located further back." Wolf spider bites might cause a reaction in certain individuals, but they are not considered poisonous.
Black widow spiders are more common in the Southern states but are found throughout the Western Hemisphere. These spiders prefer dark areas such as basements, barns, garages, trash and hollow stumps. Female black widow spiders are the easiest to identify by their shiny black/brown exterior and the red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Male spiders do not bite, but female black widows will bite if their web is disturbed. The North Carolina State University Center for Integrated Pest Management states that the bite of a female black widow spider is 15 times more venomous than a rattlesnake. Although the black widow spider bite is very dangerous and causes many unwelcome symptoms, it is not deadly.
Redback spiders are a poisonous spider found in Australia. They can be found in warm weather and hide in dry sheltered places such as sheds, trees, trash and under rocks. Female redback spiders are similar to black widows in that they have shiny black/brown bodies with an orange or red stripe on the abdomen. Female red back spiders are aggressive spiders that rarely leave the web. They often eat the male while mating. If bitten by a redback spider, take caution. The spider's venom is very poisonous and could be deadly to the elderly and small children.
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