Thanks to the UVA Health System Blog for today’s story on spiders in Charlottesville. This is actually one of the more common questions my clients ask me – what kinds of spiders are here? Which ones are poisonous? I used to tell folks to watch out for black widows and brown recluses, but it turns out the black widow are much more populous than brown recluses.
As an aside, this was one of my favorite books when I was a kid –
Update 10 October 2011: Marlene Condon writes –
“Please let people know that the Brown Recluse is not native to Virginia.Â Most reports of this spider in our area are misidentifications.Â If one is found, which happens very rarely, it’s a result of being moved here in someone’s furniture, for example.
As for Black Widows, these spiders are extremely shy.Â As long as you don’t stick your hands or feetÂ into places where you can’t see what’s there, you are highly unlikely to be bitten by a Black Widow.Â If you see one, just leave it alone!
The reason for this spider’sÂ infamous reputation lies in the fact that they inhabit dark areas, so they would make themselves at homeÂ in outhouses.Â Naturally, when someone’s bottom was squishing a spider on the seat, it would bite to try to save itself.Â No spider will bite a person unless it is thus threatened.Â There’s absolutely no reason for it to do so.
People worry far too much about the things that truly pose little threat while not worrying about the things that do–such as being on the road where accidents aplenty happen.”