Meet The Deadliest Spiders In Tennessee

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brown recluse spider

You’ve seen them weaving their webs around your home, lurking in secluded places – just waiting to sink their venomous fangs into your skin. Maybe you’ve even had nightmares about these big spiders after seeing some of the horror movies made about them. There are few bugs that can cause such terrified shrieks as spiders. But have you ever wondered which ones are Tennessee’s deadliest?

Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider

Few creatures can give people the same sense of fear and dread from the mere mention of their name like the black widow spider. The black widow spider comes in at first for most poisonous spider in North America. Five species exist in the U.S. We have two particular species of these poisonous spiders in Tennessee.

These bugs are famous for the red hourglass marking found on their abdomens – a symbol used to warn potential predators of their lethal bite. And though an attack doesn’t generally result in death, you should avoid approaching these spiders at all costs.

Not only is their venom powerful, but they also get the award for “best silk web builders,” with webs capable of catching beetles, grasshoppers and other spiders. The females have even been known to eat their mates when really hungry. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship!

Lesser known facts about the black widow spider

  • There are actually three different variations of the spider:  the southern black widow, northern black widow, and western black widow.  The generic term “black widow” is commonly used in reference to all three species together.
  • The black widow can be found commonly throughout North America.  Both the northern and southern species inhabit the state of Tennessee.
  • Black widows are considered the most venomous spiders in North America, with a bite 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake.
  • Black widows are widely feared for this powerful venom.  However, it is actually extremely rare for a bite from the black widow to be fatal to a human.  In fact, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage.
  • These spiders are naturally nonaggressive and often live peacefully in close proximity to humans.  They are typically shy and will only bite in self-defense.
  • It is only the females that possess the distinctive red hourglass shape on the abdomen.
  • Black widow spiders are most commonly found in dark, enclosed spaces such as crawl spaces, woodpiles, garages, and cellars.
  • The “black widow” spider gets its name from the unusual tendency for the females to eat their male counterparts following the mating process.


Brown Widow Spider
Brown Widow Spider

The next on the list is the black widow spider’s lesser known cousin, the brown widow spider. Though not officially listed as one of Tennessee’s spider residents, several sightings of this spider have been reported. No one is sure exactly where the brown widow spider came from. Many suspect that it originated in South Africa.

The brown widow spider’s venom is twice as potent as the black widow spider’s. But since they eject about half as much, black widows are still the deadliest. They also aren’t as aggressive as their notorious relatives.

You will usually find brown widow spiders hanging out underneath eaves, toys or equipment. Sometimes you may even discover them living right next to black widow spiders.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider

Our third runner up for deadliest arachnid is the brown recluse spider. As its name suggests, this big brown spider likes to hang out alone.

Where do brown recluse spiders live? They usually enter your home by hitching a ride on moving furniture, boxes and other items. Once they’ve claimed your house as their own they will hide in dark, secluded places to avoid threatening predators. Even if your house has hundreds of them, you may never know it because of their reclusive nature.

Contrary to popular belief, the best way to identify the brown recluse spider is not by its violin shaped body marking, since other spiders sport this symbol as well. The way to know it is a brown recluse spider is if it has three sets of eyes, rather than the usual four.

Luckily these bugs will rarely attack unless frightened. But when they do, their bite causes a slowly healing, painful, itchy sore. Children and the elderly should be particularly cautious, as this spider’s venom can be lethal.

Get Rid of Spiders Before They Become a Problem!

If you don’t want to live in fear of spiders in Tennessee, call up the pest control professionals at U.S. Pest. We will do a thorough inspection and wipe out any of the creepy crawlers that we find!

What if the tables were turned and we started eating bugs?

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