US experts issue frightening warning as world's deadliest spiders set to return: Know symptoms & prevention - Hindustan Times
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US experts issue frightening warning as world's deadliest spiders set to return: Know symptoms & prevention

ByShweta Kukreti
May 27, 2024 08:34 PM IST

Ahead of the return of deadly black widow spider this summer, scientists have warned residents of Texas, Arizona and other southwest states to stay vigilant.

Ahead of the return of deadly black widow spiders this summer, scientists have warned residents of Texas, Arizona and other southwest states to stay vigilant.

Female spiders contain a severe neurotoxic venom that is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake bite and can kill fragile humans.(Unsplash)
Female spiders contain a severe neurotoxic venom that is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake bite and can kill fragile humans.(Unsplash)

Female spiders contain a severe neurotoxic venom that is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake bite and can kill fragile humans.

The venom, referred to as latrotoxin, can cause chronic pain in the muscles and spasms, heart problems, cramps in the abdomen, and paralyse the diaphragm, causing significant difficulties with breathing. According to experts, it is most dangerous to youngsters, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Experts issues warning to netizens

Entomologists at Texas A&M University recommended residents to exercise caution while dealing with stored objects or operating in areas where these spiders might hide, particularly “undisturbed sites such as basements and storage areas”, Mail Online reported.

Pest management specialist Bryant McDowell, who provides training on the topic for Texas A&M university, said: “I have personally come across black widow spiders hanging out in outdoor trashcans, BBQ smoke pits that have been untouched for some time, and underneath patio furniture.”

According to T.J Martin of the University of Arizona, black widows can be identified by their intense black color and red stripe on the abdomen. They also construct webs that seem to have been built by “a very drunk spider”.

“The black widow typically spins a very messy-looking web, [it] bears little resemblance to the stereotypical neat and symmetrical web of most spiders,” he continued.

Black widow spiders highly activated in summers: Know about symptoms

A University of Arizona brochure states that inhabitants of the state should be most attentive to the return of the spiders in their area in June since black widows “are highly active during hot summer nights.”

Meanwhile, Texas Parks and Wildlife mentioned that black widows “prefer protected cavities outdoors, often in portable toilets, abandoned sheds, cellars, and other undisturbed places”.

According to the state wildlife agency's website, “Only the female is dangerous to humans. The bite feels like a pin prick or may not be felt.”

It further states that a spider bite could cause swelling and two faint red spots. The severe pain in muscles, eyelids and feet could last for up to 48 hours.

Some other symptoms include nausea, excessive sweating, tremors, difficulty in breathing, speaking, and vomiting. During this time, a feeble pulse, unconsciousness, and even death may occur if the person fails to get quick medical attention.

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