Nevada is home to a variety of venomous creatures, including spiders. While most spiders are harmless, some can be dangerous to humans.
In this article, we will explore the top five largest and most dangerous spiders in Nevada. These spiders are known for their venomous bites and should be avoided if encountered. It’s important to be aware of these spiders to stay safe while exploring the great outdoors in Nevada.
Top 5 Largest, Most Dangerous Spiders In Nevada
Southern Black Widow
The Southern Black Widow is one of the most dangerous spiders in Nevada. This species of black widow, also known as Latrodectus mactans, is found throughout the state and is known for its shiny black or brown body with a bright red marking.
The venom of the Southern Black Widow is highly toxic and can cause serious health problems, especially in children and the elderly. These spiders are known to build irregular, erratic webs in quiet, undisturbed areas.
If you encounter a Southern Black Widow, it’s best to stay away and contact a professional pest control service for removal.
Atomic Penn Jillette Spider
The Atomic Penn Jillette Spider, also known as Aptostichus pennjillettei, is a species of trapdoor spider that was named after the famous magician and comedian Penn Jillette. This spider is found in the old nuclear testing site near Mercury, Nevada.
The Atomic Penn Jillette Spider is a rusty brown and red spider with a thin, elongated abdomen that is light tan/beige. It hides in a burrow and spins webs across the entrance to catch prey and keep out predators.
While not much is known about the toxicity of its venom, the Atomic Penn Jillette Spider is considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Nevada.
If you encounter an Atomic Penn Jillette Spider, it’s best to stay away and contact a professional pest control service for removal.
California Ebony Tarantula
The California Ebony Tarantula, scientifically known as Aphonopelma eutylenum, is a species of spider in the family Theraphosidae. Although primarily found in California, it is also present in the surrounding states, including Nevada. This tarantula is known for its large size and dark brown to ebony-colored body, with adult females reaching a legspan of up to 13 cm (5 inches).
The California Ebony Tarantula is a burrowing spider that spends most of its time underground. It is capable of detecting subtle vibrations outside its burrow, allowing it to emerge and lunge forward to capture prey.
Adult males, after reaching maturity in 8-12 years, leave their burrows in search of a mate. However, they have a short lifespan of around 6 months and often die of exhaustion after mating.
While not as dangerous as the black widow or the Atomic Penn Jillette Spider, the California Ebony Tarantula is still considered a threat to humans.
If you encounter a California Ebony Tarantula, it’s best to stay away and contact a professional pest control service for removal.
Western Desert Tarantula
The Western Desert Tarantula, also known as Aphonopelma chalcodes, is a species of spider belonging to the family Theraphosidae. It is commonly found in the deserts of Arizona and adjacent parts of Mexico, but can be very common within this range.
The Western Desert Tarantula is also known as the Desert Blonde Tarantula, Arizona Blonde Tarantula, or Mexican Blonde Tarantula. This burrowing spider is known for its large size, with adults reaching a legspan of up to 4 inches (100 mm).
The carapace of the Western Desert Tarantula is densely covered in pale hairs, which contrasts strongly with the all-dark legs and abdomen.
While not as dangerous as the black widow or the Atomic Penn Jillette Spider, the Western Desert Tarantula is still considered dangerous to humans. If you encounter a Western Desert Tarantula, it’s best to stay away and contact a professional pest control service for removal.
Brown Recluse Spider
The Brown Recluse Spider, also known as Loxosceles reclusa, is a recluse spider with necrotic venom. It is one of three spiders in North America with toxic venom.
Brown recluse spiders are usually between 6 and 20 millimeters (0.24 and 0.79 in), but may grow larger. While typically light to medium brown, they range in color from whitish to dark brown or blackish gray. The cephalothorax and abdomen are not necessarily the same color.
The Brown Recluse Spider is rarely aggressive, and bites from the species are uncommon. However, their bites sometimes require medical attention.
In fact, the venom of the Brown Recluse Spider can cause necrosis, or tissue death, around the bite area. It’s worth noting that various arachnids are routinely misidentified as Brown Recluse Spiders by physicians, pest control operators, and other non-expert authorities.
Brown Recluse Spiders usually hide during the day and come out at night. They often line their daytime retreats with irregular webbing, which is used to form their egg sacs.
Once established in a home, Brown Recluse Spiders are often difficult to control. They can take shelter in dry, dark, undisturbed areas, and many such places exist inside homes and buildings. If you think you have a Brown Recluse Spider problem in your house, it’s best to call a licensed exterminator for advice.
1. Are these spiders commonly found in Nevada?
While some of these spiders are native to Nevada, their populations and distribution may vary. It’s best to consult local experts or resources for more specific information on their presence in the area.
2. Are these spiders aggressive towards humans?
Most spiders will only bite humans if they feel threatened or cornered. While some of these spiders have venom that can be harmful to humans, they generally prefer to avoid confrontation.
3. What should I do if I encounter one of these spiders?
If you come across one of these spiders, it’s best to give them space and not provoke them. If you believe you have been bitten by a dangerous spider, seek medical attention immediately.
4. How can I prevent these spiders from entering my home?
To reduce the likelihood of spiders entering your home, make sure to seal any cracks or openings, keep your home clean and clutter-free, and remove any potential food sources for spiders, such as insects.
5. Are there any natural predators of these spiders in Nevada?
Spiders have various natural predators, including other spiders, insects, birds, and small mammals. The presence of these predators can help regulate spider populations in their respective ecosystems.