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There is just something otherworldly about the spider that sends an involuntary shudder down the spine. There is even a term for a fear of spiders – arachnophobia. And the fear factor associated with these multi-legged critters has been exploited in countless movies. To see one on the ceiling or wall, or scurrying across the floor will haunt the dreams. Most spiders are relatively harmless and can even be beneficial. Others are deadly. And some are just monsters.

Some of the largest spiders in the world belong to the tarantula family. One of the largest is the Goliath birdeater that often tips the scales at more than six ounces. The bite from this little beastie is comparable to that of a wasp sting but it is the barbed hairs that present the greatest threat since they have been known lodge in the skin leading to an itching and irritating allergic reaction that will last for days. As the name implies this spider often feasts on small birds but rodents are also a part of its diet.

People, however, are more threatening to this spider than the spider is to people. In fact this inhabitant of South American swamps and rain forests is in some places considered a regional delicacy.

The Goliath may be a massive spider but the giant huntsman has longer legs and can present a larger appearance. One of the most recognizable attributes of the huntsman spider is the twisted orientation of their legs that results in a crab-like walk and a rhythmic ticking sound made by the males. These spiders are not generally deadly but the venomous bite may require hospitalization. Still, unless you have plans to explore caves and damp, dark place in south eastern Asia countries they represent no threat.

The Colombian giant tarantula is large enough to be a threat to mice, lizards, and large insects that constitute the majority of its diet. Even though it is known for having an aggressive temperament it is no more dangerous than the smaller tarantulas found in the desert southwest of the United States.

It is not the largest or most aggressive spider but the Brazilian wandering spider or banana spider is listed in the 2010 Guinness World Book of Records as the world’s most venomous spider. A bite often results in death within two hours. However, as with similar spiders it’s primary diet is mice, lizards, and large insects.

A bit closer to home the most dangerous spiders that you are likely to encounter are the black widow and the brown recluse. Both are venomous. spider in North America. And they both are ones with bites that will require medical attention. And both can kill a human if the bite is left untreated. Still it is the black widow that garners the lions share of attention, and for good reason. Their bites will cause severe cramping, nausea and chest pains. They are are also one of the most widely distributed spiders in the United States.

Spiders or other creepy crawlies shouldn’t cause you fear or worry. The professionals at Baron Services are just one call away and they are specialists in pest control services.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America