Spiders and other insects may not seem to be a major problem to some, and may be frightening to others. Some fears are not warranted, but others may be, as long as it is based on fact, and not fiction. A healthy fear if I can put it like that may inspire us to take appropriate precautions.

All around the world there are things that can hurt or even kill us, such as snakes, bears, marine life, moose and many others, as well as of course, spiders.

During the wilderness survival courses I took this summer in July & August 2010, I asked if there were any brown recluse or black widow spiders in the area. The answer was yes. The answer made me a little nervous, especially given that at some point we were going to make primitive shelters and sleep in them. It was later mentioned that they weren't a problem.

Well, about 5 weeks after returning home I did a research on the internet and saw that the brown recluse doesn't appear to be in the region I was in, but the black widow was. Maybe the instructor made an error, or perhaps that there were some reported cases of the brown recluse in the region, I don't know.

Today's world is smaller given shipping of materials and traveling from one area to another that may introduce species of insects from one region to another.

The brown recluse spider, as well as the black widow spider, are dangerous but are not usually deadly if you get bitten. The elderly and very young are more likely to succumb to the venom.

The symptoms after being bit are not glamourous and proper treatment is essential. When someone gets bit while out in the woods, it is best to evacuate to an urban area where you may get proper treatment in a medical facility.

Take proper actions in the time being to comfort the victim and apply first aid. As with venomous snake bites, time is of the essence. Don't panic because it won't help anything, and also because there might not be as severe a problem as you think. However, don't take chances and seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are out in the woods, evacuation is likely to be the only course of action, but judge according to the circumstances.

Of over 20000 species of spiders throughout the Americas, 60 are capable of biting humans, and within the 60 only 4 should be of particular concern. The black widow, brown recluse, yellow sac and the hobo spider are the ones that pose some sort of threat to humans. In temperate regions the ones to fear the most are the black widow and the brown recluse.

Spiders aren't usually aggressive unless provoked or defending itself, and this includes if you are about to roll over on top of one during your sleep or sit on one.

Here are some things to do to avoid mishaps if outside in an area where these spiders are found. In the links below you can find info on what to do in your homes.

1. Check your bedding before slipping under the sheets or into a sleeping bag. Shake your bedding to remove any possible spiders.

2. Check your shoes or boots in the morning before putting them on.

3. Smoking out a natural shelter is possible to help reduce the possibility of an encounter.

4. Use gloves when collecting firewood etc.

Here are some links to help you learn more about spiders.

1. University of Kentucky - Brown Recluse

2. Alabama Cooperative Extension System - Black Widow

3. Yellow Sac spider

4. Wikipedia - Hobo

5. Wikipedia - Spider bite

6. Pest Control Canada

7. Spider Identification Chart


Big Spider Bathroom Daddy Screamer Arachnophobia Warning

In the video above this poor guy and his mom deal with a very large spider in Australia. Fun times from the land down under :)
Here is a photo of a Huntsman spider. Now wouldn't that make your heart pump!
Got a fear of spiders? You're not alone. Have a look at Arachnophobia.