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Are All Spiders Venomous? Common Misconceptions About These Eight-Legged Pests

January 19, 2024

By Rachel Maldonado

Are All Spiders Venomous? Common Misconceptions About These Eight-Legged Pests


Are you afraid of spiders? Join the club! These eight-legged creatures are perhaps some of the most common fears among people around the world. But are all spiders venomous? 

The short answer is no. Although nearly all spider species have venomous glands, not all of them are harmful to humans. In fact, some species are actually beneficial to have around as they help control pests. 

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at this common misconception that people have about spiders – and help set some of your deepest fears to rest.

Why Are Spiders Venomous or Poisonous?

Spiders – they’re among the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom. With their eight legs and fangs, they’ve developed a reputation (and not a great one!) for being creepy, crawly, and incredibly dangerous. One of the most common questions that people ask about spiders is why they’re venomous or poisonous.

There are many different types of spiders, and each species has its own unique characteristics. That includes the toxicity of its venom or poison. 

And believe it or not, venomous and poisonous don’t actually mean the same thing (though the terms are often used synonymously). Venomous spiders use their fangs to inject venom into their prey, paralyzing or killing it. Poisonous spiders, on the other hand, have toxins in their bodies that can cause harm if they are ingested or come into contact with the skin. 

Regardless of that distinction, the venom or poison produced by spiders has evolved over time as a means of survival. These toxins help spiders defend themselves against predators and capture their prey more effectively. Some spiders use their venom to immobilize their prey, making it easier to consume, while others use their poison to deter predators and escape in dangerous situations.

While spiders, toxic or not, are often feared and avoided by many people, they actually play a critical role in ecosystems by controlling populations of insects and other pests. In fact, some species of spiders are considered beneficial to humans as they help keep our homes and gardens free of unwanted pests.

Are All Spiders Venomous?

Many people wonder if all spiders are venomous, and the answer is yes – nearly all spiders possess venom glands. However, not all spiders are actually dangerous to humans due to their anatomy and venom potency. 

Again, spiders use their venom for two main purposes: to subdue their prey and to defend themselves against predators. Their venom is delivered through their fangs, which vary in size and shape depending on the spider species. Some spider fangs are too small to puncture human skin, ultimately rendering them harmless to us. 

Despite this fact, there are still some venomous spiders that are incredibly harmful to humans. The black widow, for example, has venom that can cause painful muscle spasms, cramps, and even paralysis, especially in children and the elderly. The brown recluse, on the other hand, can cause a necrotic lesion at the site of the bite, which may require medical attention. The funnel-web spider, found mainly in Australia, also has venom that can be fatal if left untreated.

It’s important to note that spiders generally won’t bite unless they feel threatened or provoked. In fact, most spider bites occur when someone unknowingly disturbs a spider’s hiding spot or accidentally comes into contact with it. Spider bites often result in two puncture marks, redness, and swelling in the affected area. 

If you do happen to be bitten by a spider, it’s important to clean the area with mild soap and water immediately. Applying a cold compress or ice pack can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Elevating the affected area can also be helpful. 

The good news? Most spider bites aren’t serious and will heal on their own within a few days. However, if you experience severe symptoms or have been bitten by a known venomous spider, seek medical attention right away.

Are Spiders Dangerous Even if They’re Not Venomous?


Despite the fact that many spiders are not venomous, there are still some risks associated with being bitten by these creatures. Non-venomous does not necessarily mean not harmful. 

For example, some people may be allergic to spider bites, which can lead to severe allergic reactions.

Because of this, it’s important to exercise caution around all spiders, regardless of their venomous status. Some species may still bite in self-defense, which can result in localized pain, swelling, and redness. While these symptoms are generally not serious, they can still be uncomfortable and may require medical attention in some cases.

If you’re concerned about spiders in your home and aren’t sure if they’re venomous, poisonous, or totally harmless, it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional pest control service like Hawx. 

With Hawx, you can be confident that you are in good hands and that your home will be free of spiders and other pests for good. Join our family of satisfied customers today!

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