Although we often think of spiders are poisonous, many are perfectly harmless. The spiders listed in this post are venomous because they inject venom into their prey. Some (but not all) of spiders may also be poisonous, which means they can cause harm if ingested. We don’t recommend this, even if the spiders aren’t poisonous. For safe measure, please do not eat any spiders!
Venomous spiders are found all over the world, but did you know that Canada is home to several venomous spiders? Although most of these spiders are harmless to humans, there are a few dangerous spiders that have caused human fatalities over the years.
Below share which dangerous spiders Canadians should be aware of, and which is the deadliest spider in Canada.
Wolf spiders are one of the few spiders with excellent eyesight. They are sized anywhere between half an inch to just under an inch and a half, excluding their legs. Wolf spiders come in a variety of colours, including dark brown, black, and grey. Wolf spiders can be found on every continent, and all over Canada. Wolf spiders, unlike most spiders, don’t build webs, so a female wolf spider will keep her eggs with it.
Although wolf spiders do not prey on humans, they can bite if they feel threatened. Symptoms of a wolf spider’s bite include swelling, itching, and pain. Wolf spider bites, although very painful, are not lethal to humans unless the victim has as allergy to the spider’s venom.
Cellar spiders are dangerous spiders known by several names, including pholcidae and daddy long-legs spiders (not to be confused with crane flies, which are also sometimes called “daddy long-legs”).
Cellar spiders have extremely long legs in comparison to their bodies, and are gray or brown coloured, and have dark band markings on their legs. Cellar spiders build their webs in dark and damp places, like cellars and caves.
Cellar spiders have one of the most toxic venoms out of all venomous spiders; however, they have very short fangs, which make it difficult for them to bite through human skin. It is not impossible, though, for a cellar spider to bite a human, and their bites are typically not as painful as other spider bites.
There is no evidence that a cellar spider has ever killed a human, although it is a highly venomous spider, it is not the deadliest spider in Canada (at least for humans!)
Hobo spiders are found in southwestern Canada, close to areas near states like Washington, Montana, and North Dakota. Hobo spiders are difficult to identify, but they typically have a V-shaped pattern on their abdomens, one stripe down the middle of their sternums, and an even colour tone on their legs, unlike many other spiders that have bands on their legs.
Conflicting studies have suggested that hobo spiders cause necrosis, but there has never been a confirmed case where a hobo spider bite has led to a human fatality.
Brown Recluse Spider
Often mistaken as the deadliest spider in Canada, is the brown recluse spider. Typically under an inch long, brown recluse spiders range in colour from cream, to brown, to black, and gray. These spiders have a violin shaped mark on them, which is why they’re often called “fiddleback spiders,” “brown fiddlers,” or “violin spiders.”
Brown recluse spiders are terrifying because they are often found in homes, particularly in shoes, beds, clothes, and toilets, which often come in contact with humans, thus posing a threat to the spider and resulting in a spider bite.
Brown recluse spider bites are not extremely painful at first, but can become fatal because they have a hemotoxic venom, which means their venom will cause blood and tissue damage to humans. Most fatalities from the brown recluse spider are in young children, the elderly, and those with a weak immune system.
Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite include severe pain, itching, nausea and vomiting, fever, blisters, and an open sore within a week or so of the bite.
Black Widow Spider
Last but not least is the black widow spider, which is the most dangerous and deadliest spider in Canada! Black widows are rare in Canada, but Canada is home to three species of black widows, which are the western black widow, the southern black widow, and the northern black widow. Most of these can be found in southern Canada and southeastern Canada, in regions closest to the United States.
Black widows are dark coloured, and the ones in Canada almost always have red marketing of some sort. This is not to say you should rule out black spiders from being black widows, because it’s possible you may not see any red markings on them.
Black widows, although extremely venomous spiders, are not typically aggressive spiders. Black widow venom contains neurotoxins, which can harm humans over time if you do not seek medical attention. Black widow bite victims often don’t even realize they have been bitten because the spider has very small fangs and a relatively painless bite.
Each individual’s reaction to a black widow spider bite is different, but a spider bite from a black widow can cause latrodectism, which includes symptoms such as pain, cramps, vomiting, and sweating. Although extremely painful to experience, a black widow bite is rarely fatal, and anti-venom is used more as a pain reliever instead of a lifesaver. That being said, more human deaths have been attributed to the black widow spider than any other dangerous spider in Canada.
If you think any of these dangerous spiders have taken habitat in your home or yard, do not attempt to touch the spider. Contact Magical Pest Control immediately to remove any venomous spiders from your home or yard. Call us at (905) 738-6676.