It is often claimed that Massachusetts does not contain any spider species that are capable of inflicting medically significant bites to humans. This claim is made by arachnid experts despite the fact that the highly venomous black widow has been spotted numerous times within the state. Luckily, black widows are not abundant in Massachusetts due to the state’s inhospitable climate, and they are not inclined to enter homes or buildings. Of course, many spider species in Massachusetts are often spotted within and around homes and buildings, but once again, most experts will tell you that these spiders do not inflict dangerous bites to humans. However, researchers have recently found evidence that the cross-orbweaver spider does, indeed, inflict bites that can cause a wide range of highly unpleasant and serious medical symptoms in humans. Unfortunately, these spiders are sometimes found inside of homes, on decks and patios and around the sides of homes and buildings in residential and urban areas of Massachusetts.
The cross-orbweaver is not native the the United States, and they were likely introduced directly into the northeast US from their native Europe. This species is frequently found near buildings near areas of artificial light, and they are also found in well-lit indoor stairways. Bites from these spiders cause pain, swelling and redness at the site of the wound, but recently compiled data on cross-orbweaver bite incidents found that their venom can even cause a range of systemic symptoms. These symptoms include anxiety, nausea, headache, and muscle cramps. These symptoms can last for as long as three weeks for some bite victims. The most recent cross-orbweaver sighting in Massachusetts was reported on May 1st 2019. Data shows that this spider species is most often found near homes and buildings, but a significant minority of sightings occur indoors in the state.
Do you ever become fearful of sustaining a spider bite indoors?