There is some debate about whether or not dangerous spider species inhabit upstate New York. According to experts, the northern black widow and the brown recluse are the only two spider species in the United States that inflict medically significant bites to humans. Although neither one of these species is native to New York state, both species have been spotted in the state on occasion. While both the black widow and the brown recluse prefer warmer climates, and therefore cannot survive long when exposed to the climate in upstate New York, both species sometimes arrive in the state as stowaways within shipments of certain goods, particularly in shipments containing museum items. However, one thing is almost certain, upstate New York residents will not spot a black widow or brown recluse within their home. But this is not to say that upstate New York is free of highly venomous spider species.
Two potentially dangerous spider species that can be found in upstate New York include C. mildei and C. inclusum. These two species are commonly referred to as yellow-sac spiders, and they possess venom that can cause tissue necrosis at the site of the bite wound, but these cases are rare. Yellow-sac spider bites are reported as being quite painful, and they usually leave behind itchy bite wounds that are slow to heal. These spiders are aptly named, as they are yellow or light-colored with dark fangs, and many New York residents who claim to have sustained a brown recluse bite in the state were quite likely bitten by one of these two species. Unlike many spiders, yellow-sac spiders do not build webs to capture prey; instead, they search for prey within vegetation which sometimes causes them to wander indoors.
The American house spider is the spider that is most commonly found near and within upstate New York homes. These spiders are the ones responsible for building cobwebs within your home, and females are often found within these webs. On some occasions, their egg-sacs may be found within indoor cobwebs as well. These spiders have a shiny round and somewhat large abdomen and long legs. The American house spider can bite, but they are considered harmless to humans.
Do you believe that you have spotted a black widow or brown recluse within upstate New York?