With the exception of the occasional black widow sighting, venomous spiders are not often encountered in upstate New York. To be more precise, venomous spiders are virtually nonexistent in upstate New York, so while people may need to be on the lookout for bears while vacationing in the Adirondacks, the state’s spider species are harmless to humans. However, the black widow may not be the only venomous spider species to make an occasional appearance in upstate New York homes, as researchers have confirmed that another potentially dangerous spider species exists within the state. This species is called Trachelles tranquilles, but it is more commonly known as the “broad-faced sac spider”. This spider has sent multiple New England residents to the ER over the past decade, and it is commonly found within homes.
Back in 2013, a resident of Connecticut sustained a broad-faced sac spider bite on her leg. The woman claimed to have felt a sudden and intense pain before brushing the spider off of her leg. She compared the sensation to a bad bee sting and her bite wound later developed lesions. The spider was collected and identified as a broad-faced sac spider, and this was the second case of sac spider envenomation in the northeast, but more have occured since 2013. While the woman recovered fully from her envenomation symptoms, her reaction clearly indicated to experts that the broad-faced sac spider is more venomous than previously thought. Another envenomation case involving this spider required the victim to take antibiotic medication. Although some sources claim that the broad-faced sac spider prefers to remain outdoors, statistics disagree. One study involving 23 broad-faced sac spider sightings had all but six occur indoors, and the Connecticut woman mentioned above sustained her bite in her kitchen. This species can be recognized for its tan to dark-brown exterior and grey or yellow-colored abdomen. Males are around 3 to 5 mm in length, while females are twice this size, but their long legs make them appear relatively large.
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