Thankfully it is a rarity to find the most venomous North American spiders in Ohio. However, there are some areas in southern Ohio where the Brown Recluse and Black widow may be found. Most occurrences of either spider in the rest of Ohio are a result of importation, where they can be found in construction areas or shipped in boxes. Other members of the widow family such as the Brown Widow also show up from time to time, but there bite isn’t as medically significant.
Widow Family, Black and Brown Widow
The Black Widow is the most recognized spider of the Widow family. They can be distinguished by their black bodies and red hourglass on the underside of their abdomen. They usually can be found in dark places, in cracks and crevices, under woodpiles, and other hidden areas. They are not aggressive and usually only bite if threatened or disturbed. If you suspect that you have been bitten by one, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
The Brown Recluse can be identified by a line pattern from its cephalothorax to its thorax, giving it a distinctive violin shape. It ranges in size between one fourth and three fourths of an inch big. Brown Recluses may naturally inhabit the southern parts of Ohio, but can be found in other places as a possible import (being shipped in boxes, or at construction sites). They can be found in dark and hidden areas. If you suspect that you have been bitten by one, a doctor should be consulted immediately.