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Are Poisonous Spiders in Maryland?


My next-door neighbor stopped me and asked if we were having an issue with spiders.

Before I could reply he said they are overrun with a variety of types. He and his wife were concerned if any of the spiders were poisonous.

The answer is a qualified yes

Why qualified?

The only spider in Maryland that causes a serious reaction to the bite is the black widow.

black widow spider in maryland

The other two main poisonous spiders are in the Pacific Northwest and the south. But, with our climate changing, we should be on the lookout for a second variety: the brown recluse.

brown recluse spider in maryland

Why So Many Spiders?

There’s a simple answer to my neighbor’s question—food and water! Spiders have a seasonal timetable that includes:

  • Hatching in the spring.

  • Laying low in the summer to grow big enough to spin a web.

  • Mating, and dying, in the fall. 

We tend to find webs in garages, especially the upper corners. The more spiders you find, simply put the more insects you must have as a food source.

Black Spiders in Maryland

While it’s common (and okay) to be afraid of spiders, it’s important to know that most won’t hurt you and they’re actually some of the most hardworking wildlife in Maryland. Spiders play a critical role in controlling other insects. Knowing the types of black spiders in Maryland and their identifying characteristics may help you rest easy and appreciate how hardworking these spiders really are. 

Black Widows 

The black widow can inflict a painful bite that may end up being deadly to the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. Only a small amount of venom can cause serious illness, with symptoms including:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms starting near the bite, spreading in severity for six to 12 hours. 

  • Chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. 

  • Headache.

  • Restlessness, shock, or stupor. 

  • Severe high blood pressure.

  • Sweating.

  • Severe stomach, back, or chest pain. 

If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms after being bitten by a spider, please see a doctor immediately. Call your doctor, hospital, or poison control center and follow their directions. 

Black widow spiders are around a half-inch long, with the female black widow’s coloring normally a shiny black with a red hourglass marking on its underside. However, the marking on the underside can range from an hourglass to a dot, and a yellowish-orange to a bright red. 

Black widows are typically found in woodpiles, rubble, and around stones. Indoors, you can find the black widow in quiet, undisturbed areas such as a cluttered basement. 

Are There Brown Recluse in Maryland?

While the brown recluse isn’t native to Maryland, there have been a few rare instances one has taken a ride on packages from the midwest and southeast where the recluse is all-too-common. 

Luckily, though, we don’t really need to worry about the brown recluse in Maryland! 

Common Hiding Spots for Spiders

While spiders may work hard for the environment, you still might want to keep them from entering your home. The best way to keep spiders out is by doing a little bit of spider control and know their common hiding spots. 


Spiders love to live in bushes, shrubs, plants, and other vegetation. To keep spiders away, keep vegetation neatly trimmed—especially those directly around your home. 

Inside Clutter

Books, magazines, boxes, and other piles of clutter within your home make for the perfect hiding spot. Remove clutter to keep spiders away.

In Closets and Corners Near the Ceiling

Closets are dark, cool, and typically quiet—making it the perfect hiding spot. While corners in the ceiling aren’t exactly hiding spots, spiders like to hang out here because it’s easier to find their prey. Be proactive and vacuum your closets and ceilings often. 

Under Rocks and Woodpiles

Very few people in our community have a wood-burning fireplace; this eliminates a favorite place for many varieties of spiders: wood piles! If you do have a woodpile, try to keep it indoors or covered firmly with a plastic material, such as a tarp. 

In Maryland there are 29 varieties of spiders, not all of them have webs, but all of them prefer to be left alone. If you have piles of garden refuse or piles of leaves you have created an incredible habitat for a wide variety of insects and also spiders. So the message is quite clear (just like everything else) sloppy yards, many leaves, high brush and refuse means a variety of problems.  If you just don’t have time to clean the mess and remove the habitat then call a professional!

B.O.G. Pest Control is an expert at controlling and removing pests and the spiders that prey on them. For your free quote, give us a call today at 410-376-5312 or contact us. Many of your friends and neighbors have!

Are you ready to have a pest-free home?

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