Well, what a bunch of babies !
I LIKE spiders. Ever since I was a kid, they facinated me by the way they walk and eat. I know, I know...the thing is most people fear the unknown, the unfamiliar. Education, even about spiders, removes the fear and replaces it with...respect.
So, I have studied spiders as a hobby since I was a teenager. I have handled many different species and have never been bit. In the United States & Canada there are only 2 types of spiders that are poisonous, they were already mentioned, the Black Widow and Brown Recluse.
A word of caution: Some people have a hyper-sensitivity to any kind of insect bites or even non-poisonous spiders. Most people already know if they are in that group.
Also, harmless Wolf Spiders are often mistaken for Brown Recluse. Wolf Spiders are 'hunting spiders' they seek out other spiders and insects, without building webs and waiting for prey. The name "Wolf" scares people for no good reason. They are actually 2 tones of brown, their Cephlothorax (head and torso-where the legs are) and legs are a tan color and on the back of their abdomen there is a patch of chocolate colored design.
A Brown Recluse, is all one color and is really a sicky looking brownish-orange color. Be careful, with these they are aggresive. Either kill them as gently as possible (so you can ID them!) or take a glass...cover them...slip a piece of cardboard underneath...use a magnifying glass and look for "Violin" shaped grooves in their Cephlothorax. --∞. They are also known as "Fiddle Back" spiders. The 'fret board' will point forward. A good way to kill it is to soak a cotten ball in alchohol & drop it in with it.
Here's the thing: If you POUND the spider into mush...you'll never know if it was a 'bad' guy. And NOT knowing is not gonna help you sleep. If you KNOW it's a harmless Wolf spider, or a common black house spider called a "Jumping Spider" they eat flys, gnats, fleas & mites...then you are armed with knowledge: It is NOT a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse.
I'll post a good pic of the Brown Recluse later. These guys can do some nasty damage.
PS, if you capture a
non-JW, er, non-poisonous spider, don't kill him...take him out and release him into the wild, whilst singing...
"B o r n F r e e ..."