Spiders in Canada

Spiders in Canada

Canada has no shortage of insects that bite, if you have ever been camping in the summer time then you have met the mosquitos and black flies.  However most of the spiders that you find native to Canada are pretty harmless but there is an occasional dangerous spider that makes its way north.  There have been cases of people who have had spider bites that required some pretty extensive medical treatment.  Spider bites can be difficult for medical staff to diagnose, first because they are so uncommon and secondly because everyone can react quite differently to them.

The only sure fire way to diagnose a spider bite is to actually catch the spider biting you.  The rare venomous spider are often transported into Canada by way of fruit shipments from South America.  So let’s get to the spiders that are hanging out in Canada, how dangerous they are and where you can avoid them.

Brown Recluse Spider

There is some controversy as to whether there have been genuine brown recluse spider bites in Canada, while there have been reported cases they may very well have been misdiagnosed.  Normally found in the southern United States and not in Canada is a large part of the reason for the controversy.  The spider itself is very small and also shy, preferring to stay in dark places undisturbed by people.  Their bite packs a rather big punch!  The bite can be necrotic, that means that the tissue surrounding the bite can die and the bite can be sore and painful for weeks.

Wolf Spider

This spider is native to Canada and while it looks pretty scary it is for the most part harmless, varieties of the spider are found across the country.  Their name comes from the fact that they chase down prey “like a wolf” instead of using a web.  The spider is neither dangerous nor aggressive but if you do get bitten you can expect just a mild swelling or redness around the area.  Here is a tourist and their first encounter with a wolf spider.

Black Widow Spider

Black widows are easily recognized by their shiny, black, round bodies with two reddish triangles on the abdomen.  These typically come into Canada on grape shipments although there are some that are native to Southern Ontario.  These spiders will leave you alone as long as you leave them alone.  You can get bitten without developing any symptoms the spider doesn’t always release its venom.  If the spider does release venom you can expect to experience some mild muscle pain that can last for a couple of days.  Despite the myths black widow bites are almost never fatal.

When it comes to wildlife to be afraid of in Canada spiders aren’t really something that you have to worry about, there are far more frightening things in the Canadian wilderness.

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