Venomous and Deadly Spiders that Should Be Avoided

Venomous and Deadly Spiders that Should Be Avoided

Bugging out in natural disasters or SHTF situations means you have to try to survive out in the wilderness. You may find safety in a bug out cabin or decide to simply set up a camp. However, being out there exposes you to a different set of problems, such as potentially deadly venomous spiders and other critters.

Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders


Why You Should Look Out For Venomous Spiders

With shelter, food, clothing, and water secured, you also have to be ready for the creatures in the forests, mountains, and woods. Spiders might not seem to pose any threat but in reality, there are species of the eight-legged arachnid that are dangerous.

The sight of spiders is good enough to scare most people but a survivalist has to be rational enough to try and determine what kind of arachnid he is faced with. Hence it is important to know how to identify a venomous spider in order to protect one’s life.

How To Identify Venomous Spiders

Here is a guide to the most dangerous spiders to help you out. We also added a chart to make identifying them easier. It’s important to know that some venomous spiders can also come into your home and hide there, so just don’t assume you’re safe just because you’re in familiar territory.

Fringed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria)

Fringed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Fringed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria) Photo by

Tarantulas – the archetypal big hairy spiders that have been the terror of arachnophobes since time began. The name comes from a Spanish dance, which apparently is how people jumped around when bitten by one of these critters. Unlike the smaller spiders on this list, tarantulas are mygalomorphs, which means their twin fangs point downwards and have to be stabbed into the prey, rather than the pincer like action of most smaller species.

But everybody knows that despite their terrifying demeanor, tarantula bites aren’t so bad, right? Well it may be true that most tarantula bites are no worse than a bee sting, however the Poecilotheria genus of spiders are renown for having a particularly nasty bite, none more so than Poecilotheria ornata – the fringed ornamental tarantula.

The bite from one of these is reported to have caused excruciating pain, and extreme muscle cramping in some cases. One bite victim ended up in the emergency room after experiencing severe spasm and chest pains.

So whilst there have been no confirmed fatalities from this tarantula it certainly carries a potent venom and injects it by the bucket load.

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Red Widow (Latrodectus bishopi)

Red Widow (Latrodectus Bishopi) | Hobo Spider (Tegenaria Agrestis) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
~ Red Widow ~ Photo by Arachnoboards

This is a rather uncommon spider, it is a member of the black widow family and is highly venomous. According to all literature, this spider is indigenous to south and central Florida. Survive Outdoors strongly speculates that this spider is increasing its range.

We have also found in the last 10 years an increase in bites from venomous spiders and venomous snakes that are not indigenous to the area. This is due to the buying and selling of venomous species over the Internet. As well as importing from other countries. This is a dangerous practice and hopefully soon stopped.

The venom of all lactrodectus species ranges from 10-25% more potent than a rattle snake. However, the amount of venom that it delivers is much less. Its venom is a neurotoxin which causes sustained muscle spasm rather than local tissue injury. Usually outcomes are very good, however there are reported deaths in the very young and very old with this bite.

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Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis)

Hobo Spider (Tegenaria Agrestis) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Australia’s Most Dangerous Spiders Photo by Planet Deadly

No, this little guy doesn’t ride the trains, eat cans of beans or ask people for spare change. In fact, there is a lot which remains unknown about this particular species of spider and debates over its threat to humans are ongoing.

That said, some studies have suggested that most of the bites attributed to Brown Recluses in the United States are actually from Hobo Spiders. This is because it is believed the bite of this particular spider can cause necrosis (breaking down of skin and tissue) although on a lesser scale than that of the Brown Recluse.

Other reported symptoms include headaches, tiredness and vision problems.

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Mouse Spider (Missulena bradleyi)

Mouse Spider (Missulena bradleyi) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Australia’s Most Dangerous Spiders Photo by Planet

Even though the Black Widow may have a better known name, the Mouse Spider is actually quite venomous. Also, these spiders are in nearly every country and environment imaginable.

The female is black and the male is dark brown or black with a red head area. The venom of the Mouse Spider is similar to the venom in a Funnel-Web spider. This spider is highly aggressive and will attack when it feels threatened.

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Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasselti)

Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasselti) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Red alert for Redback Spider Photo by Australian Geographic

Location: All across Australia. It has spread via exports from Australia to New Zealand. It’s also been spotted across Southeast Asia and Japan.

Body size: Females 0.4 inches (1 centimeter), males 0.1 inches (3 to 4 millimeters)

About 250 people receive antivenom for redback bites each year. About 80 percent of bites have little to no effect, and most of the other 20 percent are painful for about a day but are not serious. The rare serious cases can include symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, headache, vomiting, and insomnia.

No fatalities have been recorded since an antivenom was introduced in the 1950s. Redbacks don’t stray far from their webs, and most bites have occurred when people came into direct contact with the webs.

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Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus Geometricus) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus Geometricus) Photo by Flickriver

The Brown Widow spider, like its cousins the Black Widow, Red Back Spider, and Katipo are spiders that carry a neurotoxic venom which can cause a set of symptoms known as Latrodectism.

Like many spiders, widows have very poor vision, and they move with difficulty when not on their web. The Brown Widow spiders have relatively spindly legs and deep, globular abdomens. The abdomen has one or several red spots, either above or below. The spots may take the form of an hourglass, or several dots in a row.

The male widows, like most spider species, are much smaller than the females and may have a variety of streaks and spots on a browner, less globular abdomen. The males are generally less dangerous than the females, but will bite if the web is disturbed and the spider feels threatened.

Read the full article.

Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum)

Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium Inclusum) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Yellow Sac Spider Photo by Spiderzrule.

Length: 0.25 to 0.5 inches

Locations: throughout North America

The Yellow Sac Spider enjoys living inside homes and outdoors under logs or thick leaves. They are called “sac” spiders because they do not weave webs. Their young are created in silken tubes or sacs in the corners of walls and ceilings.

The Yellow Sac Spider’s venom can leave human victims with lesions and dead skin tissues. Their prey includes other spiders — no matter their size— insects, and insects. They also sometimes eat their own eggs.

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Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Brown Recluse Spider Photo by Brooker Pest Control

This highly venomous spider is thought to be the most dangerous Recluse Spider. It is found in the USA, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, and mainly in the south, in an area with radius of 2000 km measured from the center of Arkansas: south-eastern Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, southern portions of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.

This species measures 6 to 18 mm (1/4 to 3/4 inch) in body length. A dark violin shape is located on the top of the leg attachment region with the neck of the violin pointing backward toward the abdomen. When most spiders have 8 eyes, Recluse Spiders have only 6 arranged in pairs – one pair in front and a pair on either side.

The Brown Recluse Spider’s venom can cause significant cutaneous injury with tissue loss and necrosis, and can be deadly to humans. However, though it is very dangerous to people, it is not an aggressive species and it only bites when threatened.

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Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)

Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Spiders Photo by  Omega Termite & Pest Control

Latrodectus mactans, or Southern black widow or simply black widow, is a highly venomous species of spider. They are well known for the distinctive black and red coloring of the female of the species and for the fact that she will occasionally eat her mate after reproduction (hence the name – Black widow). The species is native to North America. The venom might be fatal to humans.

Although these spiders are not especially large, their venom is extremely potent. They are capable to inject the venom to a point where it can be harmful. The males, being much smaller, inject far less venom. The actual amount injected, even by a mature female, is very small in physical volume.

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Wolf spider (family Lycosidae)

Wolf spider (Family Lycosidae) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Top View of a Wolf Spider Photo by By The Drop

Wolf spiders belong to the family Lycosidae, a large and widespread group that is found throughout the world. They are named for their wolflike habit of chasing and pouncing upon prey. About 125 species occur in North America, whereas there are about 50 in Europe.

Numerous species occur north of the Arctic Circle. Most are small to medium-sized. The largest has a body about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long and legs about the same length. Most wolf spiders are dark brown, and their hairy bodies are long and broad, with stout, long legs.

They are noted for their running speed and commonly occur in grass or under stones, logs, or leaf litter, though they may invade human dwellings that harbor insects. Most species build silk-lined, tubular nests in the ground. Some conceal the entrance with rubbish, whereas others build a turretlike structure above it. A few species spin webs.

Wolf spider eggs are contained in a gray silk sac attached to the female’s spinnerets, or silk-producing organs, so that she appears to be dragging a large ball. After hatching, the young spiders ride on the mother’s back for several days.

Read the full post.

Six-eyed Sand Spider (Sicarius hahni)

Six-eyed Sand Spider (Sicarius Hahni) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Sicarius Terrosus Photo by Arachnoboards

This is a spider that is highly dangerous, but lives in such a remote region that few recorded cases of death are known. Sadly, the people it kills are rarely in a position to call home and tell #people.

It lives in the driest regions of Africa and South Asia. Just a tiny amount of venom will clot your blood which increases your blood pressure to the point where you sweat blood (it comes out of nastier areas too) before dying from cardiovascular failure. There is no anti-venom for this spider.

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Sydney Funnel Web Spider (Atrax robustus)

Sydney Funnel Web Spider (Atrax Robustus) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
8 Seriously Scary Australian Animals (Or Are They?) Photo by Pretraveller

The deadly Australian funnel web spiders owe their name to the conical webs these creatures use as burrows or prey traps. In fact, there are three different families of funnel web spiders, only some of which are dangerous to humans. The Hexathelidae family — the dangerous variety — includes about 40 species in Australia, such as the notorious Sydney funnel spider and its tree-dwelling cousins.

These spiders are usually black or brown; sport a shiny, hard, slightly hairy covering called a carapace on the front of their bodies; and range between 0.4 and 2 inches (1 to 5 cm) in body length. Nocturnal creatures, they prefer humid climates. Most live on the ground, but some dwell in trees. The bite can be life-threatening, especially in children, but is usually nonfatal if antivenom is administered.

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Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria)

Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria) | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Brazilian Wandering Spiders – the near invasion of a Cotswold Village Photo by Steve Downer Wildlife Cinematographer

When a spider’s scientific name is derived from the Greek for murderess (Phoneutria) you can guess it’s going to be trouble and this is certainly the case for the wandering spiders.

According to Guinness World Records, the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera) is officially the world’s most venomous spider. It is capable of injecting a powerful neurotoxin which is nearly 20 times more deadly that that of the Black Widow spider if it gets into the blood stream. That is as potent as the venom of many deadly snake species and the effects are similar. The symptoms of envenomation include a loss of muscle control leading to breathing problems which can result in complete respiratory paralysis and eventually asphyxiation.

But there are two other major side effects to the wandering spider’s bite; firstly there is intense pain and secondly, if you happen to be male there is the four hour hard on. Yes, you did read that correctly – the bite of the Brazilian wandering spider can cause an erection that lasts for several hours, unfortunately it is also painful.

Read the full post.

Venomous and Harmless Spider Chart

Venomous and Harmless Spider Chart | Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders
Local Spider Identification Chart Photo by Termite


HomeTeam Pest Defense presents a video that tells you how to tell if a spider is venomous or not:

Learning how to tell spiders apart will keep you and yours safe in an SHTF situation. When you spend a lot of time in subterranean shelters, especially, spiders might make your domicile their own. Hopefully, this knowledge will help you out in the long run – but we sincerely hope you never need it.

Have you had any experiences with venomous spiders before? Let us know in the comments section.

Up Next: Spider Bites | How to Identify and Treat Them

Check out Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders at

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 6, 2015. It has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.

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The 7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs

Have you left yourself open to the 7 deadly sins of survival? Do you have what it takes to conquer your inner demons and come out on top? You’re stocked up and prepared for any sort of crisis. Your house is full of canned goods and ammunition. You’ve got backup plans and you’re ready to bug out at the first sign of trouble. But, are you aware of the 7 sins of survival and how to overcome them? Learn it here!

Avoid These 7 Deadly Sins of Survival!


Survival Sin #1: Sloth

Survival Sin #1: Sloth | The 7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs

Being lazy is the easiest way to fail in a survival situation. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to get prepared. The more work you do ahead of time will save you from having to make the tough decisions down the line.

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FREE Survival Tool Offer

Test out your gear ahead of time to make sure you’re comfortable using it. Don’t just buy a bugout bag and forget about it. Routinely check it to make sure your supplies are still good and upgrade it every chance you get. Having an arsenal of guns and ammo will do you little good if you’re not used to firing and cleaning them.

Forget about stockpiling ammo. This weapon has the solution.

Being a sloth doesn’t just matter before a crisis; once SHTF, you’re going to want to stay busy. Focus on being proactive instead of reactive. Set traps and hunt for food before you run out. Have a secondary shelter ready in case you have to leave in a hurry. Don’t be a sloth, there’s always more to do!

Survival Sin #2: Gluttony

The opposite of sloth, you’ve done everything you can to be prepared, but too much stuff will slow you down.

Having an arsenal of guns is great, but what do you do when you are forced to leave your house? Instead of spending money on gear you’ll never use, concentrate on having the right amount and practice hauling it around. Once you get in the habit of carrying it around, you will quickly figure out what you need and what is superficial. Learn to live sparsely and you will feel right at home when SHTF.

Survival Sin #3: Envy

As desperation sets in, you’re going to find it tough not to turn on each other. Running low on supplies will cause a panic that will fracture your group if you’re not careful.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your base instincts take over. It’s easy to think of survival as every man for himself, but in reality, the best way to survive is to work together. Instead of taking what you want by force, communicate to make sure everyone in your group is looking out for each other. This is the only way to survive. Work together, not against each other.

Survival Sin #4: Wrath

Survival Sin #4: Wrath | The 7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs

Know when to let things go. If you run into another group that acts threatening or is competing with you for resources, don’t let your emotions get in the way. It’s always better to play it smart, even if you have been wronged. You can justify revenge but will eventually place you in danger.

Survival is about controlling your emotions. You’re going to need to be cold and calculating when it comes to staying alive. Anger and rage can come in handy but will not help you if you lose control.

Survival Sin #5: Pride

Just like wrath, this is another emotion that will get you into trouble. Having too much pride can make you think you have all the answers, but the truth is, no one knows what the future will bring.

Constantly learning new knowledge and training is the only way to fully prepare for whatever will happen. When it comes to dealing with hostile adversaries, pride is the last thing you want to feel. It can keep you defending a shelter that’s doomed to be lost or falling into a trap you should have seen coming.

No matter how much better you think you are than your enemies, never underestimate them. They are just as desperate as you are to stay alive. Don’t just conquer your enemies, but also learn from their mistakes.

Survival Sin #6 and #7: Lust and Greed

Survival Sin #6 and #7: Lust and Greed | The 7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs

The two of these are pretty much the same and are synonymous with excess. Hoarding is a natural impulse when faced with deprivation. Stocking up on food and ammo is your top priority, but how far are you willing to go?

When faced with death, the human mind will start to rationalize all sorts of bad decisions. Should you kill everyone you run into, just to take their supplies? Or screw over your own group to keep all the loot?

Don’t let greed turn you into a monster. It’s better to have more allies with shared goals than to be on your own. Be happy with what you got. Survival is about learning to reach an equilibrium with life, and being alive is as good as it gets.


Check out this video by Canadian Prepper about the people to avoid when SHTF:

Don’t be a victim of these seven deadly sins. Prepping also means you must also have the right balance in dealing with certain situations. Beware of the things that will place you in danger instead of what helps you with your original goal. You can let human weakness decide your fate, or you can master your emotions and do whatever it takes to survive.

Check out The 7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs at

Do you have what it takes? Let us know in the comments section which deadly sin you think is the hardest to avoid!

Up Next: 10 Amazing True Survival Stories Too Incredible To Be Real

For awesome survival gear, you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!


Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on September 14, 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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8 Deadly Survival Myths to Avoid At All Costs

8 Deadly Survival Myths to Avoid At All Costs

It only takes one false survival myth to put your life in jeopardy. When you’re out to explore the wilderness, you should rethink everything before proceeding with an action influenced by a false belief. If you’re considering living the survivalist lifestyle, you should know the truth about these myths.

Myths About Survivalism You Should Not Believe

1. It’s Just Like Camping

It’s Just Like Camping | Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

It’s nothing like camping. When you go camping, if you can’t take a shower for a couple of days, no problem. You can take one when you get home. In survivalism, this will be your home, and you’ll have to figure out how to keep your body (and clothing) clean all year long, whether in the cold, snow, or wind.

On a camping trip, you can live without anything for a couple of days or even weeks, and you can always jump back in the car and go to the nearest grocery store to pick up what you need. What if there were no grocery stores available? How will you feel when your daily habits are interrupted, not just for a few days, but for the foreseeable future?

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2. You Can Buy Enough Food and Supplies for Forever

You Can Buy Enough Food and Supplies for Forever | Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

No, someday, what you have will run out. You’ll have to learn to grow and/or gather new food supplies and learn to use what you have, even if that means making pancakes without baking powder. Someday, you will have to wipe your butt with a washable rag instead of disposable toilet paper. Someday, there could be no gas to get to the store, and the store won’t have anything on the shelves anyway.

3. Your Neighbors Will Gather Around and Help Each Other

Your Neighbors Will Gather Around and Help Each Other | Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

Think about your neighbors who haven’t got a clue, or can’t bear the thought of their comfy suburban lives changing when the reality of where society is going hits them, “upside the head”.  What if your neighbors can’t get their daily supply of cigarettes, beer, Prozac, soda pop, etc., etc., etc.?  Are they going to be the kind of people you can depend on?  For how long?

4. If I buy Enough Gadgets, I’ll be OK

If you truly believe that society is in for a big shakeup, you’ll realize that this is not a time to spend money unnecessarily, but to put every penny you can into what is practical. Gadgets are going to break down and then you will have to learn to live without them anyway. Why not learn now?

5. I Can Get to My Survival Location When TSHTF

I Can Get to My Survival Location When TSHTF | Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

This is the most flawed and perhaps the most popular plan, thinking that when all hell breaks loose, you will know far enough in advance to travel the hundreds of miles to your survival location.

When the door slams shut, the highways will be blocked, the urban and suburban streets will be blocked and patrolled and no one will be going anywhere!

Even if your survival location is only a few miles away, you probably won’t be able to get there. If you truly understand the need for being “survival-minded,” why not begin living the self-sufficient lifestyle NOW? Learn what it really means to live off-the-grid NOW, not when there is chaos all around you. You may find that it’s a much better lifestyle than the one you are living currently.

6. I Can Convince My “Significant Other” That This is the Right Move

I Can Convince My “Significant Other” That This is the Right Move | Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

No, you can’t, and you shouldn’t. All you can do is give them information and allow them to do with it what they do.

People either get this or they don’t. It’s not for everyone. This goes for all family members.

I’m not saying to go or not go without them. That’s an individual, circumstantial decision and action. If all members of your family are not on the same page, you’ll have to determine what to do.  Staying where you are may be your choice. Just do it as an informed decision.

7. I Don’t Need to Prepare a Place.  I’ll Just Grab My Bug-Out-Bag and Find a Cave Somewhere

How many others do you think have that same plan?  Especially those who live near caves who already know where they are and already expect to be occupying them? And can your bug-out-bag hold what you really need for an extended period of time?

8. My Kids Will be Bored 

My Kids Will be Bored | Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

Your kids will be learning so many new ways of living, so many daily activities, and chores. Connecting with nature in so many new ways, they won’t have time to be bored.  Allow them the freedom to discover things like what bugs are in the grass around your home, what plants grow, what wildlife is still abundant on this beautiful land. If your attitude is one of wonder and not worry, so will theirs be. Help them look at this as an adventure, not a burden.

Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs

Here are more survival myths that you should be aware of courtesy of list25:

As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It’s amazing to see just what humans are capable of living through, of accomplishing when we depend only on ourselves. When there is no safety net, sometimes you just learn to fly.

Do you have any off-the-grid living tips of your own? Are there any other survival myths you’re sick of hearing? Share them with us in the comments below.

Up Next: Survival Hacks And Skills That Will Save You

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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