Spiders found on Fort Dix

In the Fort Dix / Joint Base region, the ONLY spiders to be feared are the black widow and the brown recluse.

Brown Recluse Spider (Venomous)

Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spiders are noted for their pattern of a violin on the back of the body. This violin pattern has the large part of the violin towards the spider head and violin neck pointing toward the rear.

The brown recluse spiders are not known to be aggressive and only bite when they are threatened, normally when pressed against the skin of the victim. This spider looks for warm, dark, dry surroundings such as closets, attics, barns, porches, old tires, woodpiles as well as basements. Its webs are mostly found in crevices or corners and they are not able to capture any prey. Most brown recluse bites happen in the months of the summer.

The bite of the brown recluse is enormously venomous, more venomous that that of the rattlesnake. But the recluse venom creates fewer diseases than the bite of a rattlesnake due to the small amount of venom which is injected in the victims. This venom is lethal to tissues and cells.

This venom is a gathering of enzymes. A specific enzyme causes devastation of membranes of local cells and this disturbs the reliability of tissue leading to interruption of fat, skin as well as blood vessels. This leads to the eventual death of the tissue known as necrosis especially in areas in the immediate area around the site of bite.

This venom induces an immune response in the victim. This immune system discharges inflammatory mediators such as histamines, cytokines as well as interleukins that signal blood cells which are white to come to the injury area.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Photos Day 1-10

Brown Recluse Chart

A bite by a suspected brown recluse spider is a true medical emergency and must be dealt with immediately.  The victim needs to be transported to the hospital for evaluation. 

Black Widow Spider (Venomous)

Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Range 21

Black Widow crawled on a fire fighter 6/30/2014 while working on the 3 House Break near Exit 14.


The black widow is a medium-sized spider whose body is about a half-inch long. The name is derived from the mistaken belief that the female invariably kills the male after mating. Although the spider is mostly found in the southern United States, it may be seen throughout the US. Five species are common to the US, with two of them being the most common:

The southern black widow has the shiny, black, globular abdomen with the distinctive red hourglass on the underside.

The northern black widow has a row of red spots down the middle of the upper surface of its abdomen and two crosswise bars on the undersurface. The markings can also be yellow or white, and the spider itself may be brown or have red legs.

Black widow spiders are nocturnal and, thus, are active at night. They prefer dark corners or crevices. They are said to avoid human dwellings, but you can find them in such areas as outhouses and garages. Only the female black widow bites humans, and she bites only when disturbed, especially while protecting her eggs.

Black Widow Spider Bite Symptoms

 The black widow spider produces a protein venom that affects the victim’s nervous system. This neurotoxic protein is one of the most potent venoms secreted by an animal. Some people are slightly affected by the venom, but others may have a severe response. The first symptom is acute pain at the site of the bite, although there may only be a minimal local reaction. Symptoms usually start within 20 minutes to one hour after the bite.

Local pain may be followed by localized or generalized severe muscle cramps,abdominal pain, weakness, and tremor. Large muscle groups (such as shoulder or back) are often affected, resulting in considerable pain. In severe cases, nausea, vomiting, fainting, dizziness, chest pain, and respiratory difficulties may follow.

The severity of the reaction depends on the age and physical condition of the person bitten. Children and the elderly are more seriously affected than young adults.

In some cases, abdominal pain may mimic such conditions as appendicitis or gallbladder problems. Chest pain may be mistaken for a heart attack.

Blood pressure and heart rate may be elevated. The elevation of blood pressure can lead to one of the most severe complications.

People rarely die from a black widow’s bite. Life-threatening reactions are generally seen only in small children and the elderly.

Black Widow Spider Bite Video

Antivenom-Species-Covered Black Widow Anti Venom is available


Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders are venomous, but they are not poisonous. Their venom of course is a toxin, but for the wolf spider’s venom to affect you, it has to be injected to you by the spider. On the other hand, a poison means a substance ingested or absorbed by the victim.

In conclusion to the question, “are wolf spiders poisonous?” they cannot poison you unless you plan to drink their venom. Kidding aside, since poison, venom, and toxin is oftentimes used interchangeably, then yes, the wolf spider can harm you, but it will not be fatal.

A wolf spider is typically a non-aggressive creature, unless you provoke it or give it a reason to bite you. While usually very gentle and will not harm humans, a wolf spider may bite if it feels threatened, startled, or thinks that its young are in danger. A wolf spider bite is very uncomfortable to very painful depending on which specific wolf spider has taken the bite. There are over 2000-3000 species of wolf spider in the world and of course, they will all bite if they feel it has to be done.

A wolf spider bite can be safely managed at home if you are sure that it is a wolf spider bite and there are no other symptoms which might suggest a more harmful spider bite. Arming yourself with the knowledge on how to identify and diagnose a wolf spider bite and the first aid for it empowers you to help keep your loved ones and yourself safe.



Wolf Spider Bite

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Black Widow Spider Bite

Appearance -The bitten area will experience some swelling and can form necrotic tissue, but this is only a possibility.-There could be a puncture or a tear mark caused by the fangs. -Bite mark has a bull’s-eye appearance. It looks like a red ring with a white inner circle and a red dot on the center. -The bite is reddened with two red dots and local swelling.
Key Symptoms -Manifests pain, swelling, and redness of the area.-Lymph glands may become swollen and pain can lasts for a period of up to 10 days and bitten area might have darkening of the skin. -Pain and burning in 10 minutes after being bitten accompanied by itching.-Develops a blister which can break and cause an ulcer which can aggravate or get worse in a matter of days.-Can cause vomiting, chills, fever, hemolysis or destruction of blood cells, and in extreme cases, can cause death to those who are highly sensitive. -The actual bite feels like a pin prick.-Pain can progress to the whole area bitten and can radiate to the abdomen, soles of feet, and the muscles together with the eyelid feeling heavy.-Breathing can be severely affected because the neurotoxin of the black widow affects the nervous system which controls this processes. -The victim can manifests signs and symptoms of shock such as cold clammy skin, thready pulse, and can lapse into convulsions and unconsciousness.-It can lead to death in severe cases, especially if it is an adult black widow which inflicted the bite.
Toxicity Toxic, but is non-fatal Moderately toxic, can be fatal. Highly toxic, can be fatal.