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It is well known that many arthropod species can inflict painful, and in most cases, potentially dangerous stings and bites to humans. Some of these arthropod species transmit pathogens and parasites, some inject toxic venom into the human bloodstream, and others suckblood. There are also several arthropod species that induce allergies, and some people suffer mental conditions, such as delusional parasitosis or entamaphobia, in response to an insect or spider presence. These types of insects are categorized as “pests of medical significance” and they are accorded the highest pest status. The most common pests of medical significance worldwide are head-lice, scabies mites, bed bugs, and spiders.

Scabies mites and head-lice still pose a significant medical threat in economically underdeveloped regions in the world, but these bugs, and the medical conditions they cause, are now well controlled in the US. However, this is certainly not the case when it comes to bed bugs, as bed bugs are epidemic in the US, particularly in many highly populated cities in the northeast. Although bed bugs do not spread disease, their frequent bites cause itchy rashes, and some people are more sensitive to the irritating compounds secreted by bed bugs than others. There also exists a few spider species in the northeast that can inflict medically significant bites to humans in indoor locations.

While the vast majority of spider species don’t pose a medical threat to humans, there exists around 20 species worldwide that do, a few of which are sometimes found within homes in the northeast. The northern black widow’s bite can cause severe systemic physical symptoms in humans, but this species is rarely spotted within the northeast. Yellow-sac spider bites, on the other hand, have been documented as causing skin infections at the site of the bite wound, and these spiders are commonly found within homes in the northeast. Several studies have shown that broad-faced sac spider bites can lead to serious conditions that require antibiotic treatment. Unfortunately, this spider species is one of the most commonly spotted spiders within homes in the northeast.

Do you ever worry about sustaining a potentially dangerous spider bite within your home?