“What?” you ask, “this is about poisonous spiders in New Brunswick!” And yes, it is. But what are you most concerned with? Spider bites in general or arachnid bites in New Brunswick specifically?
If the answer to that question was spider bites in general you might be interested in my blog post on how to identify a poisonous spider. If the answer was arachnid bites specific to those occurring in New Brunswick then this post is for you! Today I’m going over some of the most common North American and Eastern Canadian spiders that can be found there and how they rank on a poisonous scale from one to five. If you’re only interested in identifying the tiger spiders of New Brunswick then I have a separate post for those here.
In this post:
What? What is this post about? Why yes, it is about poisonous spiders or in particular the ones found in New Brunswick! (I know, I know, but that’s what this website is actually called so why would I change it?) Intrigued? You should be! After all, you might not realize that almost two-thirds of the world’s spider species are found across Canada. NINETY-FIVE! That’s a lot of spiders. So be sure to check out my guide to identifying poisonous spiders in Canada right here on this website (where else?!) and if you still want more, check out my page all about the tiny and colourful wolf spiders found in Canada as well!
How? How are these poisonous spiders ranked by degree of danger they pose? There are actually three scales used by scientists to identify how dangerous any given spider is: the Schmidt Index, the Australian National Poison Centre and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. However, these charts can be a bit complicated, so instead I’m going to list some of the most common poisonous spiders in New Brunswick and what their venom is capable of doing. This way you’ll be able to see just how dangerous each species is before you go running into the woods or mounting a crusade against the arachnids in your home.
Where? Where are there poisonous spiders in New Brunswick? To be honest, everywhere! They call it Common Spider Country for a reason after all. There are over 2,000 different species of spider living across Canada and over 650 families. That’s more than you can shake a stick at! However, if you’re looking specifically for either tiger spiders or wolf spiders then New Brunswick is the place to be.
Because of the plentiful amount of water and available food sources, New Brunswick is an incredibly ideal place for the most ferocious arachnids in the country to call home. If their numbers weren’t already threatening enough, these are some of Canada’s most poisonous spiders too!
How Did We Get Here? How did we get here? I mean, how did we get from harmless little spider to death-sentence level danger? Well, with poisonous spiders everything is relative to the human (or other mammal) on the receiving end. For example, if you don’t feel like a scorpion sting is a big deal then you’re the same one that gets surprised by a poisonous spider bite and doesn’t know to wash the area immediately. To put it in scientific terms, your body’s reactions to bites or stings are adrenaline-based and based on how much venom is injected and how strong the venom itself is.
Tiger Spiders [family: Pardalidae]
Let’s start with the most common of New Brunswick’s poisonous spiders: Tiger Spiders! These spiders are common throughout Canada, but there is usually one species of tiger spider in a region that has an abundance of their venom. In New Brunswick I’ve found that the black and white striped tiger spider is probably the most common as far as poisonous spiders go (and I’ve seen many of them). The black and white striped tiger spider has a venom that isn’t comparable to any other species in Canada. If a person were bitten by the black and white striped tiger spider, they would have to be treated immediately! In fact, patients given the toxin alone have been known to have seizures, strokes and in some cases die.
What’s so special about this venom? Well, first of all there are hairs that are used as part of the venom’s ability to inject itself into very small blood vessels. Not only that but there are also even smaller hairs that can deliver the venom directly into the tiny blood vessels of your white matter. This venom is incredibly potent and has killed in human patients. How is that possible? Well, other spiders in Canada all have similar-sized venom but it’s not quite as potent as the black and white striped tiger spider’s.
Black And White Striped Tiger Spider
It should be noted that the black and white striped tiger spider is quite large. The males of this species can grow up to 8 centimeters across! That’s more than twice the size of any other dangerous poisonous spiders in New Brunswick. In fact, it’s one of the largest in North America! This spider has an expansive range stretching from Alaska to New Mexico and as far down south as Georgia and South Carolina.
Wolf Spiders [family: Lycosidae]
New Brunswick is full of wolf spiders, as well. In fact, I’ve written an entire blog post on identifying wolf spiders in Canada that go into more detail about where they are and how to identify them. However, if you’re looking for poisonous spiders in New Brunswick then you can’t go wrong with regular old Wolf Spiders. There aren’t any species here that I’m aware of that can kill a human being with a single bite. But don’t be fooled! Wolf spiders are still considered quite dangerous because they are quite large and fast-moving around humans and can cause skin irritation. However, if you have an allergic reaction to their venom then you may have a serious problem on your hands. Wolf spiders possess quite a bit of venom and it’s very close to that of the black and white striped tiger spider.