Spiders are not insects; rather, they are arachnids, which are closely related to ticks and scorpions. All arachnids feature eight legs, have two body sections--a cephalothorax and abdomen, and are capable of spinning webs. The external organs for web spinning are found on the end of the abdomen. Adult females produce eggs and subsequently wrap eggs in sacs spun from webbing or silk.
Although all spiders produce venom and may bite when their webs or nests are disturbed, spiders largely are not a threat to humans. In fact, spiders actually can be beneficial, capturing dangerous pests such as mosquitoes in their webs. The two most notable exceptions are the Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders, which are prevalent in the Raleigh-Durham-Cary-Chapel Hill area.
Black Widow spiders inhabit most of the warmer regions of the world, including North Carolina and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.
Brown Recluse spiders are known for their reclusive nature and avoiding humans. They are hunting spiders that wander at night in search of prey.
Carolina wolf spiders feed on a variety of insects. The Carolina wolf spider is terrestrial and does not build webs.