Facts, Identification & Control
Glossy black, often with red “hourglass” on back. May also be dark or light brown (as pictured). 3/4″ length, 3/8″ diameter.
The black widow spider is found in all 50 states, but is not too common in the Midwest. Often living around woodpiles, they gain entry to a structure when firewood is carried in. They spin their webs near ground level in protected areas, such as in cluttered garages, outhouses and stacks of firewood. The black widow is widely feared because its bite results in severe pain that may take several days to subside. Such bites are rarely fatal, but because small children and elderly persons are at risk, spider control is important if you suspect black widows.
Black widows eat any insect they can capture. They paralyze or kill their prey with venom, then inject a fluid that enables them to suck out the digestive liquid food. They can survive without food for several weeks to a few months.
Eliminating other insect populations that these spiders thrive on is a good place to start with preventing spiders from invading your home. Bites can be avoided by wearing heavy gloves when moving items stored for long periods outside or in garages, basements or warehouses. Shoes should be stored inside shoeboxes or shaken vigorously prior to wearing. When webs are visible, inspect carefully before putting your hand down under an object. Our spider control professionals can remove spider infestations and apply spider control materials that help prevent their return.
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