black widow spider hanging from its web

Black Widow Spiders

Pest Guide > Black Widow Spiders

black widow spider on a white backgroundWhat do black widow spiders look like?

Black widow spiders are shiny black in color and their bodies are round in shape; they have a unique red mark located on the underside of the abdomen that is often described as being “hourglass” in shape. Black widow spiders may also have lighter red or white spots on their abdomen and back.  Adults grow to between 1 ½ - 1 3/8 inches in length; females are larger than males. Black widow spiders also have a comb foot- a row of strong, curved bristles located on the hind pair of legs; they use the comb foot to cover their prey in silk.

Do black widow spiders bite?

Black widow spiders do have the ability to bite people, however they are not super aggressive and tend to only bite when they are accidentally trapped, threatened, or handled. A bite from a black widow spider can lead to serious health consequences and medical attention should be sought.

Are black widow spiders venomous?

Yes and no; only the female black widow spiders are venomous, males are not and pose no health risks to people. The female’s venom is strong enough to compromise the nervous system of a person; symptoms can have a quick on-set and may include vomiting, difficulty breathing, chills, perspiration, stomach cramps, and other pains. A bite from a black widow spider is serious but usually doesn’t cause death; the symptoms can be managed by health professionals until they eventually resolved themselves. 

Why do I have a black widow spider problem?

Black widow spiders are typically found living outside; they create webs that they rarely leave. Their webs are used to catch prey and include a small funnel that the female can rest and hide in. Black widow spiders build their webs in the spaces between flat rocks, in logs, in woodpiles, near foundations, and barns and other outbuildings. They will sometimes enter into homes, garages and other buildings while looking for food sources. Inside of homes they can be found creating their webs in dark quiet areas like in basements, crawl spaces, underneath of furniture, and in boxes.

How do you get rid of black widow spiders?

We can help you to get rid of dangerous black widow spiders by helping to prevent them from entering into your home in the first place. At Spencer Pest Services our pros will partner with you to create a pest control program to exclude black widow spiders and the insects that they dine on from your home; all the while treating and eliminating any current pest problems you may be experiencing. Contact us today to learn more about our home pest control services throughout Upstate of South Carolina and northern Georgia.

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