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Black Widow Spider

black widow

Brief overview of black widow spiders

The much-feared black widow spider has venom that is powerful enough to harm a person. However, these venomous spiders are very shy arachnids and do their best to avoid contact with people.

What do black widow spiders look like?

Black widow spiders have round bodies and are shiny black in color. They are easily recognized by the distinctive red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomens. They may also have lighter red or white spots on their abdomens and backs. Each black widow spider is also in possession of a comb foot (a row of strong, curved bristles located on the hind pair of legs) that allows them to cover their prey in silk.

Where do black widow spiders nest?

Females of this species create webs between flat rocks, in woodpiles, near foundations, and inside barns and other outbuildings. Female black widows rarely leave their nests and have a small funnel built into their web that they hide in when they feel threatened. 

Black widows make way their way inside homes and buildings while foraging for food. Common hiding places for these spiders include:

  • Closets
  • Attics
  • Crawl spaces
  • Under furniture

What do black widow spiders eat?

Like other spiders, black widows eat a variety of insects including ants, beetles, roaches, and scorpions. When they catch their prey, they inject it with digestive enzymes and then wait until it has softened and liquefied before eating it.

Are black widow spiders dangerous?

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