Brief overview of black widow spiders

The much-feared black widow spider has venom that is powerful enough to harm a person but they’re 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.

a black widow spider hanging in its web

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. Females rarely leave their nests and have a small funnel built into her web that she hides in when she feels threatened. 

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

Are black widow spiders dangerous?

Female black widows are venomous spiders and are considered dangerous. Their venom is strong enough to compromise the nervous system of an individual.  Symptoms can have a quick onset and may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Perspiration
  • Stomach cramps
  • Other pain

If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a black widow spider, contact a medical professional right away.

How do I get rid of black widow spiders?

To eliminate black widow spiders from your home or business, contact a pest control company at the first sign of a problem. At Adams Exterminating Company, we offer pest control services in Lewisville, Denton, and North Texas that are designed to eliminate and prevent black widow spiders and other pests that commonly infest structures in this region. Contact us today to learn more about our spider control solutions.

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