Black Widow Spiders Identification Guide

What are black widow spiders?

Beneficial pests that feed on and help to control populations of insects, black widow spiders are one of the few dangerous species of spiders living throughout the United States. You can identify these glossy black spiders by the hourglass-like marking found on their bellies. Some spiders may also have lighter red or white markings on both their abdomen and their back. Like all arachnids, they have eight legs, are wingless, and lack antennae. Black widow spiders have a comb foot which they use to wrap their silk around their prey.

black widow on web

Are black widow spiders dangerous?

Black widow spiders are dangerous not because they are aggressive, but because their venom is strong enough to cause serious health problems in people. Their venom affects the central nervous system of the person bitten. However, with proper medical attention, the symptoms of a black widow spider bite are manageable. If bitten by a black widow spider, immediately seek medical attention.
 
Black widow spiders are shy, reclusive creatures. Bites usually only occur accidentally. These spiders hide in dark areas, which makes seeing them difficult.

Why do I have a black widow spider problem?

Black widow spiders feed on other spiders and insects. If your property or home has lots of insect activity, black widow spiders will take advantage. Properties with lots of gardens, shrubs, trees, and grass are attractive to both insects and spiders.

Where will I find black widow spiders?

Black widow spiders live mainly outside. It is important to know that these spiders are most active when the weather is above 70 degrees. During periods of cooler weather, these spiders may move inside, seeking the warmer temperatures that our homes provide.
 
Building their irregular webs at ground level, black widow spiders choose properties that offer them safe, secluded shelter. Outside, they build their webs under stones, shrubs, decks, woodpiles, and outbuildings. Inside homes, black widow spiders hide in quiet locations like basements, crawl spaces, and under furniture.

How do I get rid of black widow spiders?

Acquiring help from a professional pest control expert is the best way to eliminate black widow spiders and keep them from returning. At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our technicians are highly trained and dedicated to providing safe and effective pest control services that are affordable. We are a local, family-owned pest control company whose number one priority is putting our customers first and exceeding expectations.
 
For home or business owners looking to eliminate pests from their property once and for all, call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How can I prevent black widow spiders in the future?

To help protect your North Carolina property from black widow spiders, consider putting into place the following prevention measures.

  • Remove fallen trees, excess woodpiles, and other clutter from your yard where black widow spiders can hide.

  • Cut back grass, vegetation, and bushes away from the exterior of your home.

  • Seal cracks in the foundation and exterior walls, replace worn screens, and place mesh covers over vents to keep black widow spiders out of your home.

  • Inside, keep storage areas free of debris and clutter to give spiders fewer places to hide.

  • Store all of your items in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids instead of cardboard boxes.

 

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