Black Widow Spider

May 12, 2017

General Info: Black Widows are the most recognized spiders in North America. They are famous for the red hour-glass, dangerous bites, and sexual cannibalism.

  • Length:   3/4″ – 1 3/8″
  • Region Found:   Each state except Alaska has one or more of the Southern Black Widow, Western Black Widow, or Brown Widow.
  • Residential Location:   They are commonly found around the perimeter of homes, below waist-level. Black Widows are not known to live indoors under normal circumstances. Carefully check under the bottom lip of siding around the home, under downspout trays, and other objects around a home.
  • Random/Interesting Fact:  Approximately 1 in 8 times that a black widow bites a human it injects no venom.
  • Identification: Black Widows are glossy black spiders with large abdomens.  They can have a red hourglass, a red line, or even red dots on the bottom or top of the abdomen.  If you see any red markings on a black or brown spider, stay away.  It could be a Black Widow or Brown Widow (a close and highly venomous cousin).  Webs of Black Widow spiders are “chaotic”.  They have no pattern. Black Widow silk is incredibly strong.  If you are wiping down a spider web and you feel resistance and hear the silk strands tearing, you may have a black widow web.
  • What to do if bitten: Clean the bite with soap and water..  Apply ice to the bite 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Seek medical attention where they can provide an anti-venom.  Video (Symptoms and First Aid)
  • Early Symptoms of Black Widow Bite: Pain, redness, swelling, cramping in the stomach and/or chest.

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