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Black widow spiders are one of the most feared creatures in North America. And for a good reason – they are venomous, and their bites can be deadly. Although black widows are found throughout the United States, they are particularly prevalent in Arizona.
These spiders are usually most active during the summer when searching for food and mates. In this blog post, we will discuss everything there is to know about black widow spiders. We will also provide tips on protecting yourself from them and getting rid of them if you find them on your property.
Characteristics of A Black Widow Spider
A black widow spider is a small invertebrate, usually only measuring about ½ an inch in length. Despite their size, they are easily recognizable thanks to their distinctive black or brown color and red hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomen. Female black widows are larger than males and can sometimes reach lengths up to one inch.
These spiders are nocturnal creatures and typically build their webs in the dark, secluded places. Black widow spiders are known for their potent venom; the potency of their venom is primarily why they are so feared. In fact, a black widow spider’s bite is 15 times more powerful than that of a rattlesnake. However, not all black widow bites are fatal to humans. In most cases, the victim will only experience some pain and swelling at the bite site.
In more severe cases, the victim may experience nausea, vomiting, cramping, and difficulty breathing. If a black widow spider bites you, you must seek medical attention immediately. Severe cases could result in death if the victim doesn’t receive the proper medical attention. Fortunately, fatalities are rare since these spiders are non-aggressive and usually only bite in self-defense. Females may be more prone to biting after laying eggs.
How Many Offspring Can Black Widow Spiders Produce?
The average black widow spider can live for up to three years. During that time, a female black widow can produce several egg sacs, each containing up to 900 eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the spiders undergo several molts before adulthood.
Males typically only live for one to two years and don’t produce egg sacs. In addition, male black widows often die after mating since the female will sometimes eat them after copulation.
What Do Black Widow Spiders Eat?
Black widow spiders are predators and typically prey on small insects, such as ants, beetles, and flies. They will also eat other spiders, including their species. These spiders build webs to help them capture their prey. The webs are usually made of silk that the spider produces in its spinnerets.
Are Black Widow Spiders Helpful Like Other Species?
While black widow spiders are certainly not helpful like some other species, they play an essential role in the ecosystem. For example, they help to control populations of small insects, and they are also a food source for other predators.
How to Protect Yourself From Black Widow Spiders
You can do a few things to protect yourself from black widow spiders. First, inspect your clothing and shoes before putting them on. Black widows often hide in dark places like closets or under furniture, so checking these areas before using them is essential.
If you work in an area where black widows are known to live, such as in a garage or shed, make sure to wear gloves and long sleeves. It’s also important to be careful when handling firewood, as black widows often build their webs in these areas.
If a black widow spider bites you, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible. Then, apply a cool compress to the site to help reduce pain and swelling. Finally, seek medical attention immediately.
Black Widow Prevention Tips
Black widows prefer the warm Arizona weather, so it’s essential to take precautions to prevent them from entering your home. Unlike states with milder climates, Black widows generally show up around February and stick around until October and even November. Unfortunately, there’s more time that they are active during the year than not active. This species also builds disheveled webs that are low to the ground, usually in man-made structures-as is their preference.
Due to their prevalence, it’s quite likely that you’ll encounter this dangerous species of spider at some point, so it’s best to take all precautions to avoid engaging them. To prevent infestations, you should:
- Trim weeds around the base of your home
- Reduce the clutter in garages and basements
- Seal any cracks and openings around your home
- Remove food sources such as flies and other types of spiders
- Keep debris and woodpiles away from your home
You should also install screens on all windows and doors to keep black widows from entering your home. While Black widows are threatening enough on their own, their presence also attracts another dangerous predator. The Arizona Bark Scorpion feeds on the Black widow and her offspring.
If you have a black widow problem, the best thing to do is call a professional pest control company.
Should You Deal With The Black Widow Yourself?
While it’s possible to take care of a black widow problem on your own, it’s not recommended. These spiders are dangerous, and their venom is quite potent. If you are bitten, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. The best way to deal with a black widow infestation is to call a professional pest control company.
Hire A Professional Pest Control Company in Phoenix, AZ
Sprague Pest Control Solutions is a professional pest control company that can help you deal with a black widow infestation. We have the experience and expertise to safely and effectively remove these spiders from your home.
Our Spider Treatments and Web Removal services are tailored to your needs, and we offer various options to fit your budget. We will provide a multiple cutting-edge, scientific solutions to eliminate and prevent pests. Contact us today to learn more about our black widow control solutions.