The most venomous spider in North America is the black widow spider. They are known for their unique opisthosoma, the black body and a bright red hourglass mark found on the underside of their abdomen. We at Stewart Termite & Pest Control would like to discuss the black widow spider.
What Do Black Widow Spiders Look Like?
When compared to females, the males are lighter and smaller, these males are a dark brown, where the females are usually dark black. Females only bear the bright red of an hourglass shape mark on the abdomen. The males are usually half the size of the female, and they average about ½ an inch-long body and 1 ½ inch leg span. The black spiders are not insects, though most people know that the widows are black spiders, they are in fact in arachnids that belong to the animal class Arachnida. Unlike insects that have three body, arachnids have two body segments, and spiders have the 8 legs where insects have 6 legs.
Black Widow Spider Bites
As noted previously, in North America, the black widow spider is the most venomous spider. However, the males and young females are not a threat to people. If bitten by a black widow spider, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. Especially vulnerable to venom, are the elderly, children, and those with weak immune systems.
Where Do Black Widow Spiders Live?
The females build their webs, usually low to the ground. She will often stay in or around her web following the completion of the web’s construction for the majority of the time. The bright red hourglass warns off predators being that most animals, even birds, can get severely sick from eating black widows.
Black Widow Spiders Eat Insects
Being are carnivorous, black widow spiders eat insects that they catch in their web. In the black widow’s diet, insects include grasshoppers, flies, beetles, and mosquitoes. And being appropriately named, Black Widow females will eat the male suitors.
Black Widow Spider Infestations
At each setting, the female will lay 100’s of eggs that nest in a cocoon spun by the mother. The eggs will stay in place until they hatch and after hatching, the black widow spiders are independent where only a small percentage usually survive.
Black Widow Spider Facts
1) The common predators include birds, praying mantis, and wasps, though they avoid the bright red hourglass of the female.
2) It is in your better interest not to mess with any black spiders since all black widows may not have the red hourglass on their belly.
3) Preferring the dark, undisturbed areas, these spiders tend to be drawn to garages being nocturnal and preferring the dark.
4) The black widow will inject a lot less poison than rattlesnakes though the poison delivered by a black widow spider is 15 times more potent than the poison given by a rattlesnake.
5) The usual lifespan of a black widow is 3 years.
6) Though it can be potentially fatal to young children, people can survive the black widow’s bite, usually.