The black widow spider is spider that’s known for eating her mate. It’s a misconception that it happens all the time and is usually only seen in captivity. They are known to be the most venomous spider in North America. Their bite is feared so much because the venom has been reported to be 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake but it’s reassuring to know that their bite is rarely fatal to humans. Stewart Termite & Pest Control delves more into black widow spiders below.
Characteristics of a Black Widow Spider
The male and female species of the black widow spider have a different appearance. It’s easy to spot the females black widow with her shiny, black body and red hourglass-shaped marking on her round abdomen. This marking can also be orange-yellow in color. The marking of the black widow spider is a visible warning to potential predators that she’s toxic. The female is 1.5 inches in size and the males are about half the size. the males are lighter in color and have pink or red spots on their back. Like most spiders, the black widow will eat other spiders and insects that get trapped in their webs. The prey is wrapped in silk after its been trapped and the black widow will use its fangs to inject digestive enzymes that will liquefy the catch that she will then slurp up. They will find dark, dry areas they use for shelter like basements, barns, garages, hollow tree stumps and brush. Their silk is known to be the strongest of any spider silk and their webs look like thick jumbles of cobweb rather than pretty ones.
What Happens if You Get Bitten By a Black Widow?
Try and be careful in areas where black widow spiders spend time and wear gloves when you’re working outside. If you get bitten by a black widow spider you may not actually feel it at first. The bite might feel like a little pinprick and 30 to 40 minutes later, the area will become swollen and will hurt a lot. The bite victim may also start to feel achy all over. Some other symptoms associated with the bite of a black widow spider can include nausea, weakness, sweating, vomiting and headache. You should tell someone right away if you think you’ve been bitten by a black widow spider. Though they rarely cause death in people, it’s still important to get help so you don’t get sick. Wash the bite with warm soapy water, use an ice pack and do your best to elevate the area to stop the venom from spreading. Try and kill the spider and bring it with you for positive identification.
How Do You Keep Black Widow Spiders Away?
The use of chemical and non-chemical measures is the best way to get rid of black widow spiders. Non-chemical measures will keep them away. This is done by taking away conditions that started the infestation along with vacuuming, sanitation, removing hiding spots and exclusion. Do all you can to keep the out by sealing off any cracks and cervices and ways they might get inside. Chemical measures will wipe the infestation out.