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BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS

BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS

Description

Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape on the back. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour the male black widow spider after mating.

Pest Facts

Color
Black, with characteristic red "hourglass" on back

Legs
Eight

Shape
Round

Size
3/4 inch length; 3/8 inch in diameter

Antennae
No

Flying
No

Region
All 50 states

Habits

Black widow spiders spin their webs near ground level. They often build their webs in protected areas, such as in boxes and firewood.

Habitat

Black widow spiders are often found around wood piles and gain entry into a structure when firewood is carried into a building. They are also found under eaves, in boxes and in other areas where they are undisturbed.

Threats

The venom of a black widow spider, which it uses as a defense, is a neurotoxin. Black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. The black widow spider bite can cause severe pain. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to a severe reaction to a black widow spider bite.

Prevention

Avoid black widow spider bites by wearing heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time. Spiders often hide in shoes, so check shoes and shake them out before wearing. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area.

All information contained within is sourced directly from the National Pest Management Association.  

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