The black widow spider is the most venomous spider in North America, but you only need to worry about the female black widow. She is very easy to spot … if you are brave enough to get that close! She has an hourglass shaped marking on her abdomen and her body is shiny black. She can have various types of red markings on the top of her body, depending on the species. There are around five species of Black Widow spiders in North America. The black widow spider can grow to 1 ½ to 1 3/8 inches in size.
Are Black Widow Spiders Cannibals?
Black widow spiders are known to be cannibals that will eat each other. Female black widow spiders get their name from the belief that she eats her mate, but this only happens when she mistakes him for a meal. Females will lay up to 400 eggs at a time. The silk of this spider is the strongest of spider silk and the webs they spin aren’t pretty. They look like a thick jumble of cobweb she will use to capture prey. Outdoors black widow spiders are commonly found in protected areas like under rocks, stones and in piles of wood. They can be found in barns, outhouses and sheds. Indoors, they can be found in cluttered areas of basements, crawl spaces and garages.
What Happens if You Get Bitten By a Black Widow?
Even though it’s been more than 10 years since a reported death from a black widow spider bite, these bites need to be taken seriously. While the bite of a black widow spider is less common, it is more severe than other spider bites. The male will rarely bite, and females can be aggressive and bite in defense. She will be more aggressive if she has just laid her eggs or is guarding them. The fear of getting bitten by a black widow spider is justified because the bite can be both painful and harmful. The first sign will be acute pain or stinging and the area can become red and swollen. Their venom has a toxin in it that affects the nervous system of their victim, so the amount of pain will all depend on the amount of toxin injected and how sensitive the person is to the venom. Within 20 minutes a person can feel muscle cramps, stomach pain, weakness and tremors. If there is more of a reaction there may be nausea, chest pain, dizziness and respiratory distress. Symptoms such as an elevated heart rate and blood pressure can lead to more serious problems and need to be addressed as quickly a possible. Take care of a black widow spider bite by washing the area with soap and water and apply an ice pack or cold compress. Use an antibiotic ointment and, if possible, elevate the area that was bitten. Call 911 for help if severe symptoms are experienced.
Spider Pest Inspections, Treatment, Control, Removal & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park Texas
Even though spider bites aren’t all that common you likely do not want to take a chance. Contact professional pest control if you notice any spiders crawling around your home. A-Tex Pest Management is knowledgeable in preventing and controlling black widow spiders and any other pests. Give us a call today!