Since the black widow spider is one of the most venomous and dangerous spiders in North America, people can usually identify it quickly. With the black body and a bright red hourglass mark found on the underside of their abdomen, also known the opisthosoma. With many facts concerning black widow spiders, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to share a few of them.
What Class Are Spiders?
Where most people know that black widow spiders are not insects, they are arachnids, belonging to the animal class Arachnida. Arachnids have two body segments, unlike insects that have three body segments, and instead of 6 legs, spiders have 8 legs.
What Do Black Widow Spiders Look Like?
The males, when compared to females, are lighter than females. The females are usually dark black, and the males are a dark brown. Males do not bear the bright red of an hourglass shape mark on the abdomen that the females have. Females can grow to about ½ an inch-long body and 1 ½ inch leg span and the males are usually half the size of the female.
Venomous Black Widow Spider Bites
As mentioned, the black widow spider is the most venomous spider in North America. Young black widows and males are not usually a threat to people. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if bitten by a black widow spider. The elderly, children, and those with weak immune systems are especially vulnerable to venom.
Black Widow Spider Habitat
Usually, low to the ground is where females build. For the majority of the time, she will often stay in or around her web following the completion of the web’s construction. Since most animals, even birds, can get severely sick from eating black widows, the bright red hourglass warns off predators.
Diet of Black Widow Spiders
Black widow spiders eat insects that they catch in their web since they are carnivorous. Flies, grasshoppers, beetles, and mosquitoes are included in a black widow’s diet. Being that the females will kill and eat the male spider, she is so named the Black Widow.
Black Widow Spider Reproduction
The female will lay 100’s of eggs at each setting. The eggs are in a cocoon spun by the mother, where they sit until they hatch. Only a small percentage typically survive since after hatching the black widow spiders are independent.
Other Fun Facts about Black Widow Spiders
1) Though they usually avoid the bright red hourglass of the female, common predators include praying mantis, birds, and wasps.
2) Since all black widows may not have the red hourglass on their belly, it is in your better interest not to mess with any black spiders.
3) These spiders tend to be drawn to garages being nocturnal and preferring the dark, undisturbed areas.
4) The venom delivered by a black widow spider is 15 times more potent than the venom given by a rattlesnake, however, the black widow will inject a lot less venom than rattlesnakes.
5) The usual lifespan of a black widow is 3 years.
6) Generally, people can survive the black widow’s bite, though it can be potentially fatal to young children.