Black widows are venomous spiders that can be found indoors and outdoors throughout Texas. The black widow spider belongs to the genus Latrodectus. This genus includes 32 recognized species that can be found in every continent except Antarctica. Their venom has a neurotoxin in it called latrotoxin that will cause the condition latrodectism.
Black Widow Spider Bite
If you come across a shiny black spider that has a red hourglass marking on the abdomen, you’re dealing with a black widow spider. This is an adult female black widow. She is three times more venomous than the male black widow spider and she has larger venom sacs. The females measure about 1½ inches with males being about half that size. A dry bite occurs when no venom is injected, and a wet bite occurs about 75% of the time and will cause localized pain. If a lot of venom is injected there may be latrodectism with pain, vomiting, muscle rigidity and sweating that can last for 3 to 5 days. Their venom can be 15 times stronger than rattlesnake venom, making a bite from a black widow more troublesome for the elderly and children. It’s reassuring to know that the bite of a black widow spider is rarely fatal, but they can be painful and need to be treated medically.
Behavior of Black Widow Spiders
Like most other spiders, the black widow is generally not considered to be aggressive. They will bite if they feel threatened, like when they are pinched or squeezed. The reason for almost any spider bite is self-defense. The webs of black widow spiders are messy and irregular. They are made of sticky silk that they use to ensnare their prey. These webs are constructed in a way where she can hide in a hole or crevice behind it. They rely on their webs to figure out what’s going on around them because they have poor eyesight. She can feel vibrations from the safety of her hiding spot until prey becomes trapped in her web.
Black Widow Spider Prevention
Black widow spiders can be found in dark secluded areas like crevices and piles of wood and debris. Indoors, they usually hide in dimly lit areas like dark corners, basements, closets, garages or any area that is cluttered. Keeping your yard well kept will help keep it free of black widow spiders. Decluttering is a great way to keep them away. Organize items that you don’t use a lot in plastic storage bins with tight fitting lids and eliminate cracks and gaps that they may use to get into your home. There are treatments that can be used to eliminate black widow spiders, but the best way to manage black widow spiders is to contact professional pest control for the most effective options. Plus, regular pest control will eliminate the food sources for black widow spiders-other bugs.
Spider Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
Black widow spiders can be beneficial because they eat lots of insects, but the risk of a bite isn’t worth letting them roam around your yard. Contact A-Tex Pest Management to deal with any pest problem.