The black widow spider is one of the most recognizable spiders. It has a very distinctive red hourglass shape on the underside of its abdomen. Female black widow spiders are known to have a tendency to eat their mates, and while they are venomous, their bite is rarely fatal to humans. Black widow spiders can cause quite a scare to humans due to their very spider like appearance and their ability to move quickly. Female black widows are about 1 ½ inches in length and the males are about half that size. If you come across a black widow inside or near your home, contact A-Tex Pest Management today to remove the spider for you.
Do Black Widows Paralyze Their Prey?
The black widow’s diet consists mainly of other arachnids and insects that become caught in the widow’s web. The female black widow will hang upside down from her web as she waits for her next victim to arrive. When the black widow spider hangs upside down waiting for her next meal to arrive, she openly displays her red hour glass shape on her abdomen. The markings do not frighten off her prey though, so she is still able to successfully trap her victims without any problem. Flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars are just a few of the victims that end up becoming a meal for the black widow spider. After the prey is ensnared in her web the black widow uses her comb feet to wrap the prey in silk. The black widow will then puncture its prey with its fangs and inject digestive enzymes that liquefy the corpse, and then the black widow sucks up its prey like a delicious shake.
Do Black Widow Spiders Come Out in Fall?
Black widow spiders generally prefer to be alone, except during late spring when they mate. Adult widows are most prevalent during late summer and fall where they invade homes looking for a place to live through the winter. Female spiders can live up to three years and male spiders typically live for one to two months. The black widow spiders get their name from carrying out sexual cannibalism after mating. This explains the very short life expectancy of the male black widow spider. The female black widow will often kill and eat the male to get a good source of protein, which can be especially beneficial to her offspring that are developing inside of her. The eggs hatch after about 30 days, the baby spiders are also cannibalistic and few survive the three month development to adulthood.
What Happens when Black Widow’s Bite You?
The black widow is considered to be one of the most venomous spiders in the United States. Their venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. Only bites from a female spider are considered a threat to human health. Bites from this spider very rarely result in death, but individuals at risk include the very old, the very young and anyone who is not in great health to begin with. The black widow’s bite has often been compared to a pin prick and pain begins to spread rapidly throughout the body.