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Black Widow Spider


Characteristics

  • The female's body is shiny black with a distinctive red hourglass shape on the bottom side of its large abdomen
  • Black widows spin messy, irregular webs near the ground in order to trap its prey
  • The venom is a neurotoxin and can be very painful but fatalities are low, especially with current antivenom

The black widow female is notorious for killing and eating the male after reproduction. However the majority of males escape this fate and this behavior is common among many types of spiders. The males is much smaller than the female, lacks the hourglass marking, and has much less potent venom.

Black Widow Bite

The bite from a female black widow is a neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system and should be treated by a medical professional. The venom is not the most dangerous among spiders, and deaths among adult humans are rare. However combined with the spiders frequent proximity to humans, the black widow is responsible for more human deaths per year than any other spider. Symptoms of a black widow bite include redness and swelling of the bite area. Muscle cramps are common along with nausea, dizziness, and respiratory difficulty. It is common for individuals to believe they are suffering from a heart attack after a black widow bite. Effective antivenom haa been created and human deaths are much rarer than they were in the past.

Black Widow Habitat

Black widow spiders are most often found in dark secluded areas such as woodpiles and crevices. They often make their ways into basements and warm dry houses especially in the winter. They prefer dimly lit areas so they are less common in living spaces. If you find a black window near or within your home please consult a pest control expert.


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