Black Widows
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Black Widows

A Guide to Identifying and Understanding these Venomous Pests

Black widow spiders are a species known not just for their potent venom, but for their distinctive appearance that raises alarm bells for both homeowners and businesses. These spiders can be identified by their shiny, black bodies and the telltale red hourglass shape on their abdomen, although the mark can sometimes be yellow or white. Adult females are the most recognized and feared, as they are significantly larger than their male counterparts, measuring about 1.5 inches including their leg span.

Behaviorally, black widows are solitary creatures, often lurking in undisturbed areas such as cluttered storage spaces, garage corners, or beneath furniture. They are nocturnal, preferring to come out at night to feed on smaller insects. While many fear their venomous bite, it's actually rare for black widows to bite humans, and they usually only do so when threatened or accidentally pressed against skin.  

Black Widow 2

How to Spot a Black Widow Web

Black widows are known for weaving irregular, tangled webs, which they typically construct close to the ground. These webs may not have the elegant, symmetrical patterns that many associate with spider webs; instead, they are often messy and asymmetrical. You might find them nestled in sheltered, low-traffic areas such as piles of wood, seldom-used gardening pots, or the quiet corners of a seldom-accessed shed. Black widows prefer these secluded spots to trap their prey and to avoid frequent disturbance.

Spotting one of these characteristic webs in or around your home can be an early warning sign of a black widow’s presence, allowing you to take precautionary measures to protect your family and pets. Identifying these webs before an actual encounter with the spider itself reduces the risk of accidental bites, especially in areas where these creatures are common. If you do find a web, it's best to avoid touching it or the surrounding area and to promptly call a professional like Pest Pro Pest Control for safe removal. Remember, vigilance and early detection can be vital to avoiding unwelcome surprises and keeping your loved ones safe.

When Are Black Widows Active?

Black widow spiders are predominantly nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. During the day, they prefer to hide away in their webs, waiting for the cover of darkness to emerge and hunt for their prey. As the sun goes down and the temperature drops, these spiders become more active, repairing their webs, catching insects, and sometimes even venturing out to find new locations to spin their webs.

If you're concerned about black widows on your property, it's wise to be extra cautious at night, particularly when moving items stored in garages, sheds, or other areas that provide perfect hideouts for these reclusive arachnids. 

For more information about black widows and how to safely deal with them, call Pest Pro Pest Control in Salt Lake City at (385) 314-4973!


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Our services are designed to help make your indoor space more comfortable and save more money! Pest Pro Pest Control offers a full-range of HVAC services to address any of your residential or commercial needs.

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How Dangerous Is Black Widow Venom?

Although the black widow's bite can be dangerous due to its neurotoxic venom, it is rarely fatal for healthy adults. However, the risks are greater for children, older people, and pets, as their bodies may react more intensely to the venom. Immediate medical attention is recommended if you suspect a black widow spider bite. 

Seek immediate medical attention for you, your children, or your pet if you notice symptoms like: 

  • Intense pain or cramping that may spread from the bite area to other parts of the body
  • Abdominal stiffness or rigidity not associated with other known conditions
  • Excessive sweating even without physical exertion
  • Difficulty breathing or respiratory distress
  • Vomiting or nausea that appears suddenly
  • Elevated blood pressure and heart rate that seems abnormal
  • Unexplained muscle spasms or weakness

Remember, early intervention is crucial, especially when young children or pets are involved, as their smaller size may render them more susceptible to severe reactions. If any of these symptoms present after a suspected bite, it's essential to seek immediate medical attention for your peace of mind and safety.

If black widows are a clear and present threat to your safety, call Pest Pro Pest Control at (385) 314-4973 or contact us online to request a free black widow control estimate!

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Pest Pro Pest Control is proud to serve Salt Lake City, Utah and other surrounding areas.

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