Black Widow Spider

A mature female black widow spider has a large, black shiny body and measures approximately 3/8 inch long, with one-inch legs. An hour-glass shape in bright red or orange-red color can be found on the abdomen.

Black widow spider webs are very irregular, white in color and strong. They’re most often found in areas where water and insects are readily available. Around the home, they can be found under outdoor furniture barbecue grills, pool pumps, and in storage areas, garages, wood piles, block fences and the corners of porches and patios.

The black widow is shy. She hides near the web by day typically in some sort of sheltered spot and is most active at night, where she waits on her web for prey to enter. She produces hundreds of babies hatched from egg sacs that look like moth balls. The young black widows are white in color and spread quickly after hatching.

The male black widow is much smaller, and is brown and white in color. Because of its size, its bite cannot pierce skin, and is therefore not dangerous to humans.

Control - To control the black widow population, it is necessary to directly hit the adult spider with a strong insecticide and destroy the egg sacs. To locate the black widow spider, use a flashlight at night to find her in her web. Also keep all webs knocked down around your home. It is important to flush out the spider from cracks and crevices, and most times requires professional attention. Contact Wagner Pest Solutions for immediate treatments.

Signs and Symptoms of a Bite - The initial bite may feel like a pin prick, which may go unnoticed. At first, victims experience little or no visible signs such as swelling. A red circular mark may appear about six hours after the bite.

The initial symptoms may be progressive aching sensations, with muscle pain at the bite site spreading to the lower back, thighs and limbs. Symptoms often last up to 36 hours and lingering effects may last for several weeks.

Treatment - Call the Banner Poison Control Center immediately to determine whether the bite victim can be managed at home or will require treatment by a physician or hospitalization. Severe cases may require antivenin treatment.

Approximately 100 calls are received each year about bites from the black widow spider.

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