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5 Facts About Black Widows You Should Know

Paisley Hansen
When it comes to spiders, black widows are often cited as one of the most dangerous arachnids that many fea, when it comes to possible infestations. Despite how commonly referenced they are when it comes to spiders that should be avoided, there are many facts people don’t know about them. Read on to learn more about this spider.

They Prefer the Dark

The black widow spider prefers dark habitats, particularly basements, garages, areas of thick foliage and trash. They also tend to be in areas with a mild climate. Black widow spiders are a frequent sight in the West and South of the United States. They can be found throughout other parts of North America, South Africa, Europe and South America.
If you have a dry, sheltered area with lots of clutter, it is likely an ideal home for a black widow. You can help discourage black widows from settling into your garage, basement or barn by going out of your way to keep these areas well-lit and free from clutter.

Males and Females Look Different

When it comes to appearance, most people recognize the black and red colors of female black widows. Females are larger and have a noticeable shape to their bodies that sets them apart from other spiders. Female black widows have large, round bodies.
Male black widows are smaller than females; about half the size of female counterparts. They also are colored differently. Instead of having a distinct red marking on their bodies, males have pink or orange spots instead. The shape of the color is the same as the female’s red symbol.

They Have Chaotic Webs

Being able to recognize the different spider webs can be the key to help you identify whether black widows are present in your home. Black widow spiders have chaotic webs that differ from neat spiral webs of other spiders. Look for a tangled mess, low to the ground if you are searching for a black widow’s web.
If you can examine the web closely, you will notice that black widows have several layers to their webs to help their prey remains trapped. Keep in mind that black widows have very strong webs, which can result in various bits of debris getting caught in the webbing in addition to their prey.

They Are Very Venomous

The reason black widow bites are so dangerous is due to the impact they can have on the nervous system. In severe cases, a black widow bite can cause seizures and death. When it comes to being bitten by a black widow, you often will not notice the bite initially. You may know of it in few minutes.
Some symptoms reported by those who have experienced black widow bites are nausea, high blood pressure, muscle aches, pains and sweating. Fortunately, there are antivenom options that can help mitigate the damage. If you suspect someone been bitten by a black widow, go to the hospital for immediate evaluation.

All of Them Don’t Bite

Contrary to popular belief, not all black widows bite. Black widow males don’t bite at all. Black widow females, however, do bite, but they only do so when disturbed or startled. You can help yourself avoid the potential of being bitten by a black widow spider, by being careful when going through areas that are favorable habitats for them.
By familiarizing yourself with the black widow, you can help keep yourself and your home safe from unanticipated encounters with them.