6 Black Widow Spider Facts to Keep in Mind

Facts about Black Widow spiders.

Many people are afraid of spiders, but no other species seems to cause a bout of arachnophobia as easily as the Black Widow. Given its moniker because of the spider’s tendency to eat its mate after copulation, these arachnids are definitely something to be taken seriously.

Are all the stories true about how dangerous these creatures truly are? We’re going to hit you with a few black widow spider facts that may put them in a slightly different light.

Black Widow Spider Facts Most Venomous Spider in North America

First off, it’s very important to note that the black widow is the most venomous spider in North America. Its venom is so potent that it’s 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s venom. Although a black widow will sometimes bite without injecting any venom, you definitely don’t want to take the risk if you can avoid it because the bite is very painful and the neurotoxin can cause discomfort and stress to your body.

Only Female Black Widows Are Venomous

Although male black widows have fangs that can really hurt if they bite you, only the females are venomous. The good news is that the female black widow spider is quite easy to identify. In the United States, these spiders have a bulbous body and a red hourglass shape on their underside. This particular marking is sometimes orange-yellow, but not typically. Regardless of the hourglass’ color, we’re guessing that most people can easily identify a black widow.

Eating the Male Is the Exception, Not the Rule

As previously stated, the black widow spider got its name from the female’s tendency to partake in what’s referred to as sexual cannibalism, which means that the female will eat the male after mating. In reality, this is fairly rare among the 31 species of black widow. This is due, in part, to the fact that males are very aware of the risk, so they will seek out mates that have been well-fed and won’t be hungry post-coital. And you thought internet dating was difficult!

Black Widow Spider Facts: Not Aggressive, But Can Still Be Dangerous

Probably the best black widow spider facts that we can share are the ones that basically tell you that there isn’t a lot to worry about. Black widow spiders are not aggressive and have no interest in seeking out humans. Their instinct is to stay away from us. Bites typically occur when their hiding place is discovered or when the female is protecting her eggs. You still want to be cautious, however.

Usually Found in Dark, Dry Shelters

Another piece of good news about black widows is that you won’t see them inside your house crawling on your wall or running across your desk to scare the heck out of you. Black widows prefer to stay in dark, dry locations. If they’re inside your home, they’ll likely be in a garage, basement, or attic. They’re also commonly found in outdoor toilets, hollow stumps, rodent dwellings, and thick vegetation.

Black Widow Spider Facts: Kids, Pets, and Elderly Are More Susceptible

There’s often a misconception that the bite from a black widow spider will almost certainly be fatal. This is absolutely untrue. Although its venom can be stressful on your body, with ailments ranging from a fever to severe muscle cramps, most people will get over these issues within a week or two. The households that need to be especially careful are those with young children, pets, elderly household members, and those with a compromised immune system.

Contact Prohealth for Spider Control in Clearwater

Although these black widow spider facts have probably taught you that these arachnids aren’t as dangerous as most people believe, it’s still best to remove them from your property just in case. Prohealth Pest Control in Clearwater specializes in spider control, ant control, cockroach control, rodent control, mosquito control, and all other residential and commercial pest control issues. To learn more about our organic pest control methods or to receive a service quote, call (727) 308-4087 for a no-cost consultation.