Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spiders
Size: 1/2" - 1 1/2"
Color: Shiny dark brown to black
Origin: Native to US

Black Widow Spider Control

Black widows are one of the most venomous spiders that are found in the United States. They receive their common name from the general belief that female black widows eat the males after they are done mating. This is a rare phenomenon and does not naturally occur in many species of spiders. Black widow spiders can be found all over the world and there are about 5 different species that can be found in the United States. By finding enough information and by browsing our store, you will be able to gain a better understanding of how to get rid of black widow spiders.

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Questions & Answers : How to get rid of Black Widow Spiders (15)
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Black Widow Spider Identification

The best way to make sure that you are effectively controlling them, you have to know what you are looking for before thinking about how to get rid of black widow spiders. Young black widow spiders are generally orange or white in color but will begin to transform into a black color as they mature. Depending on their species or sex, they will also begin to develop markings and only have about 1 or 2 red markings on the underside of the abdomen.

Generally, female body length is about half an inch long which includes the abdomen that is spherical in shape and about a quarter of an inch to about 3/8 of an inch in diameter. The overall length including the legs are about 1 ½ inches. Males are about half the size of female black widows. They are typically black in color and on the underside of their abdomens, there are 2 red triangular markings that are usually joined together to create an hourglass shaped mark. Sometimes, the 2 triangles are separated.

Although the typical black widows that are found are this color and have these markings, keep in mind that the color and the markings that are on the black widows are not always reliable because there are about five different species and there is also the male sex that are colored and marked in different ways. There are about 5 different representing species that are located in the United States:

  • Red Widow: The middle section where the thorax and the head are fused together is a reddish color. The abdomen is black with some reddish to orange spot type markings that are outlined in white. The legs also appear reddish in color. Red widows are located in central and southern Florida.
  • Brown Widow: They are brownish in color and have white and blackish brown markings. On the abdomen though, they are marked with the red hourglass. Their legs are banded or have ringed markings. They can only be found in southern Florida.
  • Western Widow: They are black and the abdomen has a complete red hourglass marking. The only real separation characteristic is that the red spot that is located above the anal tubercle is missing. They are found on the western region of United States and western Canada.
  • Northern Widow: Blackish in color, their abdomens have the 2 triangle markings that are separated. On their dorsal side, they have a row of red spots and on the laterally, they have a diagonal bands of white. Although they can be found in the same areas as the black widow, they are more common in the northern states and Canada.
  • Black Widow: Black widow spiders are black in color and their abdomen has a red marking of a completed hourglass shape. There is a red spot just above the anal tubercle. Some black widows may have a row of red spots on the dorsal side along the midline. They can be found along the east coast from Massachusetts to Florida and all the way west to Texas and Oklahoma. They are the most common in the southern states.

Where to Find Black Widow Spiders

Not only is knowing their physical appearance an important part knowing how to get rid of black widow spiders, but also knowing their behavior and their habitat will help you with control. Black widows can be found both inside and outside of structures including structures in residential areas or commercial areas. They are not often in commercial areas because they will be used frequently with a lot of movement, however, empty warehouses and storage locations may be prime locations for a black widow to harbor. Inside a structure, black widows can be found in areas that are not used often. These are places like the crawl space area, basement, garage, and attic. They prefer seldom-used areas that are cluttered because the cluttered areas provide a better harborage site for their prey which are going to be small insects. Outdoors however, they can be found in protected areas. These protected areas may be places like under firewood, stones, decks, hollow trees, shrubbery, and even in vacant rodent burrows. They are also commonly found in outside structures like barns, sheds, meter boxes, and etc.

How to Get Rid of Black Widow Spiders

Standard spider control methods will apply to black widow spiders which includes inspection, mechanical control, chemical control, and prevention. After you are able to inspect to find the location of webbing and their harboring area, you can begin mechanical control. Mechanical control will consist of regular maintenance to get rid of build-up like their webs or egg sacs with a vacuum. This is required both inside and outside. If there is a spider located on the web before removal, then use a contact kill spray to kill black widow spiders before the web is removed. Chemical control will consist of using an appropriately labeled insecticide spray to kill on contact. Typically though, chemical control will be a method in preventative control to create a barrier around the structure so that black widows cannot enter. Barriers can be created with a long lasting wet-able powder formula or a microencapsulated formula. Also, because black widows recycle their webs, a light application of a residual dust product that is labeled for spiders will prove to be effective. Prevention will consist of routine maintenance to check to see if the structure is in good condition. Any clutter in areas that are seldom used will be key places to get rid of so that you can discourage harborage. Also, properly closing of entry points like loose screens and cracks and crevices that lead to the inside of the structure is important in keeping black widow spiders out of the house.

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