Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spiders
Size: 1/2" - 1 1/2"
Color: Shiny dark brown to black
Origin: Native to US
Questions & Answers : How to get rid of Black Widow Spiders (15)
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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.

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.

Do You Have a Question about this Product? Ask Our Experts!

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Q. You said Demon WP and Suspend SC are great products for black widows. What about for Brown Recluse? Also, will these products kill after drying or are they only a deterrent? My miniature Eskimo dog often kills spiders by mouthing them & I'm terrified that she will get bit in the tongue or mouth and die!
A.   Both Demon WP and Suspend SC are good products for spiders in general, however, Zenprox EC is specifically labeled for pests including the Brown Recluse. We recommend using Zenprox EC as a surface treatment both indoors and outdoors. It will kill the spiders after they come into contact with the pesticide. Zenprox has a residual time of about 3-4 months.
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Q. Will the zenprox or Suspend SC hurt my dogs or cats?
A.   Both are safe for reentry only have the treated areas have completely dried. This means that during the application of Suspend SC or Zenprox as well as during the time it takes for the treatment to dry, your dogs and cats should not be in the area at all. However, they are allowed for reentry after the treatment has completely dried.
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Q. I found black widows living inside my window tracks. I sprayed Demon WP, is there something else I can do? I don't want them in my home at all!
I sprayed the foundation, cracks, crevices, vents, doors and windows with Demon WP but I'm terrified that there are black widows inside my house. Is there something else I can do? What would be the best spray for inside? I have a dog so it has to be safe for use around pets. One of the areas I found black widows was inside the window track above my kitchen sink. I need something I can safely spray to get them to go away!
A.   Demon WP is a great product for spider control as is Suspend SC. Both are safe for reentry only after the treated area has completely dried.
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Q. Is there anything to use on black widows that are currently in my firewood
I planned on using firewood this year to heat my house a friend of mine brought a whole bunch of trees he cut down over this spring. It was stacked as nice as I could against my chain link fence until I could split and stack. Now that it's that time of year and I have killed about 10 on my property this year I would venture to say that I will see a few more. Is there anything I can use that would be safe since I will be burning the wood inside? It's a good 5 to 6 cords easy and it's backed up to a neighbors fence so I can't get all the way around it. I plan on stacking in the new wood shed I built off the ground and treating around it regularly so I hopefully don't have to do this again. Any ideas?
A.   Unfortunately, because of the residual on insecticides, it is not labeled to be used on firewood. There will not be another option except to manually eliminate them. We apologize that we were unable to better assist you.
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Q. i have a two car garage with no doors, overridden with black widows. there are so many they walk in daylight on the floor.
the garage has racks and building materials and a huge construction table with plenty of hiding unreachable place underneath. It was used as construction site. We still do not have doors up. How do I get rid of this invasion?
A.   Unfortunately, there is no preventative to prevent future infestations. We have an insecticide called Phantom Termiticide/Insecticide that will kill the black widows. It is, however, not an instant knockdown agent and will have a delay kill effect.
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Q. Any product that will penetrate black widow egg sacks?
A.   Zenprox will be able to penetrate black widow egg sacks. Please refer to the individual product label for more information.
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Q. I have a severe black widow problem in my large building.
I plan to purchase the SuspendSC product to spray the outside perimeter of the building. From what I read this is the best recommended product. Correct? The spiders are both indoor and outdoor. Does Suspend leave any visible residue? For the interior what do you recommend as a spray contact killer. Thanks -Lou
A.   The Suspend SC will be very effective for black widows. It is both an indoor and outdoor product. It will not leave any visible residue once it is dry.
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Q. black widow control
I own a large building and I have a severe black widow problem. I have read a lot on your site and I'm trying to decide if I should use SuspendSC or Zenprox. I need the best product for this but I can not have any visible residue. Also, what do you recommend as a contact spray? Thanks for your help. -Lou
A.   Actually, Suspend SC is a great general pest control product that has a broad spectrum of labeled pest and although it has spiders on the label as a target pest, it does not specifically label black widow spiders like Zenprox or Phantom Insecticide. Usually, we will recommend Zenprox or Phantom for black widow spider control. Either will work both indoor and outdoor. The difference is that Zenprox is labeled as a broadcast indoor application product and Phantom can be used as a broadcast application outside, but it is only limited to crack and crevice treatment around the baseboards, window sills, and door frames in the interior of a structure. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.
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Q. Kill black widow spider
In Sacramento, CA and I have a black widow problem along my raised foundation, around my garage door, and also a vehicle that I don't drive as frequently as I should. What product(s) would you recommend to clean up these problem areas?
A.   For corners and spaces around your foundation, you can use glueboards to catch black widows. Glue boards have proven to be very effective with solitary bugs like spiders, especially dangerous ones like black widows and brown recluse spiders.

If you are looking for a residual spray around your garage door and under the raised foundation, use Suspend SC. As for your vehicle, there is no product we can really recommend for the vehicle. The exterior of the vehicle is especially hard to treat because the paint can be damaged by the chemicals in the insecticide.

You can use a contact kill aerosol on the inside or the vehicle. Another option is that you cover your car with a car protector or cover and apply the pesticide on the cover as well as the immediate perimeter around your car on the floor. This will create a barrier so that spiders are unable to get in or on your vehicle.
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Q. about how long do these outdoor treatments take to work?
outdoor treatments for black widows
A.   Unfortunately, we are not sure what treatment you are inquiring about. However, we can tell you that most residual sprays (typically a liquid concentrate spray treatment) will last anywhere from 1-3 months outside for spider control and sometimes longer when used indoors. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us again.
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