black widow spider

How to Identify Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider instill fear in many people and the black widow is one of the most feared, owing to its venomous bite (females, not males).Black widow identification is no laughing matter — knowing what a black widow looks like could make a big difference when you decide to call the emergency room or not.   Black widows are relatively rare, and most of us will never see one, but if you do you want to know exactly what you’re dealing with!  then read on…All spiders are non-insect arthropods. They have 2 body parts and 8 legs. Insects have 6 legs. Spiders are hunters of insects and other arthropods that are caught in their webs or have been captured.

Identify Female Black Widow Spiders

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1. Check for a shiny, black or dark brown body. Black Widow Spider  often have a sheen.

2. Estimate the length of the black widow’s body. Female black widows are often about a 1/2 inch long (or the size of your little finger’s nail). The abdomen’s diameter can be as small as a 1/4 inch or as big as 3/8 inch. The overall length of the female’s body will be between 1 1/2 and 1 1/3 inches.

3. Look at the underside of the black widow spider. Usually, there is a red, yellow or orange hourglass formation on a spherical abdomen. Sometimes, the hourglass will be split or separated into triangles.

4. Spot other red markings or lines around the Black Widow Spider spinnerets. Spinnerets are organs that help a spider spin a web and are usually located on the abdomen.

Identify Male Black Widow Spiders

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  1. The male Black Widow Spider appearance is similar to that of the female black widow.
  2. . Note the black widow’s length. Male black widows are roughly half the size of female black widows. The male black widow’s body is smaller than the female black widow’s body; it also has longer legs than the female.
  3. Inspect the abdomen. Black widow males have red spots above the abdomen and white lines or bar-like shapes that move along toward their sides.8. Examine the black widow’s appendages. The male black widow’s pedipalps are swollen in appearance.

Where do you See Black Widow Spiders?

The black widow spider builds an irregular web in which she hangs upside-down.Webs are constructed in secluded spots such as woodpiles, hollow tree stumps, rodent burrows, overgrown areas and under stones.The spider herself is mostly shy unless defending her eggs, generally avoids light and many times you will not see her but recognize her only by her web.She is much more active at night. In addition to the sites mentioned above, she seems to like man-made structures best: sheds, outdoor privies, meter boxes, drain lines, etc.

Ways to reduce the conditions that harbor and attract black widows

  1. Repair or install tight fitting screens on windows, doors, gables, foundation and soffit vents
  2. Install weather stripping and door sweeps
  3. Seal gaps around doors and windows
  4. Repair foundation cracks
  5. Seal around HVAC systems
  6. Install yellow or sodium lights since these attract fewer insects, which are the spiders food source
  7. Seal stored items in tight-fitting plastic containers in basements, garages and storage units
  8. Seek professional assistance and a pest prevention plan.

Ways to reduce spider bites:

  1. Inspect clothing and shoes before getting dressed
  2. Remove all spider webs, especially under beds, night stands and in clothes closets
  3. Move beds away from walls
  4. Use gloves when moving stored items, working in the garden, moving firewood, etc.
  5. Store items off of the floor
  6. Remove or discard unwanted items
  7. Move firewood away from home
  8. Avoid wood or rock piles and dark areas where spiders live
  9. Look for spiders in low-lying webs in garages, barbecue grills, around pools, and in wood pile
  10. Clear away old furniture, tires, junk, newspaper, and old clothes. This will eliminate places spiders like to live.
  11. Plug openings and crevices into the house.
  12. Shake out and check bedding for spiders before getting in the bed.
  13. Shake out and check clothing and shoes for spiders before putting them on.

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