A Hunter in the Dark: Preparing for the Black Widow Spider

The Professional Pest Management Alliance conducted a poll among consumers in 2013 and found that spiders were the third most bothersome pest after ants and termites. Spiders are common nuisances that can be found in almost any building. However, despite their prevalence, people’s reactions to spiders can range from tolerance to outright fear.

A majority of spiders are not a health risk, despite popular belief. That said, the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider, and the brown widow spider are three of the most common species of spiders in the United States that can cause sickness.

While black widows can be found in every state, brown recluses are exclusive to the Midwest and can be found predominantly in Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. The brown widow spider, a close relative of the black widow, is more prevalent in the Southeast, although it can spread to other parts of the country on nursery stock brought from other regions.

Several reports of black widow spiders in grapes bought at supermarkets have surfaced in recent months. These spiders hitch rides on shipments from grape-growing regions like California to retail outlets across the country. Recent reports came from Michigan and Wisconsin.

The truth is that the danger posed by black widow spiders to humans is overblown, as is the case with most other types of spiders. For the most part, spiders pose no threat to humans. Dangerous ones rarely bite, and even when they do, the casualties are few.

Here are some key points to remember while trying to identify a black widow spider or learn about its medical significance:

  • It is said that a black widow’s venom is 15 times more poisonous than a rattlesnake’s, making it the most dangerous spider in North America. However, because of their diminutive stature, only a minimal dose of venom is administered. Only about one percent of individuals bitten by this spider really end up dying. Children under the age of five and the elderly are at increased risk for serious health consequences, as is the case with many medical problems.
  • The only time a black widow spider will bite is if it feels threatened.
  • The bite can cause dizziness, nausea, muscle pain, and even trouble breathing.
  • The bite site should be iced, and medical attention should be sought if the victim suspects they have been bitten by a black widow spider. To counteract the poison, an antidote can be obtained.
  • The average lifespan of a black widow spider in the wild is between one and three years.
  • Spiders are easily recognized by their size and hue. They measure around 2 cm in total length (legs included), are lustrous jet black, and have a red hourglass on the bottom of their belly. The design and hue of this hourglass may vary.
  • Female spiders build webs to trap insects and other prey, and these webs can be used to identify spiders. Round silken sacs, where the female lays her eggs, are visible on the web.

The exclusion of black widow spiders and the elimination of potential hiding places are the two most effective methods of control. You can physically remove spider webs, spiders, and spider egg sacs by vacuuming them up. When handling firewood or boxes that may contain black widow spiders, it’s best to protect your hands by wearing gloves.


The black widow spider is one of the most feared spiders in the world. However, if you take the proper precautions, there is no need to be afraid of this spider. If you are bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention immediately.

They are typically black or dark brown in color and have a characteristic red hourglass on their underside. These spiders are not typically aggressive, but their venom is potent and can cause serious health issues. In order to avoid encountering black widow spiders, it is important to be aware of their habits and to take caution when in areas where they may be present.

If you are looking for a company that does spiders pest control in Fresno, look no further than our services here at Valora Pest Control. We are a locally-owned and operated pest control company dedicated to providing high-quality service with an equally matched customer experience. Call us today, and let us deal with your Black Widow problems at home.