Spiders Detail

Types of Spiders

Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)

Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. This spider gets its name from the popular belief that the female black widow spider eats the male after mating, although this rarely happens. Black widows are poisonous when ingested during the first 17 days of their life.

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Color

Usually black, sometimes brown, tan, or gray, and usually with pale markings.


Legs8
AntennaeNo
RegionFound throughout U.S.

Shape

Compact with relatively short legs


Size

1/8 – 3/4 inches

Habits

Black widows are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but they can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions. Black widow spiders spin irregular webs, which they build at night near ground level. Once complete, these spiders hang upside-down in their webs.

Habitat

Outdoors, black widow spiders commonly live in protected areas like under stones and in firewood piles. They are often found in barns, outhouses and sheds. Indoors, black widows prefer cluttered areas of garages, basements and crawl spaces.

Threats

While male black widow spiders rarely bite, females are known to be aggressive and bite in defense, especially after laying, and when guarding eggs. Symptoms of a black widow spider bite include fever, increased blood pressure, sweating and nausea. Fatalities are unlikely, as long as proper medical treatment is sought in a timely manner. If you notice black widows or signs of infestation, contact a professional immediately for a proper course of black widow spider control.

Black Widow Spider Prevention

Avoid black widow spider bites by reducing clutter in basements and garages to eliminate hiding spots. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area. You should also wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time and shake out shoes before wearing them. Outdoors, store firewood at least twenty feet from the home and five inches off the ground. If you suspect a spider infestation, contact a black widow control specialist immediately. This is the safest way to get rid of black widow spiders in the home.