What To Do If You See a Black Widow Spider
There is much to love about living in Kansas, but there is one drawback: our spider population. While many spiders pose no threat to us, Kansas is home to some of the more dangerous spiders around, including the black widow spider.
Black widow spiders are medium-sized spiders, ranging from ¼ to ¾ of an inch in size. True to their name, the females have shiny black or sometimes dark brown bodies. These spiders have large, round or oval-shaped abdomens. The black widow spider’s most recognizable feature is the red hourglass marking on the bottom of its abdomen. Male black widows are a medium brown color with cream-colored markings, are typically smaller than the females, and are harmless to humans. The females are much larger than the males and pose serious threats to humans.
Black widow bites are typically not as lethal as the stories most people have heard; however, they are dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible. The localized pain from a black widow bite can take up to an hour to occur, and can be followed by a number of more severe symptoms.
Muscle cramps, abdominal pain, and muscle weakness are all common symptoms of a black widow bite. If you are not aware that you were bitten, these symptoms can easily be mistaken for other conditions such as appendicitis or a heart attack. While these bites are rarely deadly, they are certainly uncomfortable and will require medical attention if severe.
The best approach to a black widow bite is to not be bitten at all! In order to avoid being bitten, it’s best to make both the inside and outside of your home less inviting to black widow spiders. To accomplish this, there are certain preventative measures you can take:
Black widow spiders like to live in dark, secluded areas like garages, wood piles, and sheds. They prefer to feed on crawling insects, so they typically build their webs close to the ground. To avoid attracting these spiders to your property, keep your yard clear of debris and as free of other pests as possible.
If you think you may have black widow spiders living inside your home, you should consider the reason they are there — most spiders will enter homes while searching for a food source, so the fact that they are inside may mean you have another pest problem that you aren’t aware of.
To prevent the pests that attract black widows from entering your home, be sure to seal any holes or cracks around the exterior of your home. Pests are also likely to invade when they find a lot of moisture around your home’s perimeter, so controlling the moisture levels around your home is an important step in keeping them away.
Black widows are nocturnal spiders, so, you may never actually ever see a single black widow. However, you may be able to identify their presence by their webs. Black widow webs tend to be a more random and chaotic gathering of strands rather than the patterned and symmetrical webs of other spiders and are typically located close to the ground. Black widow spider webs are quite strong compared to other spider webs.
If you believe you have black widows in or around your home, it is best to call the professionals. Schendel Pest Services’ Premium Care program offers guaranteed 365-day protection, not only from black widows, but also from the pests that might draw them to your home. Request your free inspection today!