Stumbling upon a whole bunch of black widows dangling somewhere on your property may give you shivers. As one of the most poisonous spider species in North America, the pests can be too dangerous to be allowed to stay around. Their poison can cause respiration difficulty, serious lesions, and even paralysis.
Should you encounter the insects somewhere nearby, it’s a question of safety to know how to get rid of black widows. There is a variety of approaches to do it properly without running a risk. Let’s explore them and so much more.
- 1 How to identify a black widow spider?
- 2 What attracts black widow spiders?
- 3 Black widow prevention
- 4 Top 3 Best Black Widow Treatments
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Avoid the Dangerous Widow by Treating It Right Away
How to identify a black widow spider?
First, you should know the difference between a brown recluse and black widow spiders. As for the latter, there is a difference between male and female appearances. While they have common features, the female is easier to identify because of the smooth cephalothorax that is a little elongated.
There is a crimson insignia on the back that stretches all over the surface and reaches the spinneret. When in adulthood (they can live up to 3 years), the female insect can grow to around 1.52 inches, whereas the male is normally twice smaller.
What attracts black widow spiders?
Just like with the normal spiders, this species tends to inhibit tall, dense vegetation where they are hidden from direct sunlight. Also, they can weave a nest in timber, brushwood, and abandoned burrows. If you’ve found a black widow in the house or on your property, you might have some other kind of insect infestation.
Places swarmed with ants and bugs are attractive for widows because they make a convenient harbor for nutrition. As long as it’s moist and shaded, the spiders can settle almost anywhere.
Black widow dangers
The best thing about the pest is that it consumes a lot of insects; however, this also makes it one of the most aggressive species yet to find and so easy to provoke. Provoking a widow generally means coming too close to its nest, which forces the spider to attack right away.
When bitten, the wound starts cramping and emits sharp pain within the first couple of minutes. In the best-case scenario, you will feel the pain, and the wound will swell and redden. In the worst case, black widow spider toxicity causes respiration complications, severe dizziness, all-body pain, and other symptoms.
Black widow infestations signs
The species is known for its messy webs that spread around their hunting perimeter. Also, they weave small web bulbs that can have a yellowish coloring to stack their eggs. If you see that an area covered in similar webs is expanding, then it might be a sign of a black widow infestation.
Besides, the spiders are gluttonous and vicious hunters, and they tend to bring down victims for later consumption. This leads to an excess of insect bodies scattered around the house and a sudden insect disappearance.
How to get rid of black widow spiders?
Getting rid of black widow spiders is complicated due to their hard detection. When you’ve found a nest, or you assume you know where it is, there is an array of treatments that can be applied. Depending on the type of infestation and its extent, you can choose your best way to kill a black widow.
- Traps are used as a prevention and treatment method. By placing them around your house/household, you can corner the spiders, making it difficult for them to hunt. Also, it gets stranded by the glue, leaving it to starve and perish.
- Sprays come in handy when it’s difficult to reach distant places, curtain hangers, etc., or you need to cover a large area.
- Dust is great for a more subtle approach to killing the insects. They mostly contain Diatomaceous earth which causes the insects to desiccate.
- Natural spider repellents, like peppermint, vinegar, eucalyptus, etc. come as oils and can prove useful. They are rather lethal for spiders and act as a natural black widow repellent.
Black widow prevention
Here are a few things you can do to know how to keep black widows away from your property.
Step 1: Clean and trim
Since the spiders like hidden, dark places, you’re going to need to clean your property. It includes getting rid of old junk both indoors and outdoors, like furniture, books, cardboard boxes, etc. Also, it’s essential to keep vegetation as short as possible. So trim bushes, mow the grass, and maintain the overall cleanliness.
Step 2: Seal it off
Use coatings and sealants to cover the gaps, holes, and crack in windows, staircase, foundation, etc. Also, apply natural remedies around the house, especially in the attic, to tend to crevices and cracks.
Step 3: Use treatments
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so start using different treatments before it’s too late.
Place spider traps in and around the house to get rid of black widows in the yard, basement, etc. Make sure that the glue is fresh and sticks well but avoid any direct contact with it. They will capture not only widows but also flies, mosquitoes, and even bees for your sake. Change them every 2-3 months and dispose of the old ones carefully since the spiders can still be alive.
Apply a spray to the beams in the attic and the basement and fog a little near the curtain hangers. The spray can be very convenient for outdoor black widow control by applying to vegetation and even grass. It settles easily and leaves no harmful chemical residues, thus being extremely safe. Reapply the spider spray every month to maintain its effectiveness.
Scatter dust near baseboards and behind the furniture. It will help reduce the number of insects, which will leave widows without nutrition. Also, it works well under the bed and nightstands, since diatomaceous earth is completely organic. Make sure to avoid wetness and moisture because the dust can lose its properties.
Top 3 Best Black Widow Treatments
To the load off your mind, here are some treatments that I’ve used before and found extremely potent.
1. WET & FORGET Miss Muffet’s Revenge — Best Black Widow Killer Spray
Used for a variety of spiders, this is an ideal black widow treatment for indoors and outdoors. It’s composed of Bifenthrin as the main active ingredient. The component attacks the spider’s nervous system, paralyzes, and eventually kills it.
When applied, the effect lasts for almost a year, so it’s very economizing and can be sufficient for years of use. Apply it to window frames, concrete crevices, corners, thresholds, etc. Utilize the spray mode to cover even the most unreachable areas.
2. Traps Direct 45 Insect & Spider Traps — Best Black Widow Traps
This product is perfect for local use and doesn’t require any additional equipment or time-consuming spreading. It can help you get rid of black widows in the garage, basement, or under the best. Unfold the cardboard, peel off the protective screen, and fold it together.
Place the trap near a nest or a clog of webs. It attracts spiders and other insects and glues them permanently, leaving no escape route. Make sure to scatter the traps around to conduct full-blown extermination.
3. Bayer Puffer Hand Duster — Best Black Widow Insecticide Dust
Composed of Pyrethrins and Silica Gel, the duster is a superb anti-insect treatment to get rid of each black widow spider in the house. It requires only a few puffs to cover an area sufficiently and takes no time for coming into effect.
When coming in contact, the dust dehydrates the insects and makes them desiccate on the spot. The granules are so tiny that they stick to a spider, thus being transferred among other insects.
Do you have any more questions about black widows? Take a look here!
Where do black widows hide?
They hide in dark, moist places that are away from clutter and noise. Also, they like tall grass and vegetation with little sunlight.
What do black widow eggs look like?
The eggs are a little elongated and are stored in yellowish sacs, amounting to around 250 eggs. They are no bigger than the tip of a pen and look rather smooth.
Do black widows kill?
Rarely. Most of the time, the victim receives strong poisoning that can result in muscle pain, fever, and lesions. However, there are some known lethal cases.
Can a baby black widow kill you?
It’s not proven yet that a young widow can cause such tremendous damage leading to death. However, their poison is almost as strong as that of an adult.
When do black widows come out?
These spiders are rather active at night time, whereas they prefer to stay hidden during the day.
Avoid the Dangerous Widow by Treating It Right Away
Black widows are extremely unpleasant species of spiders that can be rather dangerous to co-exist with. Fortunately, there is a means of doing it without running the risk of being bitten. Use sprays for indoor nests, apply solutions for outside infestations and don’t forget to scatter some dust to stay on the safe side.
All in all, that’s it for today. What’s your story with widows? What kind of treatment have you used before? Have you already managed to rid the house of the pests? Comment below!
- The Black Widow (Alabama A&M & Auburn Universities):
- Black Widow Spider Toxicity (U.S. National Library of Medicine):