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Black Widow Identification & Prevention

What are black widows?

The black widow is a very distinct-looking spider species that is infamous for its mating practices. While it is not true that the female always kills and eats the male after mating, passing on his genes is still quite dangerous for him, as black widow females are known to cannibalize their mates on occasion. When they're not eating their mates, black widows eat similar things to any other spiders in California. They love to hunt flies, cockroaches, and just about any other insect they can sink their fangs into. 

black widow spider in a web

Are black widows dangerous?

Black widow spiders are one of the most dangerous spider species in the United States. These spiders pack a neurotoxin that can cause all sorts of systemic symptoms. While it is highly unusual for black widow venom to kill a fully grown adult, these spiders can be a real threat to children and pets. Even adults may experience symptoms such as: 

  • Nausea 

  • Vomiting 

  • Muscle spasms

  • Cramps

  • Headache 

  • Trouble breathing

If you find yourself having trouble breathing or if you experience any of the above symptoms after a black widow bite, you should seek medical attention right away.

Why do I have a black widow problem?

Like all other local spiders in our area, black widow spiders don't have any reason to invade our homes unless we have an infestation of prey they like. What typically happens is you have an infestation of one of their favorite prey pests in your home, and the black widows come in, where they proceed to multiply through the use of egg sacs that can contain hundreds of babies. If you have a black widow problem, this is likely what happened, and it is an indicator that you have another infestation to deal with as well. 

Where will I find black widows?

Black widows are well-known for their preference to hide in dark, damp places that are well out of the way of people. You will often find them in places like basements, crawl spaces, sheds, and even utility boxes. They may also be inside unused grills or barbecues, and you may even run across one in your shoe if you have a serious black widow spider infestation.

How do I get rid of black widows?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get rid of spiders, regardless of their species, once you have an established infestation that is already breeding. This is because it is just so easy for them to balloon their population when they are getting an unlimited supply of food in the form of an insect infestation inside your house. 

This, combined with the fact that black widows are one of the most dangerous spider species in the country, means you should let the professionals handle your black widow problem. Here at A-1 Bonded Termite, we're equipped to handle any pests that invade your home, spiders included. If you keep finding black widows in your home, don't wait until it's too late to avoid a painful and potentially dangerous bite; give us a call or visit our contact page to schedule your inspection. 

How can I prevent black widows in the future?

There's no way to prevent black widows, specifically, but there are plenty of things you can do to keep all spider species out of your home. The best and most effective way to keep your home free from spiders is to keep it free from pests that could attract them. 

This means if you have a problem with roaches, flies, or other common spider prey, you will want to take care of that. The good news is A-1 Bonded Termite can not only help you with whatever spider infestation is ailing you, but we can also help you get rid of the pests drawing the spiders in from outside. Get in touch today to find out how we can keep your home free of black widows and the pests they prey on.

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