Black widow male and females are significantly different. The female is the larger of the two whose sphere-like back end ranges from ¼ – ½ in. in diameter depending on if it is carrying eggs. It is shiny jet black, and has the classic reddish or yellowish hourglass shape on it’s underside. The male is much smaller and lighter in color than the female with light, almost vertical streaks on its abdomen.
Interesting Black Widow Facts
Their webs have an irregular pattern and a small central area where the spider will hide out in wait for the web to snag its prey.
They frequently build their webs outdoors under boards, stones, behind shrubs, along foundation slabs, and on wood or brick siding close to the ground.
They may only occasionally venture into buildings and homes.
Problems Caused by Black Widow Spider Pest
While these spiders aren’t particularly aggressive, they will bite if they feel threatened or trapped. The initial bite’s pain is similar to a needle puncture, but the pain soon fades. The venom it injects is toxic to the nervous system and its severity depends on many factors including the season, where it bit, the size of the person, how deep the wound is, and more. Many symptoms follow, but if the person is especially sensitive to the venom, it could result in convulsions and then death if not treated. Seek medical attention immediately if bitten.
Black Widow Spider Prevention
If a problem arises with black widows, treatment to the landscaping around the building will most likely be needed. Consult your pest expert to assess your particular situation.