Everything Jacksonville Property Owners Ought To Know About Black Widow Spiders

October 28, 2020

There are only two spiders in the United States that are considered a medical threat. It should come as no surprise that the black widow spider is one of them. This spider has earned a scary reputation. But how true to life is this reputation? Are black widows as dangerous as you've heard? Here are a few things every Jacksonville property owner ought to know about black widow spiders, starting with how dangerous these spiders really are.

a black widow spider on her web in a garden

Black Widow Spider Venom

You've heard the rumors: A black widow spider bite can be fatal. While this is certainly true, it isn't nearly as true as it once was. But if you're still concerned, we have good news for you. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, no one in the United States has died from a black widow spider bite since 1983. But this doesn't mean it isn't unpleasant to be bitten by a black widow. In some cases, it is extremely unpleasant. Fortunately, many bites are what experts call dry bites. A dry bite occurs when there is no envenomation.

Black Widow Spider Identification

It is fairly easy to identify a black widow spider when you are down low and looking upward. The black widow often has a bright red hourglass marking on its abdomen. But this marking can be difficult to see if you find a black widow walking on the ground. Keep an eye out for a hairless, jet black spider that is between 1 ½ and 1 ⅜ inches long.

Where Black Widow Spiders Hide

These spiders prefer to be in secluded, undisturbed places. If they get into a structure, they find their way to storage rooms, the garage, attic spaces, or basement areas. If they come near to your home, they'll hide in brush piles, wood piles, rock piles, and underneath structures made of wood, such as your deck. You may occasionally find them hiding in the low branches of bushes and shrubs.

Black Widow Warning Signs

If these spiders are around, you're likely to see their webs in low places. Don't look for a beautifully constructed circular web of an orb weaver, or the funnel-like web of a funnel spider. The web of a black widow spider looks like a tangled mess. But that tangled mess isn't because black widows are lazy. Those tangled webs are perfect for catching the prey black widow spiders eat. On the top of this list is grasshoppers.  

What Attracts Black Widows

  • Desirable hiding places attract these spiders to your home. If you have any objects piled in your yard, consider stowing those piles indoors.
  • The presence of insects in your yard can increase spider populations, including black widow spiders. You can reduce insects by reducing exterior lights or keeping lights off at night.
  • The presence of bugs around your home will attract spiders. Addressing moisture issues, such as clogged gutters, can help with moisture pest reduction.

Bite Prevention

When black widow spiders get into your home, there are a few preventative measures you can take to prevent bites.

  • Shake footwear before sliding your feet in.
  • Check under your bedding before you go to bed.
  • Pull beds out from the walls.
  • Remove skirts from beds.
  • Make sure covers don't touch the floor.
  • Be cautious when going into storage areas.
  • Be cautious when opening boxes from storage.
  • Be cautious when moving furniture out of storage.

Remember that the team at Lindsey Pest Services is always here to help. We provide advanced pest control and friendly service in the Jacksonville area. Reach out to us for assistance with your black widow spider infestation, or for any other pest control issues you have. 


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