Black widow spiders are known to be one of the most venomous spiders in the United States. It is important to know that while all spiders have fangs and venom, only widows and recluses have fangs long enough to penetrate human skin and venom strong enough to hurt humans.
The black widow species is known for the female’s unique appearance, which consists of a shiny black body with a red or orange hourglass marking on the abdomen. Female black widows are larger than males at about 1 ½ of an inch and males about half that size. Males also lack the iconic look that females do. Instead, males have a light grayish coloring with reddish-pink spots on their backs.
This species prefers to build their webs close to the ground in secluded areas lightly trafficked by people. Black widows aren’t aggressive and tend to avoid humans, but they will bite if threatened. Because black widows can pose dangers, you should know more about them as a Raleigh, North Carolina resident.
How Dangerous Are Black Widows?
As stated above, black widows will usually only bite if they feel threatened, which means it is a rare occurrence. However, it can still happen, which is why you should know the signs and symptoms and what to do.
Only female black widows are the ones you have to worry about being venomous. If you are bitten by one, the bite will appear swollen with two red puncture marks. A rash and itching can form around the bite site, and you may start to feel weakness, achy muscles, and chills. Other symptoms can include fever and difficulty breathing.
While black widow bites are rarely fatal, they are cause for medical attention, especially for those who may be allergic or have a weakened immune system. You should also take extra measures if you believe a child or pet has been bitten, which may affect them more severely.
How Can I Prevent Black Widows?
One specific tip that is beneficial in keeping black widows away from your property is removing woodpiles or using a sealed storage container for wood. This is because wood piles provide a ground-level hiding place that these spiders like so much. In the same vein, it is important to keep the interior and exterior of your home clutter-free, including removing excess foliage and keeping storage containers appropriately organized.
When it comes to keeping any spider species away, it is essential to remove or limit the factors that attract prey pests. You can do this by:
- Keep outdoor lights off or dimmed at night as often as possible.
- Store all opened food in air-tight containers, including pet food.
- Don’t leave pet food or dirty dishes out overnight.
- Take out waste frequently and utilize bins that close properly.
- Sweep, vacuum, and wipe down floors and surfaces regularly to remove crumbs and spills.
- Clean underneath heave appliances when possible.
- Remove standing water and other moisture issues from your property by cleaning out gutters regularly, fixing any leaks, and making sure not to overwater plants.
- Fill in any cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
- Make sure all exterior doors and windows have screens, door sweeps, and weather stripping.
How Can Professionals Help With Black Widows?
Want more advice and assistance when it comes to black widow spiders? Contact the professionals at Innovative Pest Solutions for all your residential pest control needs. Our experienced team of technicians has the skills and knowledge needed to keep your Raleigh, North Carolina property pest-free. Call us today to learn more about how we can assist you with black widows and other pests.