Are Black Widow Spiders Really Dangerous?
Yes – they absolutely are! Although the male and immature black widow spiders are harmless, the female is the most venomous spider in North America. Her venom is up to 15 times as toxic as some rattlesnakes! Once she reaches adulthood there’s no mistaking her for any other species of spider. Her body is jet black and her webbing is irregular and extremely sticky. And her egg sacks look like white, roundish little cocoons. But its the striking red hourglass on her almost perfectly round abdomen that really catches our attention. It’s a feature that it unique to female black widow spiders.
Their lifespan is 1 – 3 years and they thrive in the Phoenix AZ area. She secures her egg sacks with her sticky webbing, usually in dark, out of the way places. Each egg sack contains about 750 babies. They are distributed by the wind on their first strand of webbing. As a result, they can show up just about anywhere. A regular, thorough pest control service by one of Goldshot’s Licensed Pest Pros will keep them under control. The home owner should always teach their children not to touch the spiders or their webbing. I tell my customers to knock the old webs down with a stick a few days after treatment. If they come back we know there’s still at least one spider hiding in there. Of course, our team guarantees their work and go back for a respray when that happens. Any reputable pest control company will do the same for spiders, including the black widows.
Extra tip: immature black widow spiders are sometimes referred to as brown widows. They don’t turn black until their last molt into adulthood and are a cream or light brown until then. Though smaller when immature, they do still have the same basic shape and make the same sticky webs.
Here’s some additional resources about a few other arachnids that are present in the Phoenix area:
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