Most Arizona residents are familiar with the black widow spider, an uninvited household occupant with a notorious painful bite. While the idea that black widow bites are fatal is a typical misconception, avoiding encounters with this arachnid is still in your best interest. Thus, it can be disconcerting to discover one taking up residence inside your home. However, a few simple steps should help you avoid a painful bite, as well as evict any unexpected eight-legged roommates you happen to find.
Most Black Widow Bites Come From Accidental Encounters
There’s no doubt that being bit by a black widow spider is incredibly painful. WebMD lists several usual aftereffects that most individuals experience, including vomiting, nausea, excessive chills or sweating, pain, muscle cramps and headaches. However, the notion that black widows are aggressive has no basis in fact. National Geographic’s animal information bank revealed that these solitary creatures are timid by nature, typically only biting in self-defense.
Most black widow encounters with humans are entirely accidental. Common scenarios including sitting on the hapless web-slinger, putting one’s foot into a shoe where eggs have been laid or reaching into a bag of grapes where one became an unwitting passenger. Nevertheless, they can take up residence in areas that are most prone to clutter: basements, sheds, attics, crawl spaces and wood piles. Since those locations can remain undisturbed for long periods of time, the spiders may deem them to be safe havens from intrusion by predators such as birds and reptiles.
How to Identify a Black Widow Spider
The adult female black widow spider is responsible for the painful bite and the symptoms that follow. She is usually identified by her telltale markings: large, distinctive bright red shapes on the underside of her very large and plump abdomen. Her exoskeleton is usually a shiny black or a very deep shade of brown. In contrast, males typically come in a shade of lighter brown or gray and exhibit a distinct pattern of red dots and white lines.
I Found a Black Widow Spider. What Do I Do?
If you discover black widow spiders in your house, remain calm. Do not attempt to handle the creatures on your own, as they may bite in defense. You should contact a pest control service immediately and request a home visit for inspection and extermination services. Once they are on site, technicians will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your home and craft a plan to eradicate these arachnids. Meanwhile, if you must venture into areas where they’ve been spotted, be sure to wear protective gloves and steer clear of donning open-toed footwear.
Finding black widow spiders in your home can be scary. Despite the fact that they are not aggressive, you still don’t want to take unnecessary risks. There are some useful steps you can employ to ensure that no one in your home is bitten. Watching where you sit, as well as not reaching into dark or covered areas sight unseen will usually help you steer clear. Also, avoiding direct handling of these arachnids and contacting a pest control company to deal with them is a smart part of staying safe.