Question: What should I do if I have found a black widow spider in my house?
ANSWER: The black widow spider (and the other species known as widow spiders) is not uncommon in many parts of the country. It is usually found in undisturbed places around the house. Common sites include wood piles, in and around downspouts, and in sheds. Another common site is in crawl spaces, near the entrance and near the circulation vents.
While this spider can deliver a very toxic venom, it is rarely provoked to bite people. The black widow spider makes a somewhat ”unorganized” web with a small central tunnel. The webs are usually in secluded places. Most often the female is seen in or near the web.
The telltale mark on the underside of the spider is not always an hourglass. The marking is always red, and the abdomen is always rounded and shiny, so this spider is easily distinguished from others. The male spider and the young spiderlings are marked with red, orange and white. They are small, inconspicuous and not as dangerous as the female.
If there are black widow spiders around, then it is always a good idea to wear gloves when working in that area. If a bite occurs, see a physician immediately.
Spiders are predators of other insects. The black widow is no exception. The best way to keep them out is to make sure that doors close snugly and are weather stripped. Check crawl space doors and vents to make sure they are closed or properly screened. Move firewood as far away from the house as possible. Elimination of their food sources is the best bet. Contact your local Orkin branch and request a comprehensive inspection of your home. The Orkin Pest Specialist will inspect the inside and outside. Upon completion of the inspection, the Pest Specialist will generate a customized treatment plan that will include recommendations on elimination of conditions conducive for insects as well as treatment protocols for your home.
Black Widow Spider