Black Widow Spiders
Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape
under their abdomen. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders
rarely devour the male black widow spider after mating.
||Black, with characteristic red "hourglass" on back
||3/4" length; 3/8" in diameter
Black widow spiders spin their webs near ground level. They often
build their webs in protected areas, such as in boxes and in
Black widow spiders are often found around wood piles and gain
entry into a structure when firewood is carried into a building.
They are also found under eaves, in boxes, and other areas where
they are undisturbed.
The venom of a black widow spider is a neurotoxin and is used as a
defense. Black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. The
black widow spider bite can cause severe pain. Young children and
the elderly are especially susceptible to a severe reaction to a
black widow spider bite.
Avoid black widow spider bites by wearing heavy gloves when moving
items that have been stored for a long period of time. Spiders
often hide in shoes, so check shoes and shake them out before
wearing. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting
your hands or feet in that area.