Black Widow Myths

You’ve probably heard of the infamous black widow spider and the fact that they live here in Arizona. However, did you know that they are considered one of the most venomous spiders in North America? With these credentials it’s hard not to stomp on any spider you see but you may not have to. There are many true and false statements surrounding black widows so we’ve got a few tips to keep you from running any time you see a black spider.

Myth 1: Black Widows Are Aggressive

Fact: Scientists recently completed a study on animal behavior to test the outcome when black widows were poked versus when they were pinched. The findings show that these fierce sounding spiders are actually quite shy and only bite if really provoked. So only when the spiders feel truly threatened by a predator or say, accidentally being stepped on by a human, will the black widow try to bite. To help avoid threatening these little spiders, it is always a good idea to be careful where you step, wear gloves and close-toed shoes when working in garages or sheds. Also, be sure to wash all produce before consumption. It’s not common but black widows can accidentally come home in fruit from the grocery store.

Myth 2: Black Widow Bites Are Fatal

Fact: Before the creation of antivenin, black widow bites were recorded as being fatal about five percent of the time, but now are considered rarely fatal to humans. According to statistics from Poison Control Centers, 23,000 black widow bites were reported between 2000-2008 but no one died from any of those bites. As long as you seek medical care after a bite from a black widow, then proper procedures can be taken to ensure there are no fatal consequences. This is especially important for the elderly, immunocompromised, and young children, as their reactions could be more severe.

Myth 3: Black Widows Live Outside

Fact: Although black widows would happily make their home in a woodpile, these spiders like to set up shop in any dark, secluded area. So that could mean closets, basements, corners of garages, cluttered areas or behind your favorite chair that has never been moved. Identifying traits of a black widows are their black, shiny color with the signature red hour-glass shape on their abdomen and they make messy webs that often have no pattern. To avoid being hospitable to black widows be sure to vacuum and clean all areas inside your home on a regular basis, especially dark corners or behind furniture that isn’t moved very often. Also, keeping your home free from other pests which are the spiders’ food source will help deter them. Take a look at our tips for black widow and prevention and with regular pest control you should be able to keep your home free from these pests.

Now that you have some of the truths about black widows we hope you make the important decision to call a professional pest control company if you see these spiders. We travel throughout the Valley, including Queen Creek, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert so don’t hesitate to contact us today for spider pest control.

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