Black Widow Spider Identification & Prevention

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Frequently Asked Questions About Black Widow Spiders

black widow spider

What are black widow spiders?

Black widow spiders are among the most famous (and most dangerous) spiders in our home state. These spiders are easy to identify, thanks to their unique look. They are hairless and shiny, midnight black, and have long, spindly legs coming out of their round bodies. Females also have a bright red hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomens. If you see a spider that looks like this, beware. A bite from its fangs packs a serious punch.

Are black widow spiders dangerous?

Black widow spiders are one of only two dangerous spider species in the United States (the other being the brown recluse spider). Though it is typically not deadly, the black widow has the most toxic venom of all spiders on the continent. It's neurotoxin can cause significant and distressing symptoms, including:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting 

  • Muscle spasms 

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Severe pain 

  • Headache

  • Confusion 

  • Trouble breathing

If bitten by a black widow, you should seek medical attention right away. This is especially true for small children, who can sometimes be in mortal danger from this spider.

Why do I have a black widow spider problem?

Black widow spiders are like all Nebraska spiders in the sense that they don't really want anything in our houses. They don't eat our food, and they don't need us for anything else. This means the only thing that will attract black widows and other spiders into your home is an infestation of their favorite prey. These spiders eat flying and jumping prey like flies, moths, crickets, and other insects, so if you have an infestation of one of these bugs in your house, you run the risk of attracting black widows in large numbers.

Where will I find black widow spiders?

Black widow spiders prefer to hide in dark corners away from activity. They also, of course, prefer hiding spots with a high concentration of their prey. This means you will find them in places like eaves, outdoor outlet covers, holes, basements, sheds, crawl spaces, and other dark, confined hiding places. Black widows will also crawl into sheltered light fixtures if the fixtures are attracting flying insects like moths. That's why it's important to check things like sconces and electric or plumbing boxes before reaching your hand inside.

How do I get rid of black widow spiders?

Unfortunately, black widows can be one of the toughest types of spiders in Nebraska to get rid of once you have an established infestation. This is mostly because they are so good at hiding, which makes them difficult to find and eradicate. Their potent venom also adds an element of danger to attempting to eliminate them that is not present with most other spider species. 

The fact that black widows can be so dangerous is the main reason why you should call the Omaha spider experts here at Quality Pest Control. We can protect your Omaha home from these venomous predators, keeping you and your family safe.

How can I prevent black widow spiders in the future?

The good news is that you can take a few measures on your own to prevent black widows and other local spiders from ever setting up shop in your home. The best way to do this is to keep spider prey outside where it belongs. Keeping food stored properly and garbage covered tightly can go a long way. Fixing moisture problems that can attract multiple types of insects can also help. In addition, you will want to inspect the exterior of your home and seal any cracks or holes you find there.

If even your best efforts to prevent black widows don't succeed, you should avoid trying to eliminate an infestation yourself. This can result in serious bites that need expensive medical intervention. That's why the best thing to do if you start seeing black widow spiders around your home is contact professional Omaha spider control here at Quality Pest Control.

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