Black Widow Spider Identification & Prevention

Often recognized by its reddish-orange hourglass shape on its belly.

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Black widow spiders are venomous spiders found in Kentucky and our service area. With venom known to travel through a victim's bloodstream and affect the nervous system when injected, it is clear that the black widow spider is a dangerous arachnid to encounter. Black widow spider bites may also cause severe cramping in the abdomen muscles and the back, fevers, tremors, and labored breathing, among others. Though bites don't typically end in death, and it is rare to have long-term complications, seek immediate medical attention if a black widow spider has bitten you.

Biology And Behavior

black widow in the dark
  • Glossy black with a distinct reddish-orange hourglass shape on the belly.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows of four. 
  • Females can be approximately 1 1/2 inches around when they extend their legs.
  • Males are about half of their size and are harmless since they will very rarely bite a human.
  • Frequently found in sheds, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and woodpiles.

Black Widow Spider Prevention Tips

  • Watch out for black widow spiders in areas that are dark, warm, and secluded.
  • Decrease clutter in areas that are not frequently disturbed.
  • Contact a pest control company if you’ve noticed spiders in your home or business.
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