Skip to Content

Just How Dangerous Is Terre Haute’s Black Widow Spider?

a black widow spider on a web

Spiders are a common pest to deal with in residences and businesses, but most of them are harmless save for an itchy bite or two. Other spiders pose far greater health risks, and, while rare, encounters with certain venomous spiders can lead to hospital trips. The black widow spider is one such pest, and knowing how to spot them and prevent them from moving onto your property could save you some medical bills.

How To Spot Black Widow Spiders

Black widow spiders in Terre Haute are one of the most recognizable spider varieties out there, thanks to the commercial popularity of their name and appearance. Even still, they are stealthy and nocturnal, so knowing where they are likely to hang out might just save you from a scare in the dark corners of your property:

  • Color & pattern: Black widow spiders are indeed black with a crimson  (sometimes brown or light-colored in younger spiders) hourglass shape on their bellies. From the top, they are jet black, with two pairs of longer legs and two pairs of short ones.
  • Size: Black widow spiders are among the largest of the invasive spider species that you’re likely to find. Adult female black widows are larger than males and can grow a couple of inches, including leg span.
  • Nests: Like all spiders, black widows spin two kinds of webs, the ones they use for catching prey and the ones they use as nesting and resting areas. The hunting variety can be found just about anywhere, but the nesting webs, which are where black widows tend to hang out during the day, are found in dark, woody areas. Basements, patios, and woodpiles are all common places to run into black widows.

Rare But Dangerous Bites

Black widows are one of the most dangerous spiders in North America, second only to the brown recluse in venom toxicity. While black widows are more likely to flee or hide from large creatures rather than bite them, punctures can occur, and medical attention should be sought immediately. Aside from the local swelling and burning sensation that immediately accompanies a black widow bite, the following are common symptoms:

  • Dizziness: Venom causes your body’s blood pressure to rise as it circulates through your bloodstream, which can cause light-headedness. As the toxin reaches the nervous system, some people experience headaches, too.
  • Nausea & vomiting: Our bodies’ reaction to being poisoned is to retch it up, though this won’t help an intravenous spider bite. The only antivenom can counteract the effects.
  • Muscle spasms: In bugs, a black widow’s bite completely immobilizes them so that they can be packaged for feeding without too much struggle. Humans and pets are too big to be petrified like this, but the venom can affect muscle groups, even in areas away from the bite itself.

Household Spider Prevention

Keeping black widow spiders away from your property is as much a matter of general pest prevention as it is about keeping spiders themselves away. Like all spiders, black widows eat other bugs, so they are only driven indoors to hunt prey that might be attracted inside. Implementing these proper prevention measures for your property can curb infestations of all kinds:

  • Food waste & storage: Foraging bugs like ants will search high and low for food, including inside cupboards, walls, and all the hard-to-reach places of a structure. Cleanliness is important, especially in the often neglected areas like under appliances or furniture. Also making sure that food and trash are sealed in tight containers will deter bugs.
  • Moisture control: Pests of all kinds are attracted to pools of moisture or areas where it’s dark and dank. Proper pipe maintenance, as well as ventilation in rooms like bathrooms and kitchens, will reduce these factors.
  • Wood storage: For bugs that like woody areas, like black widows, woodpiles that are kept too close to a structure can mean easy access indoors. Store wood and other materials well away from the exterior of your home or business.

Spider Control From Action Pest

As with all pest control, the safest way is the professional way -- even more so with potentially dangerous spiders like black widows. To make sure you’re taking the proper precautions, and for a thorough inspection of your Terre Haute home or business for spiders and other pests that attract them, you can trust Action Pest Control. Our experts will not only advise you on proper steps and the likelihood of an infestation, but our proven methods will actually remove the pests rather than just cover up the signs.

When black widow spiders are a concern, turn to Action Pest Control right away! Reach out today, to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Terre Haute.