A Helpful Guide To Black Widow Spiders For Sacramento Property Owners

a black widow spider on her web

Nothing is scarier than being bitten by a spider and not knowing what will happen next. A small part of you might hope to get superpowers, but nine times out of ten, nothing serious follows. Most often, there is a bit of pain and discomfort, maybe a bit of swelling, but nothing life-threatening. With black widow bites, however, you do have something to be concerned about. If you don’t know much about these dangerous spiders, but know you don’t want them roaming around inside your Sacramento home, here is a helpful guide for you to use.

What Are Black Widow Spiders?

Black widows are large black spiders with bulbous abdomens and a distinct red hourglass shape on their underside. Around homes these 1 ½- 1 ⅜” long pests will hang out in secluded, dark, and warm places. To catch prey, black widows weave irregular webs near the ground. Once they have built their web, black widow spiders will hang upside-down and wait until they catch a meal.

It takes a full year for black widows to fully mature and grow to their full size. Typically they will overwinter as younglings, develop into adults come spring, and pass away in winter as temperatures drop, most often after laying their eggs. Despite popular belief, female black widows do not eat their mates. Although it does happen from time to time, it is by no means a common occurrence.

The Dangers Of Black Widow Spiders

Black widows are one of the two most dangerous spiders that live here in America. Unlike other species of spider, whose bites only cause minor irritation and pain, a bite from a black widow is a cause for serious concern. If bitten by one of these spiders, you might experience symptoms including minor to sharp pain immediately following the bite, and swelling, and reddening around the bite zone. Following will be muscle cramps or spasms, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, sweating, severe body pain, and headaches. In severe cases, stupor, restlessness, shock, and severe high blood pressure may occur.

Although it is rare, fatalities related to black widow bites do occur each year. If one of these dangerous pests bites you, seek medical attention immediately to minimize symptoms and your chances of more serious injury will drop to practically zero.

A Few Prevention Tips For Black Widows

To keep black widows out of your home, you must also prevent the other pests they invade to hunt. To do this, use these general pest prevention tips.

  • Trim your grass regularly.
  • Make sure your trees and bushes are properly maintained.
  • Eliminate piles of leaves, clutter, and organic debris from your yard.
  • Use a caulking gun to fill in holes, gaps, and cracks in the exterior of your home.
  • Make sure your window/door screens are ripped and tear-free.
  • Fix or replace weatherstripping around your home that is damaged.
  • If you have not already, install door sweeps under exterior doors.
  • Thoroughly clean your home at least once a week.
  • Store leftover foods inside airtight containers.
  • Clean out your pet’s food and water bowls after they are done with them.
  • Repair leaky piping and fixtures around your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity down.
  • Make sure your gutters are working properly.

What To Do If Your Home Has Black Widows

For advice or assistance with black widow spiders, reach out to the professionals at Neighborly Pest Management. Our team will guide you through your problem, and schedule an emergency visit to have these dangerous spiders removed from your home as soon as possible. Give us a call today at Neighborly Pest Management to find a general pest control plan that will help keep black widows and the pests they invade to hunt out of your Sacramento home.