Black Widow Spider

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Latrodectus mactans
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Among the most feared spiders in the world for their infamous red hourglass, the black widow is actually more chill than the media may have led you to believe.

Threat Level
Nuisance Score


With different species cattered across the globe, these venomous arachnids are as fascinating as they are feared. While their compact bodies typically measure about an inch, their notorious reputation outmatches their size. Outfitted in a sleek, glossy black exoskeleton, their most distinctive feature is the striking red hourglass marking on their belly. While they are generally bashful, they will fiercely defend themselves if provoked and they feel there is no escape.

The male black widow on the other hand is much smaller than their female counterpart and is brown in color. Males don’t last very long as their existence is to mate with the females and shortly after, in most cases, the female eats the male.


In general, black widows are solitary spiders. They prefer gloomy, undisturbed hideouts like under boulders, in lumber stacks, or hidden corners of your basement. Rather than crafting elaborate webs, they like to keep things rather simple and fuss-free. 

They are impressive predators, dining on various insects like flies, mosquitoes, and crickets. Even though they’re the most venomous spider in North America, their bites are usually never fatal. In fact, there hasn’t been a reported death from a black widow spider bite since 1983.

Despite their feared appearance, black widows make for great population control of other nuisance pests.


You'll find black widows in an array of environments, from forests to grasslands, even making a home in our gardens. These spiders have a liking for warmer, arid climates but are surprisingly versatile. So yes, you might find black widows in the yard or even black widows in the garden while landscaping!

Human Interaction

Let's address the elephant, or umm, spider in the room: black widows can be a health concern. While their bite can be uncomfortable, inducing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches, it is rarely fatal. We recommend precautions like using gloves and long-sleeved attire when working around their favored habitats, checking shoes and clothing for unwanted visitors, and employing black widow prevention techniques.


How can I get rid of black widows?
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Pest Control

Pest control professionals employ diverse tactics to deal with black widows.

Insecticide sprays instantly kill black widows on contact. Traps, on the other hand, bait and subsequently eliminate them. Fumigation, another technique, involves using lethal gas to purge black widows within a confined area. 

However, the optimal black widow control approach relies heavily on the infestation's intensity and the type of black widow spiders present. A proficient pest control company can evaluate your situation and suggest the most effective solution.

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