10 Ways to Get Rid and Kill Black Widow Spiders
Black widow spiders are not only horrendous, but they can make you sick. These spiders are poisonous and are considered dangerous in North America. They can bite in defense and inject some venom, which isn’t deadly to humans. It can be challenging to locate a black widow spider, as it likes to hide in undisturbed, dark places of your house.
Below is everything you need to know about identifying black widow spiders and how to get rid of black widows in your house.
Identifying Black Widow Spiders
The first step on how to get rid of black widows is to identify them by their appearance. Adult black widows are about an eighth of an inch to 1.5 inches in length. These spiders are black with bright red markings, although you may come across some brown ones with orange markings.
Female black widows have an orange or bright red marking on their back. The mark develops once the spider reaches maturity. Black widows have two body parts that are the head and a cephalothorax. Their front and back legs point forward and backward. Their middle pairs of legs lead away from their bodies.
The females are bigger than males. Male black widows are harmless. Also, these spiders build messy webs without structure or order compared to other spiders that build neat webs. On the other hand, the male black widow spiders have longer legs in proportion to the females. Furthermore, males may have white and red stripes on their abdomen , depending on the species.
Where do Black Widow Spiders Live?
These spiders are elusive, and you’ll find them on the underside of plants, ledges, rocks, and debris. Black widows can also hide in closets, cluttered areas, dark corners, and garages. They thrive in temperate regions and will move indoors when it gets cold.
What do Black Widow Spiders Eat?
Black widows eat flies, ants, and other pests. Homes with an insect problem may attract these spiders.
Black Widow Spider Habits
The female black widow hardly leaves the web, and only retreats when looking for prey. The web has coarse silk, and it’s tangled and irregular. The spider can change the web depending on her needs. She hangs upside down and spends most of her day hours.
The spider uses her silk to capture her victims and wrap it around the prey. Once it’s covered with silk, the spider injects venom, killing the prey. The prey can be preserved for later feeding or eaten immediately.
The female is protective and stays close to her egg sacs. The sacs are half an inch long and are brown and oval. One pouch can hold up to 700 eggs, which have a 20-day incubation period. Old black widow spiders die after laying eggs.
Also, the females can store sperm and use it to produce more eggs without needing a make to mate. Female black widows can live for more than three years.
Black Widow Spider Bites
Black widow spiders are not aggressive unless provoked. These spiders are beneficial as they eat insects. However, the females bite in defence. The spider delivers toxic venom that consists of neurotoxins that can affect the nervous system. A black widow spider bite appears like red puncture marks on the skin. You may not notice that the spider has bitten until later.
After half an hour, you may notice symptoms like itching; redness, swelling, and you may develop pain at the bite site. If you see small fang marks with red spots, this could indicate a black widow spider bite. You may also notice other symptoms like teary eyes, severe stomach pain, nausea, difficulty breathing, and muscle cramps.
Although a black widow spider bite can be venomous, it doesn’t result in severe health complications. Nonetheless, the bite can be life-threatening for older people, children, and those with other medical conditions.
You should get immediate medical attention if you suspect a black widow spider bite. Tylenol can help relieve minor symptoms. Use soap and water to clean up the bite site, and apply a cold compress to the bite location.
How to Get Rid of Black Widow Spiders
While it’s challenging to keep the black widow spiders away, you can use a black widow repellent to get rid of these pests. Below are some tips on how to get rid of black widows.
Use of Chemical Measures
You may need to use several application methods to get rid of black widows. Also, you may need to use different types of pesticides like sprays, dust, and liquid spot treatments.
Liquid spot treatments are available in powder form. You need to mix the powder with water and use it as a residual spray. Look for powders with cypermethrin as an active ingredient.
Dust pesticides works well for crawl spaces, basements, wall voids, and attics. Find products like Delta Dust and Drione Dust insecticide. Plant-based insecticidal dusts are also useful. You can also use sprays for direct contact. For example, if you spot a black widow spider, hit it with a non-residual aerosol spray. Find sprays that contain pyrethrins, as they are safe to use and have a quick kill time.
Concentrates are also ideal in getting rid of black widows. All you need is to spray the concentrate around vent openings, patio areas, basements, garages, and window frames. Don’t forget to sprinkle dust insecticide around your foundation.
Eliminate the Egg Sacs
Use bleach to get rid of egg sacs. That will help prevent a black widow spider infestation.
Squish the Spiders
Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way to get rid of black widow spiders. However, you need to be careful as the female black widows are defensive, and they might run towards you and bite.
Seal the Cracks
Another way to starve off black widow spiders and kill them is to seal any holes or cracks in the pathways, ground, and exterior walls.
Get Sticky Traps
Invest in a trap and put some glue on it. You can place potential prey like dead insects to attract the spiders.
Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
DE is effective in removing household pests like the western black widow, hobo spiders, and brown recluse spiders.
Get rid of black widows by using a vacuum cleaner to remove egg sacks and spider webs. Removing these will create an unfavorable environment for the black widows to thrive.
Call in an Exterminator
Sometimes handling a black widow infestation can be challenging. If you’ve noticed cobwebs and egg sacs around, that could indicate a severe spider problem. Also, spiders seek out structures to avoid extreme temperatures and to hunt for food. A house infested with other insects can provide a convenient food source, leading to an infestation.
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, you need the help of a professional pest control company. The professionals have the skill and experience to exterminate the spiders on the spot. Also, they will assess the infestation and recommend the best treatment plan. They will advise on the steps to take to prevent a re-infestation.
Black Widow Control Tips
Apart from using a black widow deterrent, you can take specific measures to control black widow spider like:
Get Rid of Clutter
Eliminate any clutter you may have around your house, including storage areas like garages. Avoid leaving things around like newspapers, blankets, clothes, boxes, or anything else that may act as a hiding spot. Rearrange furniture to find any place the spiders may hide. Also, avoid storing firewood indoors.
Get a Dehumidifier
Black widow spiders love moisture as it provides them with a source of water. Use a dehumidifier to dry off any moisture around your house.
You can control and prevent a black widow infestation by using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. Ensure that you clean around the house, behind furniture, and on any corner in your attic. Spend time cleaning your garage, the basement, and attic.
Get rid of any eggs sacs lying around. Remove the vacuum bag once you’re done and place it in a tight plastic bag. Throw it in the trash.
Seal any Cracks and Holes
Inspect your house for cracks and holes in your foundation. Seal the cracks to prevent an infestation. You can also apply a pesticide with pyrethrin to avoid future infestations.
Always Wear Gloves When Gardening
Do not handle firewood or other debris without gloves. That could lead to painful and itchy bites. Also, avoid going barefoot.
Spray Your House
You can find pesticides that contain natural ingredients. Spider repellents help to kill spiders. Always read the directions and warnings before use, and keep the chemicals away from children until the spray is dry.
Maintain Your Yard and Gardens
Ensure that you regularly maintain the trees, gardens, and shrubs around the house’s exterior. That helps to prevent overgrowth and reduce hiding places for black widow spiders and their prey. Dispose of neglected, abandoned, and found nests.
If you use the above tips and nothing seems to work, call in a professional pest control service to get their help.
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