Black Widow Spiders

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Spider Extermination

There are only two types of venomous spiders found in Fort Worth, Texas: The Brown Recluse and the Black Widow. Call Pest Solutions & Exterminators of Fort Worth or another professional exterminator immediately if you need help with poisonous spiders.

Black widows are often found in or under objects where their presence is not immediately obvious. If you know that you have a poisonous spider infestation, it is recommended that while performing activities where you cannot see where your hands are being placed, you should wear gloves to prevent being bitten by a spider you can’t see. Also, clothing should be checked before wearing–especially if unused for a considerable time–as they may be hiding in it. Around homes, they may live in out-houses, garages, cellars, furniture, shrubbery, ventilators, rain spouts, gas and electric meters and other undisturbed places.

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There are four species of widow spiders native to the area:

Southern Black Widow: This is the most common type of widow spider. This is often what people think of when thinking of a black widow. The southern Black Widow is glossy jet black all over, including body and legs. The only red marks are the bright red hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen, and a red spot just above the spinnerets. Southern Black Widows are common all throughout Texas.

Northern Black Widow: The Northern Black Widow is similar to the southern black widow, with the exception of its hourglass mark which is broken into 2 triangle-shaped markings with a row of red spots down the middle of the back. The web of the Northern Black Widow is a large tangled mess which is generally found at the tip of a low tree branch.

Western Black Widow: Western Black Widows are a glossy jet-black, with a bright-red hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. The hourglass of the Western Black Widow is typically complete, with the bottom half (farthest from the head) being slimmer and not as wide as the top half of the hourglass. Immature Western Black Widows can vary greatly in the way they are marked on the top of their back. Typically they have red or white spots running down the middle of their back. Sometimes they will also have red and white markings patterned down the sides of the abdomen.

Brown Widow: Brown Widows vary in color from white to black, although typically, they are a light to medium brown, with an orange hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen. The Brown Widows leg segments are banded, with one half of each segment lighter in color than the other half. Its back often has a row of white spots (rarely they will be orange or light blue), and there are a few white stripes on each side. Darker Brown Widows lack these markings and are difficult to distinguish from black widows. They can sometimes be identified by their eggsac if it is present. Brown Widow eggsacs resemble a sandspur and are tan, spherical, and have many small tufts of silk sticking out from them, while the other widows make white, smooth eggsacs tending to be pear-shaped.

The Brown Widow is usually extremely timid and has rarely been reported to bite. The brown widow’s webs may occur anywhere that there is sufficient space to make one. The Brown Widow reproduces frequently and disperses rapidly, which makes it a very hard spider to control.

Generally, widow spiders are very timid and only bite in self-defense. Bite symptoms of widow spiders are systemic, spreading through the body via the lymphatic system. The symptoms usually start about 1-3 hours after the bite has occurred. The most common symptoms of a widow bite are intense pain, rigid abdominal muscles, muscle cramping, nausea, vomiting, general malaise (not feeling well), local sweating and hypertension (high blood pressure). If left untreated, bite symptoms will generally last 3-5 days. Treatment for a bite includes calcium gluconate and/or antivenin which is administered to relieve or counteract symptoms.

You can get more information on black widows as well as other spiders in Texas by going to the Texas DSHS site here.

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For all of your spider control needs give our Fort Worth spider exterminators a call! Many times, harmless spiders enter your property in search of food, which just happends to be other small insects and bugs. In order to completely eliminate spiders, you’ll need to target these other small bugs as well. Call us today and we can provide more information on our spider control solutions. 

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