Southern Black Widow

Black Widow

These highly venomous spiders are a species native to North America. They are typically around an inch long, and females display what can look like a red hourglass or skull on the bottom of their shiny black body. They are typically found in the southern reaches of America, and while they are not usually fatal to healthy humans, any bite from these spiders should be treated as a medical emergency. If you find a black widow on your property, alert us at Burns and we’ll make sure your home and your family is protected.

Black Widow spiders can be identified by their solid, shiny black appearance with distinct red hourglass markings on the underside of their abdomen. They favor dark, secluded areas and tend to reside in basements, dark corners of closets, attics, etc. The black widow spider features a unique comb foot on its hind legs which it uses to throw silk over captured prey. These spiders are shy, nocturnal creatures that feed on ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, and even scorpions! These spiders prefer solidarity, they do not venture out in search of prey and can be found in their disorganized webs. They can go as long as a year without food – which makes them highly resilient in unfavorable conditions.

Although the black widow spider is not aggressive by nature, its bite is highly venomous. It is considered the most venomous spider in North America and is reported to release a venom that is 15 times more toxic than a rattlesnake’s! Surprisingly, black widow spider bites rarely result in death, with the human mortality rate below 1%. But bites can cause extreme nausea, profuse perspiration, tremors, convulsions, and unconsciousness. The elderly and children are most susceptible to serious reactions. Any bite received from a black widow spider should be treated as a medical emergency. If you spot a black widow spider on your property it is best to contact professionals at Burns to help you assess and remove the threat from your home.