Black Widow Spiders

There are two key facts that most Texans need to know when it comes to the black widow spider(Latrodectus mactans). One, that you might not want to hear, but they’re common to Texas. Second, just one bite can be deadly if not treated immediately. Fortunately for its victims, this spider is slow-moving and has a distinct red hourglass on its abdomen, making them easy to spot before making contact.

A bite from a black widow will cause pain and, in extreme cases, lead to death by preventing organs from functioning properly. If you so happen to get bitten by a black widow spider, immediately seek medical attention.

Most often, you will find black widows under eves and overhangs, in grills and woodpiles, and behind furniture. If you spend time outdoors, you will most likely come into contact with a black widow in and around Texas homes. Pay close attention to children and pets while outdoors. They are both most vulnerable to black widow bites.

Most people would agree that black widows are actually fascinating-looking creatures, which adds to their danger around young children. The male black widow is nocturnal and rarely seen. A female black widow will eat the male after mating.

The female black widow is about half an inch long with a round, shiny black body and reddish hourglass on its underside. She builds her web in dry areas away from moisture. A female black widow will lay between 100 and 1,000 eggs in a silken sac attached to the underside of wooden objects, in garages, in wall cracks, under rocks, in crevices, under grills, and in furniture. The eggs of black widows are sticky and adhere to whatever they are attached to. The baby spiders hatch on their own after one to three weeks.

Black widows sometimes target insects when they are hungry, but primarily they hunt by waiting in the dark corners of a room. A female black widow will bite you when she feels threatened. If this happens, do not panic. Its venom is more dangerous in young children and the elderly and very painful to their nervous systems.