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Spiders don't need venom to scare people. For many, the eight legs and intimidating look of spiders is enough to send shivers down their spines. And while most spiders in Fort Worth can't do much harm to you, the black widow is one exception. It's one of the few spiders in the country that can send you to the hospital, and there are a few things you should know about it.

black widow spider with egg sac

Black Widows Are Black

Black widows are shiny and black and named for the tendency females of the species have to eat their mates. While the males are all black, females have a red hourglass on their bottom abdomen. These Fort Worth spiders don't like to be disturbed, so they tend to build webs in basements and other unused areas of the home.

Black Widow Bites Are Dangerous

Male black widows aren't very dangerous to humans, but the females are. The venom of a female black widow is enough to send you to the hospital. As soon as the spider bites you, a neurotoxin gets into your blood. The pain doesn't usually come until about one to three hours after a bite, and it can remain painful for as long as 24 hours.
 
Typically, black widow bites cause fever, chills, vomiting, and other undesired symptoms. Although deaths from black widow bites are rare, they do happen. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the venom. In any case, you should seek medical attention if you receive a bite.

Black Widows Aren't Aggressive

Contrary to popular belief, black widows aren't eager to bite people. They tend only to bite when they have eggs, and people get too close to their web. If there are no eggs to protect, the spiders usually wait for contact to bite. You would need to press up against a black widow to make them anxious enough to bite you.

Black Widows Don't Want To Be In Your Home

For the most part, black widows are happy to remain outside. They only head inside when there's an abundance of food waiting for them or if it's freezing outside. Even then, black widows will only take residence in dark and damp places.

Black Widows Can Be Prevented

You don't need to live in fear of black widows. If you want to protect your home, you can take a few preventative measures. For instance, you can store firewood away from your home. It's not uncommon for black widows to live in piles of firewood. The further you store your firewood from your home, the less likely spiders are to come indoors.
 
By keeping other pests out of your home, you make your property less appealing to black widows. So, general pest prevention tips work well to keep black widows away. These tips include:

  • Proper food and trash storage

  • Sealing up gaps around your windows and doors

  • Repairing broken screens

  • Closing up cracks and holes in your foundation

  • Maintaining a clean home

  • Making an effort to declutter frequently

Limiting the moisture in your home can also make the environment less appealing to black widows. If you have high humidity in your basement, use a dehumidifier. Likewise, fix any plumbing issues that cause moisture to build up. 

You Can Count On A Professional

When it comes to black widows, you need the ultimate prevention. Although black widow bites aren't common, they can happen. Only a professional is capable of protecting your home.
 
When you work with the All-Safe Pest & Termite team, you know your home is in good hands. Whether you want to keep black widows away or you need advice on pest prevention, call us. 

Tags: spider control | black widow dangers | black widow prevention |

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