Black Widow is a general term for the spiders of the genus Latrodectus, with the most common in North America as well as the world being the Latrodectus Mactans. Most of the Black Widows that people see are female, due to the fact the female kills the male after mating, hence the moniker "Black Widow".
The Black Widow is most easily identified by the red-yellow hourglass shape found on the spider. Sometimes it can be seen as two opposing triangles with points facing one another instead of the hourglass. This iconic pattern can be found on the shiny black globular abdomen of the spiders. Red and white stripes also accompany the males abdomen although they are about one quarter the size of females.
If you are tired of finding dangerous spiders, like the Black Widow, within reach of pets and children, it’s time to call Fortified Pest. We have worked with customers over the years to find reasonable solutions to their spider problems without using extra chemicals. This means that children and pets are less likely to come in contact with pesticides that can harm them. Along with environmentally friendly methods to remove spiders from your home, we also take the time to make sure our team has been licensed, insured, and bonded.
Black Widow spiders are common across the earth in temperate climate zones. In the United States we find Black Widows more heavily concentrated to the West and South. The Black Widow can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
With the different genders of Black Widow having such drastic life spans it not hard to see how they acquired their common name, with males living just 1-2 months and females averaging about 3 years. The Black Widow females produce egg sacs that contain anywhere from 200-900 eggs each. The juvenile Black Widows are cannibalistic and not many will survive the time it takes to reach maturity, which is about 3 months.
Black Widows are generally a creature of solitude, except during the spring when females gather to mate with and then eat males. Thankfully this spider is not considered to be aggressive, only biting humans when provoked.
Going with the trend of the majority of the pests in the Las Vegas and Clark County area, Black Widows are most likely to invade your safe space at home or work in the winter months or during the intense heat of the summer. Black Widows are nocturnal so if their web is in the light, they will spend the day in their nest and run their web for food at night, however if their web is in a low light area, like your basement, shed, under the deck, they may be active during the same hours you are.
Black Widows prefer dark or dimly lit, dry areas to make their nests and webs. This means there are lots of places in and around your home you may find them. Keep an eye out for webs around the outside of your home, in your garage, basement, under sinks or in cabinets, and definitely any small uninsulated sheds or barns you may have on the property.
While death is not common from female Black Widow bites to healthy adults, even though their venom is 15x stronger than that of a rattlesnake, children and the elderly are at a very real risk of death if bitten. (Males do not pose the same level of risk for humans) The bite of the Black Widow can feel very faint, like a small pin prick, with intense pain setting in within minutes. The specifics of each bite depends on the exact species of Widow but most include nausea, profuse sweating, severe pain in abdomen and back, muscle aches, hypertension and paralysis of the diaphragm, which can cause difficulty in breathing. Remember just because males do not pose a serious health risk for humans does not mean that your pets are safe from them as well.