Black Widow Spider
Of the approximate 30,000 different types of spiders, perhaps the best known species (and possibly most feared) is the Black Widow spider. The name Black Widow is derived from the mistaken belief, that the female spider customarily kills and eats the male spider after mating.
An adult, female, Black Widow spider measures about 3/8 of an inch long. She is easy to identify, because of her large, black, glossy abdomen with its unmistakable red hour glass underneath. Black Widow spiders are commonly found wherever there’s an insect and water supply. Typically, these nocturnal spiders avoid coming inside homes; waiting outside for their next insect meal. Some of their favorite dwellings include: garages, barbeque grills, patio furniture, wood piles, storage areas, sheds, pool pumps, and in the corners of patios and porches. Occasionally, Black Widow spiders have been discovered hiding in dark corners and crevices, in homes and structures throughout most of the United States. Traditional spider control methods can help reduce their appearance in and around these areas.
It’s important to note, that only the female Black Widow spiders will bite humans. Additionally, the female Black Widow will only become aggressive if she is disturbed, or when protecting her eggs from potential harm. When a female Black Widow spider does bite, she does so with one of the most potent venoms secreted by any animal on the planet. Although people rarely die from a Black Widow spider bite, victims may experience local pain, severe muscle cramps, abdominal pain, weakness and tremors. In more severe cases, nausea, vomiting, fainting, dizziness, chest pain and respiratory difficulties may follow. If a victim experiences any of the more severe symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Note, the male Black Widow spider is a lot smaller than the female, and is actually brown and white in color. The male spider cannot bite humans because of his size, so they are not considered to be as dangerous as the female Black Widow.