Shiny black in color with red markings that sometimes resemble an hourglass; 1 1/2 – 1 3/8 inches in length
Diet: Like other spider species, black widows’ food source primarily consists of insects including ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, and cockroaches.
Habitat: Black widows favor dark, secluded locations that are dry. In homes, they come in through cracks and crevices or boxes. They often are found in dimly lit rooms like garages, basements, and even cluttered areas. Outdoors, they prefer dark, undisturbed areas on the ground or within rocks.
Threats: Black widows are typically non-aggressive but will bite if provoked or accidentally touched. Symptoms will begin within 20 minutes to an hour, resulting in nausea, chills, stiffness, and a fever. Seek medical attention if a bite is suspected or symptoms occur. If you suspect you are dealing with black widow spiders, contact pest control professionals.
Control: For preventative measures, store firewood away from the structure at least 20 feet. When moving furniture, especially outdoor or patio sets, wear protective gloves. Reduce hiding spots, so keep clutter to a minimum in basements, closets, and garages.