Black widow spiders are perhaps the number one home pest here in Utah, and they are especially a concern for Utah homeowners because of their fatal bite. Here is what you need to know about black widows and keeping them out of your home.
What they look like
Black widow females typically measure about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 to 3/8 inches wide, not including the legs. With the legs, black widow females are about 1 1/2 inches in length. They are black in color and have a characteristic red hourglass (or multiple red hourglasses) on the abdomen. Male black widows, meanwhile, are much smaller than females and have more mottled coloring.
Where you might find them
Black widows are most active at night and create irregular looking webs that they hang upside down from. They thrive in sheltered spots both outdoors and indoors, such as in wood piles, under stones, underneath decking, or in dark corners of garages and basements. They tend to stay in places where the insects they prey on might be found in large numbers.
Why they are dangerous
Female black widow spiders are the ones that bite, so you need to the most cautious about them. They tend to be shy, unless they feel that their eggs are in danger. Their bites are not usually fatal, but they can be for small children. If bitten, it’s important to see a physician or visit the emergency room as soon as possible.
How to get rid of them
It is best to leave black widow spider infestation for a pest control professional to address. A pest control specialist can take care of any existing black widow infestation and use various pest control methods to prevent future infestation. In addition, a pest control specialist can advise you on additional pest prevention measures, such as trimming trees, caulking cracks and crevices, and installing tight fitting screens on doors and windows.