Black Widow Spiders are considered venomous spiders in North America. Black Widow spiders are not usually deadly, especially to adults, because they inject only a small amount of venom. Despite its reputation, this spider often attempts to escape rather than bite, unless it is guarding an egg mass or if it is cornered and pressed. After mating, the female sometimes eats the male, earning the name "widow."

Black Widow Spider Identification

The female black widow spider is the most easily recognized, her shiny black body gives great contrast to the red hourglass marking on her round abdomen.

Adult black widow spider males are harmless, about half the females size, and usually have yellow and red bands with spots on their backs.

The legs of the male are much longer in proportion to his body than that of the female, with it's body half the size.


Black widow spiders can be found around wood piles and are frequently encountered when homeowners carry firewood into the house. Webs are usually built near the ground (occasionally within dwellings) normally in trash, rubble piles, under or around houses and outbuildings such as privies, sheds and garages. They can be found under eaves, in storage bins, underneath unused construction materials, inside wooden toy boxes, firewood boxes, outdoor toilets and sheds, meter boxes, and other undisturbed places. Black widow spiders can be found on the underside of ledges, rocks, plants and debris, or wherever a web can be strung. Cold weather and drought may drive these spiders into buildings.

The female black widow spider rarely leaves her web. The web she constructs is an irregular, tangled, crisscross web of rather coarse silk. This same web may be rebuilt or changed on an ongoing basis depending upon her needs. This female spider spends most of her daylight hours there. She is often found hanging upside down.

The female captures her victims with her silk, wrapping it around the prey. After be covered with silk, the prey is killed by an injection of venom. The prey might be eaten immediately or reserved for a later feeding. She stays close to her egg mass, defensively biting anything that disturbs her or her egg sac. Egg sacs are oval, brown, papery and about ½ inch long. They hold from 25 to 750 or more eggs, which have an incubation period of 20 days. Newly hatched spiders are predominately white or yellowish-white, gradually acquiring more black and varying amounts of red and white with each molt. Growth requires two to three months, with older black widow spider females dying in autumn after lying eggs. The female black widow stores sperm - producing more egg sacs without having to mate. Some black widow spider females live more than three years.

Brown Recluse Spider Identification

Brown recluse spider adults are soft-bodied, yellowish-tan to dark brown. The adult body varies from 1/3-to 1/2 inch in length. With the legs, it can be an overall size of 1 inch diameter or greater. The brown recluse spider has a distinctive darker brown violin-shaped mark - with the neck of the violin pointing towards the abdomen.


It is very common to get a brown recluse spider bite when you are changing clothes, putting your hands into a pocket, or putting on shoes. The brown recluse spider had crawled in there at some time to take shelter. The initial pain with the brown recluse spider bites is not intense, unless there is a severe allergic reaction.

Within 8-12 hours, the pain from the brown recluse spider bite becomes intense. Within 24-36 hours, the victim may have a fever, chills, nausea, joint pain or restlessness. The area of the brown recluse spider bite usually ends up enlarged, inflamed and the tissue is hard to touch. The venom of this spider has an enzyme that destroys cell membranes in the wounded area. The affected tissue sloughs away, exposing underlying tissues and over a period of a few days a large ulcerous sore forms.

An open wound from the brown recluse spider bite may range form the size of an adult's thumbnail to the span of a hand. The sore heals very slowly (6-8 weeks) and often leaves a large, disfiguring scar. If bitten, collect the spider if possible for identification and seek medical attention immediately. Apply ice packs to relieve the swelling in the brown recluse spider bite area.


The webs that brown recluse spiders spin are off-white to gray, irregular strands. The brown recluse spider is nocturnal and it's diet consists of other insects such as cockroaches and small insects.

The female lays eggs in off-white silken cases, from May through August. Females can lay 300 eggs in her lifetime. Spiderlings emerge in 24-36 days - leaving the egg case with slow development (10-12 months), and are influenced by weather conditions and food availability. They reach maturity in 10-12 months. These spiders can survive as long as two years without readily available food or water.


Call Ideal pest control to eliminate them from your home and business today!