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Spiders (Black Widow Spider)
Spiders (Black Widow Spider)

Spiders (Black Widow Spider)


  • Color: glossy black, the globe-like abdomen has two triangular hourglass-shaped red spots on the underside.
  • Size: female – 1/2 inch; male – 1/4 inch.
  • Two major body regions: head and thorax formed into a cephalothorax; and bulbous abdomen.

Black Widow Spider Habits:

Black Widow Spider

  • Eggs are laid in silken sacs which are protected by the female.
  • Females produce six to 21 sacs, each one containing 185 to 464 eggs.
  • Young spiderlings remain in the case for a short period and live in the vicinity of the nest for two to three weeks before producing long threads of silk that help them float away like kites.
  • Development time (egg to adult): approximately one year.
  • Life span of females: up to three years; life span of males: approximately 180 days.
  • Webs are built in dry, protected locations where prey is likely to travel, e.g., among stones and rocks, wood piles, under decks, hollow stumps, rodent burrows, beneath benches, etc.
  • Indoors they are found in basements, crawl spaces, garages, barns, outbuildings, sheds, meter boxes, brick veneer, pump houses, etc.
  • Webs are irregularly-shaped, approximately one foot in diameter, and used to trap prey, usually insects, long enough for the spiders to wrap them in more silk before giving them a lethal bite.

Damage from Black Widow Spiders:

  • Female black widows produce a neurotoxin in poison glands and bite if handled roughly or disturbed resulting in a bite similar to a wasp sting.
  • Several deaths annually are attributed to black widow bites and anaphylactic reactions to them.

Look for:

  • Areas conducive to spider activity, e.g., dark protected areas and areas which attract insect prey.
  • Webs and egg sacs.

How to Control and Kill Black Widow Spiders:

  • Indoors, clutter and debris should be removed; outdoors, scrap lumber, woodpiles, rocks and other materials that offer protection should be removed.
  • A vacuum should be used in order to remove spiders, webs, and egg sacs, and the bag should immediately be sealed and discarded in the trash.
  • Outdoor lighting should be changed if it attracts insects to the structure.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.