Black Widow Spiders 
Author Message
 Black Widow Spiders

First of all, let me point out that I am by no means a spider
expert, but I thought I could pass along my experiences.

As far as I know, Black Widows are not colonizers.  If the
conditions are right, you may find a few close together.

Unless you have an allergic reaction, Black Widow bites are
not usually fatal.  (also, a whole bunch of them don't get
together and charge you).

I live on a ranch and have lots of spiders.  I have found
that a good dose of Raid is some stratiegic spots eliminates
the spider population for about a year.  Raid can be used
indoors without any problems (although you may want to
remove birds and cover fish for a day or so).  Your house,
or room, may smell kind of Raidee(?) for a few hours, but
this is not a cause for concern.

Aracnophobia(?) is a very fictional movie....kind of like
Attack of the Giant Ants(as big as houses).  Take it with
a grain of salt.

I hope this has been of some help.

Bill Claussen

Tue, 22 Feb 1994 00:25:55 GMT
 Black Widow Spiders other thing..Black widows are very common spiders.
A house without at least one or two is uncommon.

Bill Claussen

Tue, 22 Feb 1994 00:28:55 GMT
 Black Widow Spiders


>  How common are black widow spiders?

     Well here in Tempe they are a way of life.
They're everywhere from July till whenever the
first frost kills them.

> How poisonous are they?

     Enough to wish you hadn't been bitten.

> Does finding two such spiders indicate there are more nearby
> (a nest)?

     There are no such things as nests, but usually
where you find one you'll find others.  They each
have their own web.  They love storage sheds, porches,
anything unused that they can attach their web to
without fear of it being disturbed.  The webs are
always a blotchy mess, ie. no patterns whatsoever.
If you see a patterned web, it does not belong to a
black widow.  Once in awhile one will wander indoors
and set up shop, but most seem to stay outside where
there's more game.

     The safest and easiest way to kill them is
to stalk them at night with a flashlight and a can
of Raid.  Once you spot one, you have a few seconds
to zap it with the Raid before it notices the light
and scampers away to safety.  They hardly ever come
out in the daytime.

> How often are people bitten?

     Not all that often considering how plentiful
they are around here.  You do hear about pets getting
bitten.  Part of my house is on pylons and there are
a ton of black widows under there.  So far neither
of my cats have been bitten even though they go
under there all the time.

> Will an exerminator be effective against black widow
> spiders?  How toxic are the chemicals used to humans?

     I have never seen black widows inside to the
extent where an exterminator would be needed.  If
you don't see blochty webs, there is no black widow.
If you do, she's hiding somewhere very nearby and
you'll have to catch her when it's dark.

--Ralph Kennedy      {ames,gatech,husc6,rutgers}!ncar!noao!asuvax!kennedy
                                          ^---------------The Wrong Choice

Tue, 22 Feb 1994 09:02:23 GMT
 Black Widow Spiders
Karen Zukor writes in a message to All

KZ> 1. How common are black widow spiders? How poisonous are  they?
KZ> Does finding two such spiders indicate there  are more near by
KZ> (a nest) or was this idea simply  made urban myth by "Aracnophobia"?
KZ> How often are  people bitten? 2. Will an exerminator be effective
KZ> against black widow  spiders? How toxic are the chemicals used
KZ> to humans?

Black Widows are easy to spot: the have gnarly webs, man.

Seriously, I live in the BW capital of the US (according to the Wall St.
PHOENIX is the capital, but trust me, Tucson is...), and we generally have
of spiders inside and around our house at this time of year. To get rid of
just spray the webs, and the egg sacks, with any bug spray.

The actual spiders can be killed with anything that sticks to them. We wiped
out the already-born members of these nests by using carpet shampoo, which was

the only thing handy. This killed the {*filter*}s and left the eggs alone (needless

to say, the young'ns are crawling around now). Use a dedicated spray (Raid
Killer or somesuch) to get rid of the eggs as well.

Black Widow bites are said to be {*filter*}: excruciatingly painful. They are
fatal to the very young (under 5), the very old, the very ill, and small pets.

With literally hundres of BW's lving within 20 feet of me, inside (behind
etc) and out, I don't ever recall "excruciating pain" from an unknown cause
in 30 years of living in Tucson. So, either BW bites aren't real common, or
the pain/reaction of a bite varies from person to person.

Brown Recluses, I am not sure that I have ever seen. The bite from those is
said to be far worse than for a BW. It is said to be often fatal for the very
young, etc. The Brown Recluse bite doesn't hurt much at first, but within 12
hours, is supposed to develope a "necrosis" area where the skin is dying and
turning gangrenous. Often times, skin grafts are required to repair the
I have heard that "old Indian" and Naturopathic/herbal remedies exist that
that damage from the Brown Recluse bite, but noone that I can track down,
poison control at the U of AZ medical center, nor the specialists at the
Desert Museum has ever heard of one ("if you find one, tell me!" was the usual

reaction when I asked).

Incidentally, the Brown Recluse or "fiddler" spider is called the "recluse"
because it avoids humans like the plague. Almost never will you spot one as
they are supposed to hide away from any large creatures, so it isn't too
that your friend has seen one.

On the other hand, why take chances? The bug spray should take care of those
too. Just spray wherever you see a schizophrenic spider web. And, as I'm not
sure what the Brown Recluse web looks like, you might as well spray the
ones" while you're at it.


Uucp: ...{gatech,ames,rutgers}!ncar!asuvax!stjhmc!300!7.88!Lawson.English

Fri, 25 Feb 1994 14:11:57 GMT
 [ 4 post ] 

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