What You Ought To Know About Black Widow Spiders In Aiken

October 28, 2020

No spider in Aiken, SC is as notorious as the black widow spider – and rightfully so. These venomous pests pose a real danger to Aiken residents, and although a black widow problem is rare in South Carolina, it should be taken seriously.

black widow spider in the fall

Black widows threaten the safety of your home and family, so it’s best to know how to prevent them. Let’s talk about why these arachnids are so dangerous and what you can do to secure your Aiken property.

Black Widow Identification Guide

Not many spiders are as recognizable as the black widow. You don’t have to be arachnophobic to think these pests look evil, and you should treat them as such. Like other spiders, black widows have multiple pairs of eyes, eight bent legs, and a set of venomous fangs. Most black widow spiders only grow to around 1cm in length, though some can grow as large as 3cm.

Black widows are most easily identifiable by the hourglass shape on the females’ bodies. Female black widows are dark black with a red hourglass figure on their underside, and if you see a black widow in your household, it is almost always a female. A female will sometimes eat the male after mating, so males don’t usually live long enough to cause problems in Aiken homes.

Like most spiders, black widows weave webs. They most often reside in areas of clutter, but they also like to weave webs on firewood as well as in moisture-trapping areas like the garage or attic.

Why Black Widows Are Dangerous

All spiders carry venom that they use to paralyze and kill their prey. Most spider venom is completely harmless to humans, but black widow venom is one of the few exceptions.

A black widow’s venom is known as a neurotoxin, meaning it’s specifically poisonous to the nervous system. If you get bitten by a black widow, the venom may cause severe nausea, paralysis, and seizures as the venom travels through your nervous system. If untreated, black widow bites can cause permanent damage to your nervous system, and in some cases, death.

Thankfully, black widow bites are very uncommon, and most people who get bitten by one make it to the hospital in time. If you ever notice a large bug bite that has two puncture holes in the middle, then it’s probably a spider bite, and if you don’t know the spider that bit you, always get medical attention.

Black Widow Prevention Tips

Since black widows are so dangerous, Aiken homeowners should take precautions to keep these venomous pests away. Often, black widows move indoors because there’s a source of food in your home – meaning, you might have another infestation. So, black widow prevention coincides with general pest prevention. The following tips apply to both black widows and other pests.

  • Address indoor moisture issues. Standing water and high indoor humidity can attract both black widows and the pests they feed on.

  • Clear household clutter. Many pests like to hide in cool, dark spaces, such as beneath piles of junk. Black widows may build nests there.

  • Deep clean your house. Make sure you sweep under oft-forgotten areas like appliances, otherwise black widows might nest there.

  • Sweep away webs. When a spider’s house keeps disappearing, they might disappear with it.

  • Store firewood away from the home. Firewood is a huge black widow attractor.

If you think you have black widow spiders in your house, don’t try removing them on your own. These pests are resilient to most pesticides and DIY products, and any attempt to remove them will put you in the way of their venom.

When black widows move indoors, contact the pest control experts at Aiken Pest Control. We’ll keep these venomous arachnids away from your home and family for good.

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