Black widow is a general name given to 32 species in the Theridiidae family. They are small spiders that grow up to a half inch in length with the females being larger than the males. Black widows are predatory spiders, and their bites deliver a powerful venom that can cause respiratory paralysis in more extreme cases. They are found all over the world and are prevalent in the southwestern United States.
Identification and Behavior
The spiders are easy to identify with a shiny black appearance and distinctive red coloration on the abdomen. The red mark is often an hourglass shape but can also appear as a triangle. Typically, black widows are not aggressive toward humans unless they are provoked. Females often eat males after mating. The spiders are nocturnal and remain in hiding during the day demanding the professoinal help of exterminator Gilbert AZ companies.
Black widows are occasionally found inside homes and commercial buildings but prefer to be outside. Crevices near vents and doors are often chosen because they attract other insects and give the spiders quick access to food. Females will lay their egg sacs in the nest and become fiercely protective until they hatch.
The spiders will only bite humans when they feel threatened. Children, older people and those who are chronically ill are more likely to have a severe reaction to a black widow bite. For everyone else, the bites are painful but do not cause any major problems. Bites feel like a pinprick and present with a halo-shaped mark. Within one to two hours, the person will sweat, feel nauseous, get a headache and experience dizziness. Dangerous symptoms include weakness, lung paralysis and an irregular heartbeat. Anyone with severe symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
Black widows are more active during the warmer months because it is their mating time. In Arizona, this will be from early May until late October. During this period, it is very important to have workplaces and commercial buildings thoroughly cleaned to avoid encounters with blackWidows.
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