Black Widows in Phoenix, Arizona

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Arizona’s wonderfully warm weather brings sunshine, heat, and unfortunately,spiders like the black widow. But don’t let the pests get you down! Blue Sky Pest Control is dedicated to controlling unwanted pests in and around homes and businesses.  

Back widows are considered to be one of the top pest concerns for homeowners in the Arizona area.  We’ve put together a mini guide on black widows to give you tips, tricks, and what to look for when encountering these pests.  We’ll also provide mitigation and control measures you can take to get rid of black widows in your home. 

Firstly, it’s important to know the differences between male and female black widows. Female black widows are more aggressive and known for their venomous bite. Of the two, females are well-known and easily recognizable. Measuring in at 1.5 inches long, their shiny, black bodies are marked with a red, hourglass shape. Adult males are about half the female spider’s size, with smaller bodies and longer legs.  

Facts About Black Widows

  1. The back widow is among the most venomous spider in the United States 
  2. Male and juvenile black widows are harmless
  3. Black widow bites are rarely lethal because the amount of venom they inject is so small 
  4. Black widows are nocturnal and will usually only attack if they’re disturbed or touched
  5. The adult female black widow spider often hangs upside down in her web, making the red hourglass marking visible.  

How to Get Rid of Black Widows 

We recommend a pest control service for black widows and other pests, but there are a few ways to keep black widows out of your home:

  1. Eliminate hiding spaces by keeping your space clean and free of clutter, especially in storage areas
  2. Black widows prefer dark, hidden places, so frequently dust and vacuum around windows, corners of rooms, and under furniture 
  3. Use gloves when handling piles of wood, leaves, or gardening
  4. Regularly check cool, dark places, like your garage, for webs 
  5. Seal openings and install screens and door sweeps to prevent pests from moving indoors. Black widows prey on insects like crickets and roaches, so getting rid of other insects will help you eliminate them
  6. Check inside your shoes before you put them on, especially if they’re stored somewhere dark 

What to do if a Black Widow Bites You 

It’s important to note that bites from black widows are rarely fatal and are treatable.  In the United States, there has not been a death from a black widow spider in over 10 years. They are usually not aggressive, so most bites occur because a spider is trapped or unintentionally touched. Often, the black widow will not inject any venom into the bite and no serious symptoms will develop. However, there are some precautionary measures to take if you think you have been bitten.  

If you’re bitten by a black widow and you are experiencing a reaction that’s more than mild pain, you should contact your doctor, go to the emergency room or urgent care, or call 911 for help. If your child was bitten, go to the emergency room immediately.  Black widow bites can be fatal for young children. 

There are a few steps you can take immediately before leaving or on your way to the hospital to ease your pain and prevent further infection: 

  1. Wash the area with soap and water
  2. Apply a cold washcloth or ice pack wrapped in cloth 
  3. If possible, elevate the bite area to prevent swelling
  4. Apply an antibiotic cream or lotion to the bite 

If you have concerns or need additional help in dealing with black widows, contract a trusted pest control service for spiders

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