Where do we start? There are many things you need to know about black widow spiders in San Diego County. The black widow is known for its potent venom. If you are bitten, it is wise to seek medical attention. But you need not be overly fearful of these spiders. There have been no deaths related to black widow spider bites reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers since 1983. This is where we are going to start this quick guide on black widow spiders in San Diego County.
How Bad Are Black Widows Really?
If you believe the myths about black widow spiders, it can cause you to be extremely fearful. Though you shouldn't shrug these spiders off, you don't need to fear them. Here are a few facts you may not know about black widow spiders:
- They rarely bite. Experts have determined that bites from black widow spiders are rare even in locations where there are high populations. This indicates an aversion to biting people.
- They don't always inject venom. It is possible to get a dry bite. A black widow spider injects venom to subdue prey, or when it feels like its life is in danger. If you touch the web of a black widow, it isn't likely to come racing at you to inject a ton of venom into you. If it races at you, rather than fleeing, your chances of getting a dry bite are high. You are far too large to be considered prey and disturbing her web is not likely to make her feel as though she is in imminent danger.
- The bite itself can be painless. If a black widow bites you and does not inject venom, you may only experience a tiny pinprick. In the moment of fear and panic, this can go completely undetected.
- They prefer to nest outside. It is rare for black widow spiders to nest inside. If they get into your home, it is likely that they'll go right back outside. This reduces the likelihood that you'll have an encounter with a black widow in your home. You can reduce encounters even further by being cautious in storage spaces. If a widow gets in, it will gravitate to cluttered spaces. This is where it can find a bite to eat.
- They are reclusive. If a black widow spider gets into your home, it will stay as far away from you as possible. It prefers undisturbed (and even somewhat dusty) spaces in your home. It won't hang out in most bedrooms. But, to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to check your bedding before you slide into bed. This will prevent close contact and the potential for a serious wound. A trapped spider will feel as though its life is in danger, and you'll probably get a full dose of venom.
Quick Black Widow Spider Facts
- If you're bitten by a black widow spider and you experience flu-like symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Some common symptoms experienced are localized pain, numbness, fever, sweating, muscle cramps, and tightness in the stomach.
- Physicians have misdiagnosed black widow spider bites as appendicitis, as the symptoms can be very similar.
- Black widow spiders are shiny black spiders with a bulbous abdomen.
- A black widow may have a red hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen - but not always.
- Black widow spiders are small. The western black widow spider, which is common in our region, is about ⅛ to ¼ of an inch long for males and ½ to ⅝ of an inch long for females.
- If you see a tangled web with very strong threads, it is probably a black widow spider web. Plucking a thread (not that you would want to) can produce a noise.
- In WWII, the silk from black widow spiders was used to make crosshairs for rifles - that's how strong it is.
- Male black widows don't bite.
- The false black widow spider, steatoda grossa, shares some visual characteristics with black widows and are sometimes mistaken for black widows. But they are a dark brown coloration - not black. They also do not possess the red hourglass marking.
Spider Control In San Diego County
You don't need to fear black widow spiders. You also don't need to live with them. If these, or other spiders, are getting into your home, you don't have to put up with them. Reach out to HomeShield Pest Control. We offer spider control services as well as residential pest control plans that work to keep a wide range of pests out of San Diego homes. Let us guide you toward the right plan for your home. Life is better without potentially dangerous pests in your home. We also offer expert commercial pest management services.