Black widow

What are black widows?

Black Widows came from the family of spiders known as Theridiidae. They are among the most genius eight legged crawlies in the world and poses the most potent venom.

While it is named Black Widow, the female and the male specie of this spider family actually has differentiating looks. The full grown female black widow will have a glossy black or brown coating with a bright orange or red droplets of color on the underside of the abdomen. Others may just be coated with shiny black cover without the spots, but these are very rare occasions. The male specie, will also be clad in black with either a red or a white marking on top of the insect’s abdomen. The markings can sometimes be a strip, a bar, or droplets of colors.

Bodies of male black widow spiders can range between three and ten millimeters or 0.12 to 0.39 inches in size; females, on the other hand, can grow by as much as 13 millimeters or 0.51 inches in length.

The spider frequently hangs upside down near the center of its web. Its diet includes ants, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, and beetles.

WHAT DO Black widows do?

Black widows make a double puncture mark on the bitten area. Victims of these spiders often experience muscle tension, extreme pain, and on several occasions vomiting and sweating.

The human body reacts to the bite depending on the gravity of assault. There are two types of bite that a victim can get from these spiders -the wet and the dry bite.

A dry bite means no venom has been injected in the human body. However, a wet bite means venom is excreted into the bloodstream. Even the wet bites are categorized into three – light, medium, and heavy. A light bite can cause a bit of a pain and nothing more. The medium bite gives a burning, pricking sensation on the affected area. Lastly, the heavy bite doubles the pain in the next hour after exposure. If an anti-venom is not administered, vomiting, sweating, and muscle stiffness can be felt in the next three to six days.


These spiders are found all over the world. In Europe for example, the most common black widow specie is the Lactrodectism Tredecimguttatus. The most prevalent species known in eastern Asia and Australia is dubbed as the redback or the Latrodectus hasselti. Here in the US, the most seen species are Lactrodectism mactans, Lactrodectism hesperus, and Lactrodectism variolus.Black Widows build their nests in the darkest most secluded places – usually in small holes dug by rodents or other animals, or around unfinished construction openings or piles of untouched wood.

At home, it can be in the darkest corner of the garage, the kitchen, or even the bed room. There are areas in this spaces that may not have been cleaned for so long since it has been used as a pile area. The kitchen may have corners that vacuum cleaners fail to reach during cleaning. Lastly, bed rooms can have a neglected crook. The above mentioned areas are the most frequent habitats of Black Widow spiders.

Note that these spiders prefer to feed at night when they will not be noticed and can blend into the darkness.

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