Last updated on February 1st, 2023 at 09:53 am
How big is a Black Widow? Despite packing a punch in terms of venom, these infamous arachnids are not very big in terms of physical size…
A female Black Widow Spider is about 1 ½ inches in length while a black male widow spider is half the size of the female. That means, the size of the female is twice that of the male. This spider also has long legs and an abdominal marking that resembles an hourglass.
It is also important to note that some female back widow spiders are shorter in length than others and, therefore, you can find adult female black widow spiders that are only one inches long.
Should I Kill A Black Widow Spider?
Black widow spiders are venomous but you should kill them. If in doubt, contact a professional exterminator rather than try to deal with them yourself.
They have toxic venom that can potentially kill. Statistics shows that about 4 – 8 people die from the bites of the black widow spider every year in the United States and hence you should not take their presence in your home lightly. This is based on the 2,500 reported cases.
While they may be dangerous, they are only harmful when they are threatened but they are also helpful when it comes to killing insects that would otherwise be harmful as well.
Is A Black Widow Big or Small?
Black widow spider is medium in size. Relative to other spiders, it is not too small nor too big since there are other’s that can go up to over 5 inches long. There are also many others that are smaller in size than the black widow spider.
Can A Black Widow Spider Kill You?
A black widow bite may make you sick but may not kill you. According to Kids Health, the bites from these spiders rarely kill. In addition to that, the statistics mentioned above shows that black widow kills 4 – 8 people in 2,500 reported cases of spider bites.
This shows that the bite from these spiders have a lower chance of killing but can make you sick hence you need to seek medication whenever you are bitten.
Is It Rare to See A Black Widow Spider?
Black widow spiders are rare to see because they prefer dark and secluded places. These spiders are commonly found in woodpiles and are often collected with firewood. The places that you can easily spot these spiders could be in boxes, barns, rodent holes, patio crevices, and unused shoes or blankets.
There are three species of the black widow spiders that are common and widespread across United States. These three species include the following:
- Latrodectus mactans – this species is common in the Southern half of the United States.
- Northern black widow or L. variolus – common in the northern states as the name puts it.
- Western black widow or L. hesperus – common in the southwest of the United States.
10 Facts About Black Widow Spiders
- Female black widow spiders live longer than males.
- They are not aggressive but can bite when they are threatened.
- They have venom that can make you feel sick when they bite.
- Females can survive for up to 90 days without food.
- Females sometimes eat males after mating and sometimes the spiderlings.
- They live in dark and dry places.
- Black widow spiders have over 30 species around the world.
- They form an incredibly strong web to catch their prey.
- They prefer living outdoors than indoors such as in piles of wood or hollow tree stumps.
- The female black widows depend on silk webs since they have poor eyesight.
How Poisonous Is A Black Widow?
The black widow spider venom is not fatal and rarely kill. However, when they bite, you may feel some muscle spasms and long-term pain hence you need to seek medical attention. The venom from these spiders has the alpha-latrotoxin chemical that can affect your nervous system and cause you to feel sick.
However, very few cases of deaths have been reported and that makes the bites from the black widow less fatal compared to that of other spiders.
Male Black Widow Spider
The male black widow spider is half the size of the female ones. They also have less lifespan compared to the females. The males also do not have the hourglass markings on their abdomen’s underside.
Therefore, it is easy to identify the males from the females. In addition to that, the males are less aggressive and does not bite but they can be eaten by females after mating if they don’t escape.
How Do You Know If It’s A Black Widow Spider?
You can identify the black widow spider by the markings on the underside of the abdomen. The red markings with the shape of hourglass or triangles is what differentiates it from other spider species. Also, the females have shiny black bodies that are hairless and are about 1.5 inches long. You can also identify them by their large and round abdomen.
The male black widow spiders are a bit different from the females since they have reddish-brown legs and are shorter in size as compared to females. The males also have splotchy white abdomens.
What to Do When You Find A Black Widow Spider?
When you find a black widow spider in your home, it indicates that there could be more others that you have not seen and hence you need to take some measures so as to keep them away. Some of the things to do include the following:
- Clean their hiding spots.
- Seal the gaps and cracks in your house using spray foam or caulk.
- Keep your outdoor areas clean and free of any clutter or debris.
- Involve the pest control company in your locality for help.
Can You Survive A Black Widow Bite?
Yes, you can survive a black widow bite. The black widow spiders are less fatal and they rarely kill. However, the effects of the bite could be severe, especially when it comes from the female widow spiders. You should always seek medical attention if bitten.
Black Widow Spider Venom
The black widow spider has venomous glands and fangs and the ones for females are longer hence store more venom than that of males. Latrodectus, also known as the true widows possess harmful venom that contains neurotoxin latrotoxin, therefore, when they bite, the venom can be dangerous to humans or any other vertebrate.
How Long Do Black Widows Live?
Female black widow spiders can live for up to 1 year while the male widow lives for 4 months. The females, therefore, live longer than the males and they also mature late as compared to the male’s maturity. It is also worth noting that females can survive for about 90 days without food.
Some species of the black widow spiders such as the Latrodectus mactans, however, can live for up to 4 years in captivity, and up to 3 years in the wild.
Black Widow Spider Facts
It is not easy to spot black widow spiders since they prefer dark and secluded places. They are also less aggressive and are harmless compared to other spider species. When threatened, they can bite and their venom can cause sickness. Black widow spiders also prefer outdoors than indoors, and there are over 30 species of them.
FAQ Relating to How Big Is A Black Widow Spider?
Black widow spider is one of the most common spiders in the United States and other countries. The spider loves dark and dry places and that has caused many concerns to the homeowners. Therefore, some of the frequently asked questions regarding these spiders include the following:
Do black widows jump at you?
Black widow spiders do not jump. They can only crawl the ceilings and climb up the walls. Therefore, you need not to fear them since they cannot jump at you. Overall, these spiders simply aren’t aggressive, anyway. In fact, most bites occur when they are accidentally squished by people, or when people try to kill them.
What attracts black widows in your house?
Insects such as flies and ants can attract black widow spiders since they feed on them. It is important to note that black widow spiders usually like spinning their webs in dry dark corners or locations so that they can catch the insects that they eat in their webs. To avoid attracting these spiders, you need to keep your house hygienic to avoid insects that would otherwise attract the black widow spiders.
Should you step on a black widow?
You should not step on a black widow with bare foot. This is because these spiders carry venom that would be harmful in case of a bite. Therefore, if you must step on it, you need to wear some shoes or sandals that will prevent it from getting into direct contact with your foot. If you enccounter a Black outdoors, remember that it plays a role in pest control: if it’s not near your home, there’s no good reason to kill it.
Should you leave black widows alone?
It depends on what you want to achieve. If you live with children and feel that they may threaten them, then you should get rid of them. However, black widow spiders are also beneficial since they feed on insects such as mosquitoes and ants that would otherwise be harmful. It is important to note that the black widow spiders are harmless but can only bite when they are threatened.