Everything Costa Mesa Property Owners Want To Know About Black Widow Spiders

black widow spider on web

The black widow spider has always been a fabled creature. Females eating their mates, the red hourglass marking, the venomous bite, and the list goes on and on. While some of the tall tales may stretch the truth, black widow spiders on your Costa Mesa property are not something to take lightly. Educating yourself more about these spiders will help you keep them off your property.

Habits and Habitats

Black widows are about the size of a nickel, including the legs. Their black, bulbous abdomens usually include the red hourglass marking. Sometimes, though, it’s actually two triangles pointed towards each other with a small space in between. (But if you’re close enough to see this, you may find out how a bite feels.)

Their small size allows them to fit inside all sorts of small openings, which is where they prefer to hideout. Any sort of protected, sheltered area where they have a good chance of snagging other insects in their webs is their ideal habitat. Outside, this would be under stones, in piles of wood, under decks and porches. Inside, these kinds of spaces include the garage, basements, or crawlspaces (areas of low traffic and lots of clutter).

Black widow spiders don’t go into homes intentionally; they are simply hunting for food. If your house has a lot of pests in it, then you may begin to see black widow webs. These webs are typically a jumbled, tangled mess and placed low to the ground to increase their chances of catching crawling insects. They typically avoid interaction with humans as high-traffic areas are not where their prey tends to hang out. However, when a female black widow feels as if her egg sac is being threatened, she may lash out. That’s why activities like rummaging around in the basement or reaching into a pile of wood or leaves can result in a black widow bite.

How Bad Is A Bite?

While black widows don’t bite humans very often, these bites almost always require medical attention. The black widow is one of only two spiders in the continental US that can transfer its venom to humans, which can lead to dangerous medical conditions. At first, the bite will hurt for a few hours and swell from a small red bump to a large red welt filled with puss. However, the symptoms can get much worse.

Without medical treatment, black widow bites have been known to cause damage to the nervous system, muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, fever, and even death in severe cases. Thanks to the development of an anti-venom, however, medical treatment can usually cause these symptoms to subside. In order to avoid being bitten by a black widow, consider wearing gloves while you work in the yard and check carefully before you reach into a cluttered space or high-risk black widow area. If you feel like it’s a place you’d want to hide in (if you were a spider) then check it out before you stick your hand in.

Prevention Techniques

The best way to keep black widows out of your home is to limit their food sources. In other words, keeping other pests out will severely cut down on your spider problems. Proper pest prevention practices include:

  • Controlling moisture by using dehumidifiers and checking pipes

  • Cleaning the house regularly

  • Weather-stripping exterior doors

  • Applying caulking to cracks in the foundation

  • Monitoring any screened-in areas

  • Storing firewood away from your exterior and up off the ground

How Smart Pest Control Can Help

Unfortunately, you can do all these things right and still incur a black widow infestation. For guaranteed protection that you can count on (with severe health risks on the line) contact Smart Pest Control for spider control solutions in Costa Mesa. We are looking forward to helping you have a pest-free home.

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