Black widow spiders are the most venomous spiders in all of North America.
Their bites can be deadly if not treated quickly, so it's important to know if you have them living inside your home.
You need to know how to identify a black widow web and also know what to do if you do find one in your home. Keep reading for the ultimate guide on identifying these webs and dealing with the infestation on your own.
What Is a Black Widow?
A black widow is one of the most poisonous spiders in North America. In fact, scientists have said that their poison is more deadly and fifteen times stronger than rattlesnake venom.
The black widows weave webs with a silk-like substance. Because of this substance, their webs can sometimes look tangled. They like to build webs in dark places, like under a log, a bench, or near drain pipes.
The black widow will sense vibrations in their web. When they sense their vibrations, the spider can weave the silk around it. Once the black widow catches their prey, they inject their venom into it.
What Does the Web Look Like?
Black widow spiders will normally make an uneven web that looks like a mess. However, it's actually constructed very carefully. There are three different structures to this web.
On the top, there'll be threads that will secure the web so that it won't rip from whatever it's designed on. Underneath that, there will be a central area that has a tangle of threads.
The bottom portion is where the traps will be for any prey that might be crawling around the web. This web will sometimes be upside down or look tangled in the center as well.
The black widow spiders may be sitting in their web, but they might also be waiting on the ground to catch their prey. Sometimes they'll rest above the web too.
Normally they'll build their webs during the day, and they'll build near where their prey is. Their prey consists of grasshoppers, mosquitoes, and caterpillars.
Where Should You Check?
A black widow spider is shyer than some of the other spiders, so they likely won't build the web anywhere that's near people. It'll be in a secluded area, and most of them are outdoors. However, there are still many that will build their web indoors as well.
If you look outdoors, you'll find webs in woodpiles, under rocks, in bushes, in the lower branches of a tree, or on a stone wall. If you're looking in your house, you should check the attics, crawl spaces, foundation cracks, or in the eaves of your window.
They could also be building a web in your inside boxes, corners of the room, or even inside your shoes that you don't wear often.
How to Identify the Web
If you find a web in one of these areas, then you'll need to know how to identify the spider web.
In addition to the details that we mentioned above, the web you're looking for won't look like a typical spider web. Instead, it'll look chaotic and have an irregular shape more than the typical round spider web shape.
The look of the web will also change over time. If you have an active spider, it will be maintaining the web and improving it as time goes on. If the spider isn't there, then the abandoned web will look even more chaotic and fall apart.
You may also be able to find a female black widow near the web as well. If they're hanging upside down, you should look for the famous bright red hourglass on the abdomen.
Black widows are also very agile when they're close to their webs. They are more defensive than offensive and will avoid people and conflict as much as they can. They might even play dead if they're attacked so that they can escape when they can.
What If You're Unsure?
If you find a web, how do you know for sure that it's a black widow web? The best way to tell that it's a spider web is to find the black widow that built the web.
Female black widows have a bright red hourglass on their abdomen, and they're about 1.5 inches in length. They have long legs as well.
Males are a little bit smaller and are one inch in length. While they're not as much of a threat as the females, it could mean there is a female there too. Instead, the males will have three light streaks on their abdomen.
Other Signs of an Infestation
Some of the other signs that you have an infestation are that you find egg sacs along with a female black widow spider and a web.
A silken sac will normally be in a corner of something. If you find this, don't touch it, or you could release thousands of baby spiders. Instead, find the right pesticides as soon as possible to treat an infestation.
If you wait to treat it, then thousands of baby black widow spiders could hatch in your home and make it even harder to get rid of an infestation.
What Steps Should You Take?
A black widow bite can be deadly, so it's important that you treat the infestation as soon as possible. If you find a web, leave it alone until you have the proper tools to treat it with.
You need to make sure that you treat the pest correctly, so find professional pesticides and equipment. You can get these supplies on a subscription basis to keep the spiders away as well.
Discover More About Identifying a Black Widow Web
These are only a few things to keep in mind when you're identifying a black widow web, but if you notice most of these signs, you could have a black widow infestation.
To treat the infestation, sign up for a DIY home pest spray on a subscription basis. This will ensure that you get rid of your spiders but that they also won't come back.
Sign up for the subscription service today to protect your home from these spiders.