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Black Widow Spider


Lactrodectus mactans
  • Characteristics
  • Habitat
  • Tips for Control
  • Pest Impact
Female black widow spiders have a distinctive black and red color in the shape of an hour glass on underside of the abdomen. 

Its found in North America, Mexico and Central America.

The bite is quite venomous even though the poison seldom kills adult human beings. However, it can cause illness for children.

Males and juveniles resemble in color with the abdomen appearing grayish to black with white stripes or spotted yellow and orange. They are also much smaller in size compared to the female.

The female is known to eat the male after reproduction even though not always.


Size : 3/4 inches to 3/8 inches
Shape : Round
Color : Black with characteristic red hourglass on back
Legs : 8
Wings : No
Antenna : No
Common Name : Black Widow Spider
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Arthropoda
Class : Arachnida
Order : Araneae
Family : Theridiidae
Species : Lactrodectus mactans

Diet

The black widow generally eats other insects that fall or get trapped onto their web. This includes houseflies, mosquitoes and many flying and crawling insects. 

They build their webs on peaceful and undisturbed regions of the house like on trusses, cellars, garages and sheds.
Keep your items like clothes and bedding off the ground. 

Wear gloves and protective clothing when cleaning the house.

Eliminate spider hideouts by deliberately removing their webs and habitats.

Clear vegetation around the home.

Incase bitten, use an antiseptic to clean the wound. You can also rub the area with an ice pack to reduce the swelling and pain.
For the venom to have impact, it must be injected in substantial amounts. This in turn causes pain at the location of the bite which may then spread to other muscle groups close by. At the site of the bite, redness of skin and mild edema can be noticed. Other important symptoms of the bite include severe pain at the bite position, muscle cramping in the abdomen, backs and thighs due to neurotoxin poison, tearing of the eyes (lacrimation) headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
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