The black widow spider is one of two potentially dangerous spiders found in Oklahoma. People fear this spider’s bite, which is understandable, but the truth is that black widow bites are not as deadly as everyone thinks. In fact, this type of spider bite has not caused any deaths in the United States in several decades. Here’s what you need to know about the black widow spider.
Black widow bites are venomous, but rarely fatal
Why are black widows bad? They are considered bad because their bite is dangerous and can cause pain. This makes sense once you learn that black widow spider venom is nearly 15 times stronger than rattlesnake venom. However, it’s important to note that black widow spiders don’t seek out humans or animals to bite. They will only bite when disturbed, and only female black widow bites are a potential threat to human health.
While of course the bite hurts, most bite victims do not suffer for very long or fall victim to serious injury or health complications. The bites are very rarely fatal. That said, the elderly, young children and people who are already ill are at higher risk of harm when bit by a black widow.
In regards to the pain of a black widow bite, most people report it feeling similar to a pinprick. The pain can spread throughout the body, causing nausea, sweating, back pain, stomach issues and hypertension. Although a rare symptom, some people also experience difficulty breathing. The pain can last anywhere from a few minutes to as long as eight to 12 hours, and may even last for a few days in some extreme cases. The black widow bite may not be deadly, but you should seek medical attention if you are bitten.
Places they hide
Like many other species of spider, black widows tend to set up shop in dark corners or behind objects. They are commonly found around garages, homes, sheds and barns, as well as in firewood and junk piles. Their favorite spots are areas that are secluded and protected from the elements and predators. They spin tough, irregularly-shaped webs, displaying strands running in every direction to produce a messy-looking, almost artistic web. During Oklahoma summers, black widows can be found near house porch lights where insects—their food—tend to gather. They hide by day, and hang upside down in their web at night.
How to avoid contact with black widows
There are some steps you can take to minimize or avoid contact with black widows. First, be aware when picking up or moving things around in your garage or shed or reaching underneath a parked vehicle. If the inside of your home has a history of black widow presence, it doesn’t hurt to shake out bags, clothing and shoes before putting them on. Keep junk in all areas of your home to a minimum—remove piles of old boxes, newspapers and anything that’s considered garbage. Also, get control over the bug population in your house and yard.
Excellence Pest Control can put an end to your problem with black widows in Oklahoma. Give us a call today to learn more!