Even the word “spider” can inspire dread and fear in some people. They range from the cute and helpful daddy longlegs to the menacing Tarantulas, but the most notorious of them all might well be the Black Widow. These spiders seek shelter in dark and cluttered areas of your home and can cause immense concern for members of the household.

However, being aware of the signs and symptoms of a black widow infestation can go a long way in ensuring that your home is a safe and enjoyable space. Here, we discuss how to recognize potential warning signs that a black widow might have taken up residence in your humble abode.

Identifying Black Widow Spiders

The first step to be able to determine whether your home is harboring a colony of black widow spiders is to be able to identify them. This is especially important to differentiate these spiders from the more harmless ones in your home.

An adult black widow spider is typically ¼ to ½ an inch in size, with a glossy black, sometimes red, and yellow body and a dramatic red hourglass shape on the abdomen. However, the young black widow spiderlings are difficult to spot and might just be a tiny speck moving on the wall or in the corner of the room.

Favored Areas for Black Widows in the Home

Now that you know the telltale signs of a black widow spider, you need to learn where to look for them in your home. The most common areas these spiders are likely to inhabit are attics, basements and garages as any such area is usually dark and undisturbed. On top of this, these spaces are also an ideal hiding spot for other insects that are the spider’s preferred prey.

Other areas around the house that you should stay vigilant for include outdoor buildings, stone wall cracks, wood piles, doorways, and windowsills. A black widow may still be present on the outside of the home, so you should check and be aware of them.

Elaborate Webs

Perhaps the most iconic and infamous thing about spiders that can identify their presence is the webs they spin. Black widows tend to make messy webs to capture prey and these webs are extensive. They are often very intricate and can span significant distances regardless of the height of the ceiling. The webs also may not have an organized structure and look more disorderly.

Unfamiliar Odor

Another possible sign you might have a black widow spider problem in your home is a distinctive smell. Especially in enclosed places, a pungent smell may be present that is unnatural and strange. It should be noted that the smell might be subtle, but the stink will be far more intense once a larger infestation happens.

Skin Irritation and Pain

Of course, the most important thing to be aware of is the danger posed by a black widow spider bite. Black widows are notorious for their venom, which can be highly dangerous. The area where the bite occurred will usually be intensely painful and noticeable redness and swelling may also be present.

Bites can also be accompanied by general body malaise with nausea, vomiting, fever, and muscle cramps. Especially in young children or those who are elderly and have weak immune systems, immediate medical attention is highly recommended.

Determining if You Have an Infestation

To give even more reassurance for the safety of your household, there are further techniques you can use to determine if you have an infestation of black widows in your home.

One simple way is to lay down a few pieces of white paper in key areas of your home and observe if there are the suggestive signs of spiders such as spiderlings, webs, feces and shed exoskeletons. If you notice these signs, you may have to take further steps to eliminate the infestation.

A more thorough way to check for a black widow infestation is to hire the services of professional pest control experts. These experts have specific methods and use little disruptions to detect the presence of black widow spiders in your home.

In conclusion, black widow spiders are fearsome creatures and their presence should be taken seriously. It is vital to be aware of the signs that they may be lurking in your home, and to take appropriate steps to eliminate the infestation. By following the methods outlined in this article, you will be able to identify the potential warning signs of black widows in your home and take action for the safety and security of your house.