A Halloween Pest to Cause a Fright

Black widow spiders

black widow spiders at halloweenHave you ever wondered why spiders are associated with halloween?  Folklore says that if you see a spider on halloween then it means the spirit of a loved one is watching over you.  It could also be due to their huge dislike by us humans and their creepy factor, or maybe it’s because of their eight legs.

One spider which does evoke fear in homeowners is the black widow spider which is one of the two common venomous spiders in the area – the other being the brown recluse.  Both of these spiders are different in the way their venom works but equally as fatal.

What does a black widow spider look like?

In case you haven’t seen a picture of a black widow spider or you are wondering what they look like, they are glossy black in appearance and have a globe like abdomen.  On the underside are two triangular red spots which are arranged in such a way that make it appear like an hour glass.  The have long thin legs and are hairless all over.

What should you do if you have one in your home?

Black widows are shy and like to build their webs in protected areas where they will catch their prey.  The prefer basements, crawlspaces, garages  as well as sheds, barns, meter boxes, brick veneer, pump houses and under decks.  They build an irregular shape web which is approximately one foot in diameter.

If you find a black widow in your home quite simply kill it.  Make sure you use closed toe shoes and not flip flops if you are considering stepping on it!  and definitely don’t use a broom or paper towel.  Female black widow spiders produces a venom which is neurotoxic which means their venom attacks the nervous system.   If you get bitten by one the side effects could include severe stomach cramping, fever and nausea.  A few deaths are reported each year due to anaphylactic reactions.

What about over the counter pesticides?

Most store bought over the counter pesticides are not labelled to treat spiders and won’t treat them effectively.  Even though we consider spiders as a rule to be beneficial, black widows are not to be messed with.  We understand the creepiness that comes with spiders, anytime of year and not just Halloween.  We at Four Seasons & HomeTown cover black widows spiders as part of our quarterly pest control service, along with other creepy crawlies such as roaches, ants and beetles.  You may think that this time of the year you’d be safe from bugs but the bugs are year round so why not give us a try?  We have a great promotion on at the moment too!  Contact us for more details.

Have a happy Halloween and if you do get trick or treating enjoy!