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Spiders in My Backyard Garden: A Black Widow Infestation

Updated on July 29, 2013

Black Widow in a Cinder Block

Introduction on Spiders in My Backyard

Note: This is the 2nd Hub on Spiders in My Backyard. If you have not already read my first Hub on this, I strongly recommend that you do so first.

After my first several encounters with Black Widow spiders in my backyard, I thought I would be good for a while.

That was not the case.

In fact, I found out that my backyard has been a Black Widow spider breeding ground - which happened to be taking place in the cinder block holes around our above-ground garden.

The problem was that grass debris went into this holes, making it the perfect place to build a web and remain undetected by the passerby. This turned out to be exactly what the Black Widows like, an undisturbed location that will not get noticed by humans or animals.

Black Widow and Her Egg Sac

Where There is an Egg Sac, There Are Black Widows

While I was watering the above-ground garden, I noticed a familiar looking egg sac in a cinder block hole. It took me a moment to figure out that this belonged to a Black Widow Spider. I took a stick and moved the debris around in the cinder block hole to find what I already knew: a Black Widow was lingering close by.

Black Widows do not leave their egg sacs behind. They are very territorial, and remain very close to their nest and egg sac, unless the area is constantly being disturbed.

Black Widow Hourglass

Source

Do Not Take On Black Widows

I single-handedly removed 4 more black widows from our back yard, with dishwashing gloves, a garden trowel, kitchen scissors, and a long stick.

I was very aware of the surroundings, and had to tediously work to remove debris from inside the cinder block holes. This is so the cinder blocks are not inviting for future nests.

I then sprayed the area with insect killer (Triazicide) bought at Lowe's.

Many people were shocked I took on Black Widows. In fact, I saw more than 7 out there, but was only able to successfully catch 4 of them in a Coke bottle contraption I made. I super-glued the top half of a 2 liter bottle to a smaller 12 oz. Coke bottle, giving me a large funnel top, on a smaller bottom with a bottle-neck.

Do you think this kept them down in the bottom?

No, and I was actually surprised.

I dropped 2 Black Widows in this holding contraption, and had to walk back to the porch for a tool. When I walked back (only seconds later), they had both crawled all the way back to the top of the funnel top. I had this trap placed inside a small kitchen trash can in case something like this happened. What I didn't realize is that the trap fell over at an angle slightly inside the trash can, allowing them a steep grade to climb up.

I then grabbed the nearby can of Multi-Purpose Lubricant and hosed the spiders down, dousing them real good. I was actually surprised how long it took to take effect on them. It subdued them about 10 seconds after spraying them.

Why did I go out and catch Black Widows?

I honestly felt that I needed to do more than just spray. And I took precautions.

By the time it was all said and done, I had seen more than 10 Black Widows on this occasion, in the cinder blocks in my backyard. Talk about an adrenaline rush.

If you encounter a Black Widow spider, use extreme caution. The bite can be deadly! Contact pest control immediately.

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    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Interesting hub, Zeke. Thanks for sharing and for the warning!

    • zeke2100 profile imageAUTHOR

      zeke2100 

      6 years ago

      He is very fortunate. I had to reach in and clip grass with kitchen scissors and remove debris one block at a time. Have not seen any return since spraying the area.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 

      6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      What an interesting read! I've never encountered a black widow, but my brother has. The spider bit his hand when he reached into a toolbox. The emergency room staff watched his condition for four hours, then released him from the hospital. Fortunately, the spider bite was in the webbed area between his fingers, so he had no adverse reactions to the venom.

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