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The Poisonous Black Widow Spider

Updated on July 2, 2013

Has A New Super Black Widow Spider Developed

Five recent deaths have been determined to have been caused by Black Widow Spider bites. This occurred in Greencove Springs Florida.
Five recent deaths have been determined to have been caused by Black Widow Spider bites. This occurred in Greencove Springs Florida.

Has A New Super Black Widow Spider Developed In Greencove Springs Florida

In the last two weeks there have been five deaths in the Greencove Springs Florida area that were caused by Black Widow Spider Bites. A local doctor, Bill Zimmerman thinks there is the possibility that a new type of Black Widow Spider may have developed in the area and he is trying to get the Center For Disease Control in Atlanta to study the issue. Dr. Zimmerman says that the Black Widow Spiders in the area may have developed a more toxic venom than Black Widow Spiders in other areas. And he says that someone needs to study this issue.

Four of the five people who died of the spider bites were either elderly or very young but one was a 41 year old healthy man who worked for a area pest control company.

It will be interesting to see what will develop about this story and I will be sure to post it here as soon as possible.

Poisonous Black Widow Spider

The female black widow spider is easily identified by the distinctive red hourglass marking. The bite of the female black widow spider can be very painful and in rare cases even fatal. If you think there is any chance you have been bitten by a black widow spider seek medical attention as soon as possible. Don't wait seek medical help.

Quite often the female Black Widow Spider will kill the male when she mates and eat him. The male Black Widow Spider is much smaller than the female. The Black Widow Spider builds tangled webs near its hiding place. She hangs her egg sac in her web and guards it. The spiders have oil on their legs to prevent them being tangled or caught up in their webs.

The Black Widow Spider will usually attempt to escape unless it is guarding its egg sac or unless you mash it. If you know there are Black Widow Spiders around shake your shoes out before you put them on. Keep in mind that Black Widow Spiders love wood piles and quite often the Black Widow Spider is encountered when people carry wood into the house.

Spray your wood with a citrus oil mixture that is one tablespoon of citrus oil to a quart of water to keep Black Widows and other spiders away. If you spray your wood pile every couple of weeks you won't have near as many spider problems.

Another place people unfortunately encounter the Black Widow Spider is the outdoor mail box. If you suspect your mail box has become a home to black widow spiders spray your mail box inside and out with a citrus oil spray. Be sure to spray under the mail box also. This will kill the spider if the spray hits it and it will discourage other black widow spiders from making a home in your mail box.

Always wear gloves if you suspect there may be black widow spiders in the area. Tuck your pants legs into your shoes or tie each pants leg closed with a shoestring. You want to eliminate as much clutter as possible. Don't provide a heavily cluttered area because this will be the perfect home for black widow spiders.Keep clutter to an absolute minimum.

The female Black Widow Spider rarely leaves her nest and she can be quite aggressive guarding her egg sac. Some Black Widow Spider females have been known to live as long as five years in captivity. They usually live three years in the wild.

Spider Bite Information Chart

If you suspect you have been bitten by a Black Widow or another type of poisonous spider seek medical help as soon as possible.
If you suspect you have been bitten by a Black Widow or another type of poisonous spider seek medical help as soon as possible.

Black Widow Spider Bites

Black Widow spiders have more potent venom than most other poisonous spiders and prior to a Black Widow anti-venom being developed at least 5 percent of all reported Black Widow Spider Bites resulted in death. So yes its very important to seek medical care as soon as possible if you suspect you have been bitten by a Black Widow Spider. Most Black Widow Spider bites will be small red and may have a circle of white around it. See the Black Widow Spider bite photo below.

If you suspect at all that a person has received a bite from a black widow spider it's very important that you take that person to their doctor or to an emergency room as soon as possible. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry later. If you can safely capture the suspected black widow spider in a jar or container with a lid take it with you when you seek emergency treatment so the doctors or medical staff can see exactly what type of spider did bite you.

Black Widow spiders are nocturnal and are a lot more active at night than in the day time. The spider likes crevices and dark corners. If you see spider webs approach with caution. If you suspect it's a black widow spider spray it with an insecticide made for spiders or call a professional pest control expert. If you know you have black widow spiders in a basement or attic you will always be better off to seek out a professional pest control company and ask them to take care of your black widow spider problems.

You should know how to identify a black widow spider. A female southern black widow spider will have a red hour glass shape on her abdomen while a northern black widow spider may have several red spots on her abdomen and other red markings. She may have red legs. You are always advised to avoid any red and black spider because it may be a black widow spider.

For the most part a black widow spider is not aggressive with the exception that a female with an egg sac will guard her nest. Most people are bitten by black widow spiders when the spider is accidentally picked up or crushed by accident. Wear long sleeves and gloves when you work with firewood. Also use care in working with stored cardboard boxes. Both black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders like to nest in cardboard boxes. Keep under the beds and the floors of closets clean and you'll have far fewer problems with spiders.

Black Widow Spider Bite
Black Widow Spider Bite

Act At Once If A Person Receives A Black Widow Spider Bite

It is claimed by many researchers that the bite of the female black widow spider is 15 times more deadly than that of your average rattlesnake. The bite of the Black Widow Spider especially female Black Widow Spiders can be fatal to children , the elderly and those already sick with another illness.

It is the venom of the Black Widow Spider that contains poisonous chemicals that make people sick. The first symptom of a Black Widow Spider bite is usually pain similar to a pin prick. There may be minor swelling , redness , and a target shaped lesion. If the spider bites you on the upper part of the body you will feel the pain in your chest. If the bite is on the lower part of the body you will feel most of the pain in the abdomen.

The above spider bite chart can be very helpful in helping you to learn everything you can about spider bites. Again I can not stress enough. If you think you or a family member has been bitten by a black widow spider seek medical help as soon as possible. And be sure to tell the medical professionals that you suspect a black widow spider bite. If you can safely capture the spider take it with you do so. Just be sure if it's alive that you take it in a container with a lid so the spider can not escape. If you have the spider it can be identified and the correct treatment can be given.

Never wait for more symptoms to appear. Go ahead and seek medical care for the person with the suspected black widow spider bite as soon as possible. If you are the one who is bitten and no one else is around dial 911 and ask for help to be sent.

(C) August 2010 by Thomas Byers aka Crazyhorsesghost. This content was produced for Hub Pages and is not to be used on other sites. If you like this Hub Page please link to this Hub Page.
(C) August 2010 by Thomas Byers aka Crazyhorsesghost. This content was produced for Hub Pages and is not to be used on other sites. If you like this Hub Page please link to this Hub Page.

Please Post Your Comments About The Poisonous Black Widow Spider Now.

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    • diogenes profile image


      7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Interesting article Crazy Horse, but must point out spider bites are not poisonous, but venomous....just going on your title...

      Cheers Bob

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      7 years ago from East Coast , United States

      It would vary with different people. See the chart above for spider bites.

    • profile image

      Daniel Freeze 

      7 years ago

      How long before you could pass out or something?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i was looking for something and wright beside my head was a black widow

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks for the info- good tips to know where they hide so as not to be surprised with an aggressive bite!

      Fortunately, black widows are very shy and try to avoid humans.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      10 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Black Widow Spiders are an interesting but dangerous spider. Thanks for all the great and interesting comments.

    • finatics profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the unique hub. The first time I heard about the widow spider, I must have been five or six years old. Afterwords, I was terrified of encountering them for a long time. Spiders gross me out!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      very interesting hub i have always admired the black widow for its power

    • Austinstar profile image


      10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      The same advice is true for the Brown Recluse Spider! The brown recluse is also known as the "Fiddleback" spider because it has a fiddle shaped mark. In Texas we see a lot of brown recluse spider bites and they are nasty!

      The Black Widow spider is mean.

      Oh, and don't forget scorpions. They are in the arachnid family and though most stings are not fatal, they can be, so seek medical attention for those too!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      10 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Are they in NY. too? I like the pic of her you have. Thanks for the cool hub

    • Paradise7 profile image


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very interesting hub. Actually, that pic of the black widow spider was kinda beautiful. I didn't know the citrus oil spray worked to get rid of them.

      Thanks for a terrific read.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Been bit twice in the last month by one of those...pretty bad infection followed. took 3 weeks of antibiotics to kick it. Not a nice lil critter...

    • dileepk12345 profile image


      10 years ago from Cochin

      thanks for the information


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