Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape
under their abdomen. This spider gets its name from the popular
belief that the female black widow spider eats the male after
mating, although this rarely happens. Black widows are poisonous
when ingested during the first 17 days of their life.
Black widows are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or
higher, but they can survive lower temperatures with the right
conditions. Black widow spiders spin irregular webs, which they
build at night near ground level. Once complete, these spiders hang
upside-down in their webs.
Outdoors, black widow spiders commonly live in protected areas like
under stones and in firewood piles. They are often found in barns,
outhouses and sheds. Indoors, black widows prefer cluttered areas
of garages, basements and crawl spaces.
While male black widow spiders rarely bite, females are known to be
aggressive and bite in defense, especially after laying, and when
guarding eggs. Symptoms of a black widow spider bite include fever,
increased blood pressure, sweating and nausea. Fatalities are
unlikely, as long as proper medical treatment is sought in a timely
manner. If you notice black widows or signs of infestation, contact
a professional immediately for a proper course of black widow