Beware The Black Widow Spider: A Guide To Removal And Prevention For Spring Homeowners
Spider on the web

Beware The Black Widow Spider: A Guide To Removal And Prevention For Spring Homeowners

We have a lot of critters in Spring, Texas. But none of them are quite like the black widow spider. Have you ever been told to beware of black widows? Were you also told how scary these spiders are? Well, the truth is that they're not nearly as scary as you've heard. Does that mean you should ignore them? Absolutely not. It is good practice to deal with these spiders as soon as you see them, but they're not looking to get you.

Join us as we take a look at these spiders, the good and the bad. We'll tell you important facts that will help you identify them quickly and how to avoid an unwanted encounter. If you have specific questions regarding black widow spiders on your property, contact Modern Pest Control for local spider control in Spring. We know all about those spiders, and we can get you the help you need.

Identify Black Widow Spiders: Visual Characteristics and Markings

There are a few species of widow spiders in Texas. While they share many characteristics, there is some variance, particularly between males and females or adults and juveniles. In this section, we'll explore some visual features and marks to look for.

Adult Females

A female widow spider is black or brown, depending on the species. We're focusing on the black widows today. If she is a black widow spider, she'll have a red hourglass marking on the bottom of her abdomen. At full size, a female is about 1 ½ inches long. She has eight legs, a shiny appearance, and a bulbous abdomen.

Adult Males

The male black widows are tiny spiders. At about ½ to 1 inch, they don't measure up to the females. They're also not the same color as the females. The males are brown or gray and have tiny red spots on their abdomens. Some have white stripes, depending on the species. You won't find an hourglass marking on the males, and their long legs may make you mistake them for another kind of spider, like a brown recluse.


Baby black widow spiders have more in common with the males than the females. They are a brown and white coloration. While much smaller than the adults, juveniles are basically the same shape. You'll notice the bulbous abdomens. What might throw you off is the coloration. When female black widow spiders begin life, they don't have a red hourglass marking. They have several red dots with white coloration around them. Depending on the species, some have orange dots or an orange line running up the center.

As you can see, identifying black widow spiders isn't straightforward. There are variances to consider. But, if you take the time to look at pictures and familiarize yourself with these spiders, you may detect them early. Let's look at why early detection is important.

Black Widow Spider Bites: Symptoms And Potential Complication

When discussing black widow spider removal and prevention, it is essential to consider bite prevention and what you should know if one bites you. First, let's quickly look at how bites occur and what you should know about the behavior patterns and temperament of these spiders. Then, we'll discuss the symptoms and potential complications.


It is possible to have a female black widow bite you and not inject venom into the wound. We call this a dry bite. When this occurs, you will only have localized pain and no flu-like symptoms.

Male Black Widows And Juveniles

While it is helpful to know how to identify males and juveniles so that you are alerted to the presence of a female black widow, these spiders are not a threat. They are not known to bite humans.


Does a female black widow want to bite you? Not particularly. She is busy with her life, and that life does not include hunting humans down and biting them. These spiders do not consider humans prey. On top of this, they are typically shy. You'll find them hiding on your property. Therefore, you only need caution when going into undisturbed and secluded spaces.

The Symptoms Of A Black Widow Bite

There are many symptoms associated with a black widow spider bite. At first, you'll experience localized pain. You may have muscle cramps or spasms in the area around the bite. You may have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, chills, sweating, nausea, or vomiting. If your condition worsens, you can experience belly pain, restlessness, stupor, chock, or seizures.

Complications That May Occur

A healthy individual with a strong immune system will fight off a black widow spider bite fairly well. The concern is for those who have a compromised immune system or are in a weakened health state. Watch for trouble swallowing, heavy sweating, and lightheadedness.

Fatalities Due To Black Widow Spiders

Okay. Here is the big question: Are black widow spiders deadly? According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the last reported fatality in the United States from a black widow spider bite was in 1983. There are a combination of reasons for this. As we pointed out, sometimes they cause dry bites, only the females bite, and they are generally shy. On top of these factors, we have fast access to medical care, so you needn't fear black widow spiders.

These are the basic facts you need to know about black widow spiders to guard yourself and your family from their potential threats. If you are aware of how things can go wrong, you'll be on track to prevent issues from arising.

Preventing Black Widow Spiders: Effective Strategies

Using what we've discussed so far, it is time to consider how you can keep these spiders away from your property and what practical steps you can take to avoid getting bitten. These are only preventative tips. In the next section, you'll find information on controlling black widows on your property.

Reduce Food Attractants

If you're looking to keep black widows away from your home, you need to consider the food they eat. What do black widow spiders eat? They eat insects, mostly. They prefer larger insects, such as grasshoppers, cockroaches, and beetles. If you take steps to control their prey, you'll resist attracting black widows. Here are some strategies to do just that:

  • Insects are attracted to light. You can reduce the insect population on your property by replacing exterior light fixtures with motion-detecting fixtures. Doing so will keep the lights off when you don't need them and remove a strong attraction for insects at night.
  • Insects seek moist conditions. Black widows enjoy these conditions as well. You can reduce dampness, puddles, and humidity by addressing clogged gutters, dense vegetation, weeds, plumbing issues, etc.
  • Some insects are attracted to decay. They'll zero in on a dirty trash receptacle and areas of poor sanitation. If something outdoors has a bit of an odor, you can bet that it will attract insects. Manage trash by storing your refuse in scented bags, placing them in covered containers, and removing trash weekly. If your container has a scent, wash it with soapy water.
  • Some insects are attracted to tight spaces. Any clutter in your yard can lure them to your property. They are particularly attracted to stacked wood and other organic piles.

When you deal with general pests, you naturally deter black widow spiders. They will not want to live on your property if there isn't any food for their offspring.

Reduce Hiding Places

Along with removing stacked clutter, you must consider potential hiding places for black widows. A female widow prefers natural environments, seclusion, and protection. Addressing these conditions can prevent unwanted trouble with black widow spiders.

  • Woodpiles, in any form, are a big attractant for black widows. They'll hide in a brush pile, stacked wood under your deck, undisturbed campfire wood, wood pallets shielded by vegetation, and construction materials.
  • A black widow can hide in a pile of stones, rocks, or cinder blocks.
  • Any junk pile will provide harborage for a spider. The most important factor is that it is undisturbed for a while. If you continually throw things on it, black widows won't want to live there.
  • Shrubs, bushes, and dense vegetation are perfect for black widows. They offer protection and available food sources.
  • A crawl space underneath a home is attractive to many pests and a perfect, undisturbed environment for a black widow.
  • Objects left in a storage shed can acquire a black widow, particularly furniture items with voids. Widow spiders can also get into storage boxes.

This list is not comprehensive, but you can use these examples to help you evaluate your property and conditions that may invite these spiders to build their webs.

Steps To Avoid A Bite

The primary preventative measure for avoiding black widow spider bites is caution. If you're watching for trouble, trouble won't sneak up on you, right? Here are some things to do and watch for to prevent a bite:

  • Watch for females, males, or juvenile black widows on your property.
  • Watch for the presence of strong and tangled webs.
  • Wear gloves when working in the yard or clearing out a crawl space.
  • Wear something on your feet when walking in the grass at night.
  • Use caution when moving furniture and other items out of storage.
  • Use caution when moving wood, brush, rocks, and other organic materials.

Most of the time, you don't need to think about black widow spiders. Only when you start to move stuff around or go into secluded spaces will you come in contact with one—unless a spider gets into your home.

Steps To Keep Black Widows Out

The steps you'll use to keep black widow spiders out of your house will also help you keep out a long list of other pests, so they are well worth your effort. Start with the following:

  • If you have a crawl space under your home, seal off any points of entry.
  • Use expanding foam to fill in wood cavities, gaps between wood members, gaps around pipes, voids behind joists, and other potential entry points.
  • Use a caulking gun to seal around exterior window and door frames. Repair damaged screens and window panes.
  • Use mortar to fill in any foundation cracks.
  • Check all of your exterior doors. If you're able to see gaps, replace your weatherproofing materials.
  • If you have a store cellar, check it for gaps or potential entry points, particularly at the bottom of the doors where they touch.

Once your home has the protection it needs, make sure to stay on top of essential maintenance around your property, such as removing leaves and branches and keeping your vegetation trimmed. These steps will give you the best chance of keeping black widows out of your house. But what do you do if they've already gotten inside?

Expert Black Widow Spider Removal Services: Call Us Right Away!

While you don't have to fear black widow spiders, having them in your home isn't good. It is best to contact Modern Pest Control for a spider removal service visit for your Spring home. Our pest management professionals use science-based solutions to track, identify, control, and monitor black widow spiders in Spring, Texas.

Your treatment will begin with an inspection. We'll look for conditions that attract the spiders, potential entry points, webs, and important factors. We'll locate the spiders and identify them. Once we identify the species, we'll determine a treatment plan. During the treatment process, we evaluate the control methods to ensure results and are able to give you the all-clear when spider activity is no longer detected.

Would you like to learn more about our treatment methods or service availability? Jump over to our contact page and fill out the short form. Tell us about your spider problem and what you've been seeing. We'll get right back to you and guide you toward a pest control solution that is appropriate to your pest problem and will meet your specific needs. We look forward to hearing from you.

Share To: