The Black Widow
The black widow has a very distinctive appearance. It is a shiny black with a red marking on the bottom of the abdomen, in the shape of an hourglass.
It's venom is a neurotoxin and reactions vary from person to person. Children and the elderly tend to be most effected. The initial symptoms present within 20 minutes to one hour and include local pain, muscle cramps, abdominal pain, weakness and tremor. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fainting, dizziness, chest pain and respiratory difficulty.
Much like the brown recluse, the black widow hides out in undisturbed small spaces. It's web is a chaotic zig-zag of lines with no particular pattern. They can almost always be found at or near ground level.
Always take care and wear gloves when going through materials or boxes that have been left undisturbed for long periods of time. Wood piles are a particularly common hiding area for black widows so always shake off the wood before bringing it inside.
The best way to prevent a bite is to keep the home free of pests, with regular pest control services. At Alternative Pest Control we make spraying for spiders a routine part of our quarterly services, ALL year long, EVERY service.