Black Widow spider 2007

shelley.a.quinn(7b)October 2, 2007

So I have found about 5 large black widow spiders with a couple egg sacs (now all dead and smooshed by my husband) in my garden (under a metal bin. I was like "Holy Cow!"

This was after hearing on the radio that the pool at Dublin Park had to close temporarily because they had found over 100 black widows. Because of the draught???

Just wondering if anyone else, especially in the Madison County area has notice more black widows around?? And what are some ways to look out for them, and get rid of them? Any thoughts?


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hi, Shelley!

My husband and I have also found dozens of them around the outside of our Huntsville home. They had taken up housekeeping in the small spaces between stacks of empty clay pots and cell packs and flats from my usual spring grow-a-thon. This didn't happen last year or the year before.

I shudder to think about the garage, which we will have to tackle as soon as the weather gets cooler. IF THAT EVER HAPPENS!

BWS are pretty predictable in their behavior, thank goodness. Now, I expect to find one in every little hidey hole and I am usually correct. Look for their messy little webs as a tell-tale sign of their presence and develop the habit of wearing gloves and shoes.

We've turned our outdoor furniture upside down to check everything out, and have stacked containers away from the house. We fully expect them to be living in the woodpile so every single piece of fire wood will have to be inspected before it comes inside.

I cannot be around chemicals of any kind, so that's not an option for us, but we will make use of diatomaceous earth in the garage and outdoor storage building, etc.

That's about all I can offer. It's pretty creepy, that's for sure. I've never seen so many of these spiders in my life. Does anyone know what you should do if bitten? I've heard (and read) differing reports about this. I wonder if you can feel their bite as it happens, or as with most spiders, you just find out later once the reaction begins to occur.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:53PM
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swjonthebay(8b Alabama)

We too have had an abundance of black widows this year plus the appearance of the BROWN widow spider (which I didn't even know existed!). They have similar habits to their black widow cousins. Just wanted y'all to be on the lookout for these as well... better safe than sorry!

Here is a link that might be useful: brown widow spiders

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 6:40PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Yep I noticed alot more this year. Have killed dozens and dozens over the year. They like to hide out in the cypress mulch as well as any pots, lumber or furniture that's outside. Yes, wearing gloves is a must to be safe and thoroughly check anything that might present a place for them to hide including outdoor furniture you may be about to sit on.

I always heard they were territorial but I found three adults seemingly co-habitating inside of a cinder block along with several egg sacs.

My husband was bitten by what the doctor later told us was a brown recluse spider last year in our bed (we never found me the heeby jeebies). He never felt it, just woke up and saw injury. It never did hurt much but it sure looked pretty strange. This was new to us and we didn't know what to do. Called a local doctor who said to take him to an emergency room. We rush to an emergency room only to have to sit in the waiting room for 2 1/2 hours before even seeing the doctor, meanwhile we're pretty freaked wondering if this spider venom is a time-sensitive danger and no one seems to give a crap or can tell us anything. We finally get into an exam room, the doctor walks in for less than 2 minutes (I kid you not....there was a clock on the wall) and told us there was absolutely nothing they could do for it unless the area turned blackish and necrotic meaning the tissue was dying. Then they'd have to surgically remove the rotting tissue in that case. Otherwise we should go home and keep an eye on it. Then he billed us for $300.

The area around the bite was discolored and visible for months after but it never turned black. We watched as the discolored area actually moved from near his shoulder originally down toward his wrist as gravity gradually pulled the venom down the arm over several weeks time. We read up on them later on the internet and it seems that most brown recluse bites are not life-threatening and few people have ever died from them. I also read that black widow spider bites are not life-threatening, but if you do get bitten you may very well feel as though you're dying and should seek medical attention for your symptoms.

Danielle J.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 2:13AM
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Hi Shelley,

We have also been dealing with a large number of the Black Widow spiders. We re-located to northern California from the Mobile, AL area, and found our new neighborhood was just crawling with all sorts of spiders, including a BUNCH of black widows. Here in the San Joaquin valley outside of Stockton, CA, the very hot and dry summers lead to large numbers of these pests. Since I discovered the problem late one night a few months ago, I have killed about six dozen VERY LARGE black widows here just around the outside of our home.

The method I used to get them under control here went like this:
I am VERY afraid of any spider, ESPECIALLY these, so I used flying wasp and hornet spray (Raid) to kill them from a safe distance. I found this spray will kill spiders almost on contact, in about 30 seconds or so. Hit them directly on the body with one good spray, and they will drop rather quickly. I found that my spiders would hide away from their webs in the heat of the day and come out in the evening hours. I did most of my spider hunting around dusk using a high power flashlight. Black widow spiders spin a unique rather unorganized looking web that is easy to spot once you know what to look for. Most of mine were near ground level with webs going from the house to the ground less than a foot off the ground. Also they were found behind plants, in bushes between flower beds and the house. A few were up on the eves of the house, but mainly they stayed low to the ground. My neighbor left a work truck parked in his driveway without moving it for a month or so. We killed two dozen just under his truck and in the pick-up bed. Our black widows are somewhat larger than I remember back in Alabama. Here they averaged between quarter and half-dollar size, with a few larger than that.

For round two, after a week of evening spider hunts with the hornet spray, I went looking for a product to keep them away for good. I found a product called Cyper WP, which is a white powder insecticide you dilute with water and apply with a garden sprayer. ( same as DEMON WP or CYNOFF WP ) Search CYPER WP on GOOGLE This product is recommended for spider control, and it serves as a good all-around pest control agent as well. I purchased it from Pro Pest Products just outside of Atlanta, GA on the web. they had good prices and very fast shipping. Their number is 1-800-476-3368

I used this as directed, and after a few weeks or so, we have no more spiders of any kind hanging around. ( or any other insects for that kills almost everything considered a pest) Once dry, it remains active for about six months or so, according to the online product reviews I read. It also claims to be rather pet-safe after it is dry. I am very satisfied with the results I have seen here.

I hope this helps with your spider troubles. Feel free to send me a message if you need any more information.

Best Regards, Ryan B.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 11:56PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

I find them all the time around my yard, especially under objects. I have learned to recognize the web and an easy test is to poke the web with a long stick. The web is very tough. One year I found a BW hanging out on the top step of my pool ladder. I just spray or smoosh em and move on although I do regularly treat my basement with a household pesticide for this reason. Okay to see them in the yard but not in the house.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 2:18PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

I had a scare a few weeks ago. On my front porch I had several Cryptanthus (earthstars, a type of terrestrial bromeliad) and a neighbor commented on them. I lifted one up so she could see it closer, and she commented that there was a bug on it. I am not squeamish, so I turned it around to see what kind of bug. It was the biggest BW I have ever seen in my 60 years! I dropped the pot like a hot potato, then saturated the pot with bug spray.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 9:27AM
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Thanks for the info on the brown widow! A few days after reading that I dumped a load out of my wheelbarrow that had been sitting out in the yard for several days. Found a large brown widow and numerous egg cases in one of the wheel wells.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 5:29PM
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I have seen an increase in every kind of spider this year. I have seen black widow and brown recluse in my garage. I also have lots of the little black spiders that web between trees, I can't think of what they're called. I can't go into my woods without walking into one. Plenty of banana spiders too.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:35PM
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what do black widows or brown widows do in the winter?i live way back in the woods,have spiders everywhere.i've only seen one little bw this year,but it's the only one i've ever seen was behind a bag of potting soil out by the greenhouse.i spend alot of time outside at night.this scares me.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 9:33AM
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We have had an excessive amount of spiders and spider webs all in our yard this year. It's the worse we have had ever! We live outside of Montgomery, in the country, we have them in our house, storage room, barn, yard, trees, everywhere you can think of. We have tried spraying several types of pesticides with not much help. I am wondering too if it has to do with the lack of rain. I mean when it rains it pours but then it dry for weeks if not months. And it's not just regular small spiders, its all kinds of species. And they're all in the tall grass, we're afraid to weedeat! I was weedeating last week and was stung by something (I'm thinking now it was a spider), unfortunately I was not very smart and had on flip flops, and I swiped my toes and nearly cut the second toe on my left foot off and took the whole nail off my big toe. Anyway, we really need some help with these annoying pests. I hate them! And they're in our house and around the house, even near all the doorways! Please give us some advice!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The vast majority of spiders are completely beneficial and an important part of your country ecosystem. You need to learn to identify the habits and habitat of the 3 poisonous species we have in Alabama and accept the presence of the others.

As far as those that unnerve you, the best method of getting rid of them is a broom, not pesticides.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 3:23PM
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Besides the brown recluse and black widow, what is the 3rd poisonous spider species you mentioned in Alabama?


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 11:36PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hi, Patrick...I didn't see this until today! Sorry about that. The third venomous spider is a relative of the black widow, the BROWN widow. Attached is some information and images.

Here is a link that might be useful: more thing to worry about

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 1:00PM
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