Black Widows

CA KateSeptember 4, 2012

I started cleaning the garage today and found that I have an infestation of Black WIdows. I don't want to treat the garage wholesale, but need to get rid of these spiders before someone gets a nasty bite. Any one have any knowledge of geting rid of these?

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slogal(CA z10a/Sunset 16)

Below is a link to the UC Davis IPM notes on Black Widows. The gist of it is that chemical means aren't that effective so the best bets are physical and mechanical management: clearing any clutter, sealing cracks, excluding insects that widows prey upon, etc.

The note mentions regular vacuuming as being effective since the spiders' soft bodies don't usually survive the experience.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: UC IPM: Black Widow and Other Widow Spiders

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:23AM
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CA Kate

Thank you, the link was helpful.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:08PM
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You know what works great on spiders? OFF or any other mosquito spray (Deet). I discovered this because I will only use non-toxic stuff because of my pets, and I figured if it is OK to spray on my skin, it can't be that toxic. One shot and they curl up and die immediately. I also spray it on my arms before working on my trees and veggies in the garden, and I no longer have the little garden spiders or other bugs biting my arms.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:24PM
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home_grower(SoCal Z9 S18)

I'm lucky enough that I have never seen a black widow inside my house or garage but I do frequently get them outside.
I do a regular hunt at night with a flashlight and my shoes to eradicate any black widows that have set up a web. They like to hide during the day but will adventure out to the middle of their web at night. That is where I go gong fu panda on them and squish them like the bug they are. I am not so much worried about myself as my dogs accidentally getting bit by them.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 4:31AM
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CA Kate

Okay: Tonight with flashlight, creeping around the garage with shoe at the ready, AND the mosquito repellant on hand just in case the Widow is unswat-able.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Some insecticides are more effective than others, but squishing them works every time. Just step straight down on them on the web and you'll get them.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Many years ago I was temporarily assigned to work the night shift at the police shooting range. It typically was pretty slow working the night shift at the range and one night I noticed my co-worker take a revolver, load it and out into the darkness he went. Periodically I would see a bright flash and hear a gunshot, KA-BLAM! This went on for several minutes and then he came back inside and I asked him what he was shooting at. He said that at night the black widows come out from their hiding places and he loads up a 38 with blanks and shoots them. He said the blast from a blank round just blows them to pieces.

Well, being a young dumb cop, and having no knowledge of the power of a blank round, I figured I would try it. So I loaded up with 6 blanks and went out on safari hunting black widows. With flashlight in one hand and my trusty 38 revolver in the other hand I saw a big fat black widow spider in her web located in the 90-degree corner where two cinder block walls were joined. I leaned down holding the gun about 2' from the spider and I pulled the trigger. KA-BLAM! The blast from the blank round peppered my face and eyes with dirt, grit, and spider debris. The concussion felt like it nearly knocked my front teeth out. I staggered back into the range house spitting crap out of my mouth and brushing crap off my uniform and feeling my way to find the restroom to clear the debris from my face and eyes. My co-worker asks, "What in hell happened to you?" I first washed my face off and then I explained what happened and he busts out laughing. Between sobs of laughter he say, "You dumb sh#@! I usually stand about 4'away and never shoot into a confined area."

To say the least, I don't recommend this method.....

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:36PM
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CA Kate

Definitely not!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 2:19PM
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I've got enough black widows around that I'm considering getting an Epi-pen (epinephrine) to keep around the house, in case of a bad reaction to a bite. Not too sure how to deal with this new brown widow infestation in my area, but at least the bites aren't as bad as black widows, supposedly.

Here is a link that might be useful: brown widows in LA

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 4:06PM
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