Return to the California Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Black Widows

Posted by westelle z9 Fresno, CA (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 4, 12 at 1:23

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?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Black Widows

  • Posted by slogal CA z10a/Sunset 16 (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 4, 12 at 4:23

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

RE: Black Widows

Thank you, the link was helpful.

RE: Black Widows

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

RE: Black Widows

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.

RE: Black Widows

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!

RE: Black Widows

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.

RE: Black Widows

  • Posted by mikey SoCal-Z10-22/23 (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 8, 12 at 12:36

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.....

RE: Black Widows

Definitely not!

RE: Black Widows

  • Posted by dicot Torrance (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 8, 12 at 16:06

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

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the California Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here