All spiders have venom, but the venom of the black widow spider is particularly potent. This is because the black widow takes down much larger prey than most spiders. They don't just eat flies and gnats. These robust arachnids can take down and feed on caterpillars, beetles, scorpions, cockroaches, grasshoppers, and other large insects. But what is most impressive is that they will also take down mice, lizards, and even snakes. This is not a spider you want to tangle with.
Will a bite from a black widow lead to death?
A black widow bite can be fatal, but it is rare, especially in the United States where medical treatment for black widow bites is quickly accessible. It is, however, a bite that is usually unpleasant enough to make you wish you were dead. Symptoms may include severe pain in the bite area, as well as in the chest, belly, and back; muscle aches that start near the bite wound and spread through the entire body; chills, sweating, fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and even shock. A bite from the black widow is especially threatening to those who have a heart condition because the venom often causes a spike in blood pressure. If you, or someone you're with, is bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention immediately.
How do I protect myself from a black widow bite?
If you are away from home, the best way to protect yourself from a bite is to recognize a black widow spider web when you see one. These webs don't look like those perfect webs you see as part of Halloween decorations. These spiders make a tangled web from strong fibers and usually place them in locations that are near the ground.
Bites from this spider usually occur when this spider is brought into contact with the skin. If you are at home, here are some ways you can protect yourself:
Be careful, or wear gloves, when flipping things over in your yard.
Be careful when opening boxes that have come out of storage.
Shake clothing before you put those items on, especially if they have been on the floor.
Shake towels before you use them.
Turn footwear upside down and give them a good shake before slipping your foot in.
Pull your bedding down and examine the sheets before you get into bed.
Reduce habitats in your yard by reducing clutter and ground holes.
If you've seen black widow spiders on your property, and you live in our Tennessee service area, you can trust the QualityPro Certified team here at Russell's Pest Control to help protect you from an accidental encounter with these potent spiders. Reach out to us for quick assistance.