How Dangerous Are New Jersey’s Black Widow Spiders?

Facts & Bite Prevention Tips
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Studies have concluded that the venom of a female black widow spider is fifteen times stronger than rattlesnake venom. That certainly sounds dangerous. But there are a few things you should know about this statistic to help bring it into proper perspective.

black window in a new jersey basement

Four Facts About Black Widow Spiders

Male black widows are essentially harmless.

The bite of a male black widow is not as potent as the bite of a female black widow. This is because the males have smaller venom glands than the females. This is also true of juvenile female black widow spiders. A bite from a male black widow will produce no more than an itchy red welt.

Females don't use all their venom

When a female black widow bites, it doesn't use all of its venom every time. The amount of envenomation will partly determine the symptoms experienced. In some cases, a black widow bite may only result in localized pain and general malaise. The bites from these spiders will be worse if the spider is trapped and unable to escape.

Black widows don't prefer to bite humans

These spiders don't like to be around us any more than we like to be around them! In fact, these spiders gravitate toward quiet, secluded locations such as under decks, porches, or patios. They'll also hide in brush piles or in stacks of firewood. Inside a home, they'll gravitate toward attic spaces, storage closets, and basements. If you go into these areas and find a black widow spider, it is likely that it will flee from you. But, if provoked or trapped, these spiders will bite.

People rarely die from a black widow spider bite

While you can become quite ill from a black widow bite and the experience can be quite unpleasant, these bites rarely lead to human mortality.

What can we draw from this?

While black widow spiders are definitely not a pest any of us should have on our property or in our homes, they hardly measure up to the legends and myths that are spread about them. If a homeowner takes the proper precautions and invests in routine pest control services from a pest control professional, the threat these spiders pose can be managed.

Black Widow Bite Prevention

Since black widows prefer secluded locations, be cautious when entering the more secluded areas in your home such as basements, attics, or storage rooms. Always bring a flashlight with you and wear shoes when entering these areas.

  • Reduce clutter in your basement, garage, and storage areas. This will reduce hiding spots for these spiders.
  • Be cautious and consider wearing gloves when opening boxes that have come out of storage as boxes are a common hiding place for black widow spiders.
  • When working in the yard, wear work gloves and pay close attention when turning over rocks or moving brush around. Black widow spiders feed on large insects that are commonly found in these areas.
  • Shake out clothing and towels before using them to check for spiders.
  • Inspect your bedding for spiders before climbing into bed at night.
  • Shake out your footwear before sliding your feet inside to make sure there are no black widows hiding inside.
  • Be on the lookout for spider webs with a big black spider hanging in the middle. If it is a female black widow, you'll see a red hourglass shape on the bottom on its abdomen.

Black Widow Pest Control

At Arrow Pest Control, we advise all New Jersey homeowners to invest in a pest control plan as pest control is an essential part in protecting our health and our homes from pests. When pests get into a home, they can cause a variety of serious problems. They can damage the structural wood of your home. They can destroy your clothing, carpets, drapes, furniture, and other household items. They can contaminate food sources and spread harmful diseases that can make us sick. And those are only some of the problems pests can cause!
If you live in New Jersey, consider a Home Protection plan from Arrow Pest Control for your pest control needs. Our Home Protection plans are divided into three customizable packages to fit your specific pest control needs, Home Protection, Home Protection Plus, and Arrow Premier. All of our pest control services are implemented by licensed and experienced pest control professionals. Give us a call today to learn more.

Lisa M.


‟Tom is amazing! Arrow is the best company! Love their services. They truly care about their clients. ”
Lisa M.
Port Monmouth, NJ
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