How to Get Rid of Black Widow Spiders
How to Kill Black Widow Spiders
Most spiders are harmless, and are beneficial to have around your property. However, there are 2 types of spiders in North America which should cause some alarm: the black widow and the brown recluse spider. If you have a black widow infestation on your hands, you'll need to take immediate action. It's also good to know a few techniques for killing individual spiders you encounter, so you can keep your family safe!
Get Rid of an Infestation
Clean out potential hiding spots.Black widows hole up in seldom-disturbed areas, such as woodpiles, storage boxes, the back of closets, and so on. Not only will cleaning these areas eliminate potential habitats, you'll also get rid of areas for black widow prey to live.
- Wear gardening gloves. Just in case you do stumble over a spider, your hands will be safe from bites.
- De-clutter. If you have unnecessary boxes, wood or other items crowding your house, getting rid of them can remove potential hiding places.
- Vacuum. If you have a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, use it to clean out dark nooks and crannies. If you see a webwithouta spider in it, the vacuum is your best bet. Just be sure to seal the bag and dispose of it (outside the house) as soon as you're done so nothing can escape back into your home.
- Spray down the outside of your house. Use a high-pressure hose to destroy webs and egg sacs. Pay particular attention to window wells, window frames, and door frames.
- Clear vegetation that is in direct contact with your home. Ivy and other plant life on your house or around its perimeter provide a home for these pests.
- Clean regularly. Chores like vacuuming and keeping your living area clean aid in preventing spider infestation. Vacuuming is especially important because it clears out dust, eggs and the spiders themselves.
Prevent spiders from entering your home.The best method to avoid black widows is prevention. By keeping your doors and windows caulked, you are taking an important step in preventing spiders and other insects from getting into your home. Weatherproofing your exits is also very helpful.
Call a professional exterminator.If you suspect that your black widow problem is bigger than you can handle on your own, call a professional who's licensed to use heavier insecticides. If possible, ask around a few different businesses for quotes depending on the size of your house and the suspected severity of the infestation.
Eradicate Spiders with Active Methods
Spray spiders with an aerosol pesticide.If you see a black widow on the loose, try to spray it with a pesticide first. This is better than trying to smash or stomp on it because the spiders are aggressive and will run at you, if threatened.
Squash it.If you don't have a pesticide handy, grab a shoe or other flat object and kill the spider the old-fashioned way. Keep in mind that black widows are quick, and they might run toward you instead of away from you (like most other spiders do).
Hunt Them.A bit after sunset, say 9 or 10 pm in the summer time, search for widows in the places you know they are making a home. This is evident by the tough webs they make. Arm yourself with a flashlight, spray glue or hairspray (some sticky aerosol), long pants, shoes,etc. look for them about a foot off of the ground. When you see one, spray it. This alone will kill the widows, reduce the numbers, and keep you from needing long term pesticides.
Eradicate Spiders with Passive Methods
Powder the web.Black widows spend a lot of time on their webs, whether it's to guard an egg sac or wait for prey. Sprinkle a non-repellant insecticidal dust over the web when you find it — the dust will eventually kill the spider. Return to the web to make sure the spider is dead, and dispose of both in a sealed plastic bag.
Apply residual insecticide to dark corners.A wettable powder applied to corners and nooks will prevent the formation of new webs, making it harder for the black widows to catch prey and thrive.
QuestionDo dead spiders still contain poison?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, even though they're dead, they still have their poison sacs inside of their bodies near the heart.Thanks!
QuestionWhat happens if you kill a black widow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt dies. ("People die when they are killed!" - Shirou Emiya)Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if a spider is dead?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf a spider isn't moving and its legs are curled up close to its body, then it's most likely dead.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need to retain the services of an exterminator on an ongoing basis to keep the spiders away?Seth BegleyCommunity AnswerYes, some black widow infestations can be extremely pesky, if the infestation is severe. This is due to the fact that black widows nest in more secluded, hidden places that pesticides might not reach on the first or second application.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I kill a spider on the ceiling?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSee if there is an attachment on your vacuum cleaner that will reach it and then empty the vacuum cleaner outside so the spider can't crawl back out.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get rid of a Black Widow infestation?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt would be a good idea to call an exterminator.Thanks!
QuestionI'm arachnophobic, what would be a good way to kill them while keeping my distance?Sgt BreadCommunity AnswerSpraying hair spray will work most of the time, or maybe WD40, because that has a long pipe on the end to give you more distance.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I kill spiders that are behind an object that's difficult to move?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try reaching for the spiders with a long object, like a broom, but it might be better to call a professional exterminator.Thanks!
- If you get bitten but you're not 100% sure if it's a dangerous bite, do not be afraid to get medical attention.
- If you are bitten by a black widow, seek medical attention immediately. Though the bite will seem like a small prick and will only show itself by some very small swelling around the area, you may experience abdominal and muscle cramps an hour or more after you have been bitten.
Sources and Citations
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