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How To Tell If A Black Widow Spider Has Bitten You In McAllen

Black Widow Spider in its web.

Where Do Black Widow Spiders Live?

Contrary to popular belief, there are only two venomous spiders in the United States whose bite may produce symptoms beyond a bee-like sting or small blister at the bite site; black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders. In this brief article, we will focus on the black widow spider because it is the spider you are most likely to encounter in our part of Texas. 

While it is more fiction than fact, black widow spiders are so-named because the females supposedly eat the males after mating. While this activity is possible, it is rare, but the deadly reputation lives on with black widow spiders. One of the reasons for the ongoing beliefs about these spiders is due to their living arrangements.

These venomous Texas spiders construct their irregular webs in the dark recesses of garages, barns, sheds, and other outdoor storage buildings. If these are not present, they create tangled, messy webs underneath decks and porches, inside outdoor water, gas, and electric meter boxes, crawlspaces, wood piles, and more. 

Like other arachnids, black widows live outdoors as long as it is not too cold. When not living inside a human-made building, they live in undisturbed areas under rocks, tree stumps, and debris. No matter where they live, they prefer to be surrounded by clutter because debris entices their prey to enter the area.

How Common Are Black Widow Spiders In McAllen

Every state and Canada reports the presence of black widows, but because of our warm and dry climate, they are among the most common spiders in Texas and are more abundant in the south and west compared to the northern states. Because we have a high black widow population, exercise caution by wearing protective clothing and gloves when working under your porch, deck, or crawlspace. If working in an outdoor storage building or clearing debris from the yard, do not reach for items stored in dark areas or remove rocks, logs, or wood piles without thick gloves. 

Symptoms Of A Black Widow Spider Bite

Although the name black widow gives the impression that these spiders found in Texas are deadly, the reality is that death is rare from a black widow bite. The males and maturing black widows do not bite at all, and the females will try to run away before biting a human. Female black widows bite when pressed against a person's skin; they only exhibit aggression when protecting an egg sac. 

If you have the unfortunate experience of a bite from a female black widow, you can expect some of these symptoms:

  • Immediate pain at the bite site: The pain may increase in intensity for up to three hours, and residual pain may last for about three days. 
  • Slight swelling and red marks at the bite location: The venom of a black widow reportedly is 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake's, so you can expect it to leave a lasting impression.
  • Flu-like symptoms: A bite from these venomous spiders in Texas often produces fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. In some cases, the venom causes an increase in blood pressure. 

If you suspect a black widow has bitten you, seek medical attention to avoid further complications. Fortunately, it has been more than a decade since a black widow's bite has caused death.

Spider Control For McAllen Properties

The best way to get rid of spiders on your McAllen property is to allow our pest control technicians from BUGWORKS Termite & Pest Control Co. to take care of the problem. When you schedule an inspection, we will determine the scope of the infestation, hot spots, and the attraction to your property. Next, we will eliminate the spiders and their eggs using a custom strategy based on your situation. Contact us today for a free quote.

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