Do you think you've found a black widow spider in your home? It is sometimes hard to tell. We've gathered some information to share with you about how you can detect black widow spider activity, identify black widow spiders, and deal with any spiders you've found. We'll dig into how black widows don't always look like black widows, what brings them into your home, and what brings them into your yard. If you have questions about these spiders, this pest spotlight should give you some answers. If you'd like to speak to a licensed technician about black widows, other spiders, or spider pest control in McAllen, connect with us through our contact page. We provide essential services to address dangerous spiders in McAllen as well as general pest maintenance to keep common spiders from entering your home.
How To Identify A Black Widow Spider
You likely know that black widow spiders are entirely black and have a red hourglass mark on the bottom of the abdomen, but do you know that they don't always look like this? Only females have that hourglass marking, and they only develop that marking as they reach their adult stage. Therefore, a black widow spider may not look like one. Let's start by looking at identifying features in each stage.
- Young female black widows have pale coloration and markings that are a mix of black, orange, or red. As they develop, they eventually become entirely black, but they don't start out that way. You may see a small spider with red or orange dots instead of a black spider with a red hourglass.
- Male black widows are smaller than females. They are typically around ⅓ of an inch in length. They share similar coloration to the young female spiders.
- The adult females have a shape that is similar to a lightbulb when you look at them from the top. They range from 1 ½ to 1 ⅜ inches.
You may do an image search of black widows as you seek to learn what they look like in their different developmental stages. Keep in mind that there are a variety of spider species. The black widows in McAllen may not look like some of the pictures you find. You should also know that there are certain beneficial spiders that look like black widows in shape and color. The key difference is that they don't have the colorful hourglass marking.
Why A Black Widow Spider Would Be In Your Home
Black widows aren't like other common house spiders. They don't really want to live in your home. If you're concerned about these spiders in your house, you can take some comfort in knowing this. If you find a black widow inside, there are a few factors to consider.
Black Widows Use Entry Points: A tiny spider only needs a tiny hole. They can get into your home through gaps in weatherstripping and doors sweeps. They can slip through a gap around your water mains. They can sneak in through a gap in your door and window frames. Your primary weapon against spider entry is a caulking gun. You can use it to seal entry points as you repair protective items, such as weatherstripping, door sweeps, vent covers, and screens. A few cans of expanding foam will also help. Foam is used to fill in voids and holes or to seal gaps. If spiders can't get inside, they won't get inside. It is that simple.
Moisture Is Often A Factor: Black widow spiders are drawn to damp locations. In a damp habitat, they find bugs to eat, water to drink, and moisture to cool them on a hot day. Clogged or broken gutters can invite a black widow spider problem. They are also found in dense landscaping where moisture is trapped. Address these conditions to stop widows from getting inside your home. On the inside of your home, address plumbing issues and humidity to drive black widows out. It doesn't take much. These spiders won't tolerate a dry home for long.
Black Widows Need Food: A black widow spider will go where food is found. They can feed on tiny flies but are more likely to search for substantial meals such as roaches, other spiders, and lizards. If all you have in your home are gnats, a black widow spider will not find a food-rich environment. So, address general pest activity to drive these spiders out of your home.
When you alter the conditions of habitation and seal potential entry points, you can correct a black widow spider infestation. After taking these steps, put down sticky traps to monitor spider activity. The last thing you want to do is to think you've solved your spider problem only to have these spiders continue to get inside and present a threat.
Along with interior spider control, you need to consider exterior spider management. Sealing entry points is a good first step but you need to consider the conditions that bring spiders into your home in the first place.
What Attracts Spiders To Come Inside People's Homes?
The conditions around your home can elevate spider activity and increase the likelihood of a spider infestation. Black widow spiders aren't the only spiders impacted by general pest maintenance so these tips will provide wide-reaching results. Here are ways to prevent outdoor spiders from becoming an indoor concern.
- Remove hiding places. Black widow spiders hide inside the objects in your yard. They'll get into a void within a playset, hide under a bucket, or establish themselves behind a pile of scrap wood. You can detect them by looking for tangled webs made of strong strands. Remove yard clutter and wood piles to significantly deter black widow spiders from being near your exterior walls.
- Remove webs. Black widows, and certain other spiders, create egg sacs in their webs. Destroying these paper-like structures will destroy the eggs inside and prevent a population explosion. One egg sac can have hundreds of spider eggs inside.
- Address moisture. As we pointed out already, moisture plays a big role in attracting spiders to your home. As you work to keep black widows and other spiders out, you need to address moisture. Your hard work is totally worth it because addressing moisture will do more than control spiders. It will reduce the pests that spiders eat.
- Manage trash. Spiders eat flies. If flies have a reason to buzz around your trash receptacles, spiders will have a reason to create webs near your receptacles. Put your trash in scented bags to mask the smell of decaying organic matter. Put your bags in covered containers to further deter flies from getting into your garbage. Bring your trash receptacles to the curb weekly. Missing a week can cause your trash to sit and your receptacles may start to stink. If you notice an odor, clean your receptacles.
- Manage light. Have you noticed that flies buzz around your lights? They're attracted to light. If you keep lights off, you'll reduce insect activity around your home which will reduce the spiders (including black widows) that come onto your property in search of flies to eat. If keeping lights off is a security concern, consider replacing your bulbs. Insects are not attracted to yellow light, so bulbs that cast yellow light are insect-resistant. If you need bright, white light, install motion-sensitive fixtures or bulbs. Motion-detecting lights will provide light when you need it but keep the lights off at other times.
The tips we provided above are not comprehensive. There are more tips we could give, but you see how it works. You need to address food, water, and harborage. Doing so will reduce spider populations. You'll have fewer spiders attempting to get into your home if you have fewer spiders hanging out near your home. If you want assistance with this or added protection on top of what you're doing, keep us in mind.
The Most Effective Way To Keep Spiders And Other Pests Out Of Your Home
Routine inspections, treatments, and general pest maintenance is essential for deterring all spiders. If you're in McAllen, Bugworks Termite & Pest Control can give you the protection you need to stay ahead of spider problems. We provide crack and crevice treatments to reduce pests and keep pests out. We provide spot treatments around your home to reduce pest populations. We remove spider webs and get rid of egg sacs for you. This is a lot of work, so it is nice to have an experienced and highly-trained professional handle this job for you. Give us a call or drop us a line on our contact page to get started.
While most spiders are just an unsightly nuisance, black widows and certain other spiders are a concern. Furthermore, other pests can make you sick, such as ticks, flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rodents. A residential pest control service plan provides ongoing protection from all of these pests. Let us help you find the right solution for your pest concerns. Connect with us today.
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