Spider Control: 5 Incredible Facts About Black Widow Spiders in Northern Ca
Black widow Spiders have a bad reputation. They are so notorious that this species of Latrodectus has been maligned heavily in movies and in the news. When women are accused of murdering a string of husbands, they get called “black widows.” This comparison isn’t without reason, though, as black widow spiders have been known to terminate their mates after mating.
Here are five incredible facts about black widows, including signs that indicate their presence, to help you manage spider control in your home.
Black widows are solitary, lonesome creatures year-round, except when they mate during spring and in early summer. But in stark contrast to how these carnivorous spiders are presented in movies, not all females actually kill and eat the males after mating.
Some males, in fact, seek out females who have just fed in an effort to avoid getting eaten. Scientists from the University of Nebraska reveal that males choose their mates by detecting chemicals on the webs of females or by preferring larger black widows. Both lessen the chance of the males from being consumed after the mating ritual.
Males are not simply consumed by females for the “thrill” of it — or because the male did something unacceptable during the violent mating ritual. Black widows will eat their mates because they are nutrient sources needed to fertilize the egg.
Widow spiders make several egg sacs in summer. These sacs are then woven tightly into silken cups. Each sac contains hundreds of eggs. And yes, from them spring hundreds of spider-lings. Only a few survive, though, because black widows tend to be cannibalistic during the early stages of their life.
A black widow Spider can live for several months without prey, and some have been known to survive a year without food. The carnivorous species will eat arthropods such as grasshoppers, cockroaches, scorpions, and caterpillars. When widow spiders catch their prey, they inject them with digestive enzymes using their fangs, eating them only when they have softened and liquefied.
Although black widows are considered as the most venomous spiders in North California, their bite might not lead to serious consequences. But they can be fatal to children and the elderly. These spiders bite only as a form of self-defense, and they are not actually aggressive.
Black widows like dark, secluded places. They will make their webs in closets, basements, cluttered spaces, and any dimly lit corner of your home. Their webs are usually irregular and “messy,” and built near ground level, under protected ledges.
You can tell the difference between a male and a female; females have a bright red hourglass mark on their abdomen, which warns any predators and attackers, while the males have red and white stripes on their abdomen, which are more colorful and finely patterned than the female’s marking. To learn more about black widow spiders you may find in your home, contact us and we will be happy to help you out with your spider control problem.