black widow : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

First of all I want to let you know I am scared of spiders. It has gotten better over the years( I used to scream and run away until some one got IT) The problem I have now is black widows in my garden. I have seen 2and they both ran away from me (as i stood there like stone) How do I get rid of them ? What do I do if bit by one (after i wake up from passing out) I can handle snakes lizards rats mice but not this PLEASE help thanks becky

-- becky (, August 17, 2000


Are you sure Becky, they are black widows? A lot of times what people think are black widows are not. Did you turn them over and see the hourglass on the bottom? Actually spiders are a gardeners friend but I know how you feel. Snakes are supposed to be great too but I am terrified of them!

-- bwilliams (, August 17, 2000.

Most spiders are our friends, black widows and brown recluses are not our friends. If you see black widows, they're shiny black with the orange on their belly, kill them however you want to. Just kill them. If you are bitten by one go to the doctor ASAP. I have a giant garden spider on a web on the front of my house and I leave her alone and I have trantulas now and then. I don't bother them. But black widows cause serious wounds that take many months to heal and leave big scars.

-- Joe Cole (, August 17, 2000.

I have been bitten by a brown recluse. Apparently happened when I was working up in the basement joices. Felt nothing. Next morning looked in the mirror to see a purplish spot about the size of a golf ball to the side of my right eye. When I called the doctors office they had me take a common over-the-counter treatment for swelling until I could get in. Doctor put me on an anti-biotic and it cleared up within a week. No skin problems. See the earlier post about comfrey ointment.

-- Ken S. in TN (, August 17, 2000.

One spider yes I was diging potatoes and turned her over. The other no but it looked the same from the top and had some red dots on the top. Kill yes I'd love to. guess i need a can of (ugh) spider spray . Thanks becky

-- becky (, August 17, 2000.

Becky, black widows do not have red spots on their back (the top side) they have an hour glass shape (red) on their abdomen or bottom side. Sounds to me like what you saw was a jumping spider which does have red spots on it's back and is black and many people mistake them for black widows, they are harmless. Like the above post, black widows and brown recluse spiders are harmful and can even be deadly but more times than not, what most people think is a black widow is not! I truly hope yours are not, but be sure!

-- bwilliams (, August 17, 2000.

I have found that most widows (we have them the size of a thumb joint out here in NC) wiil run and hide if allowed to, unless they're protecting an eggcase. They are EXTREMELY quick and the basic rule is don't put your hands where your eyes haven't been, good advice for all types of critter problems. In respose to Joe's post, its recluses that leave necrotic (skin rotting) scars. Widows deliver a bite that can be painful or not, at first, but after a few minutes in any case, it will become extremely painful and will spread throughout the body, causing severe muscle spasms and paralysis that causes a high degree of pain and incapacitation. Most cases of widow bite in healthy adults are not fatal, nor does there appear to be a history of long-term effects, although I could be wrong about that last. If death is a result, it occurs because of paralysis of the diaphram, which leads to suffocation, or from shock from the pain. Treatment consisits of supportive therepy (pain killers, mucsle relaxers, etc) until the venom is out of the body. If bitten, hold the affected body part above the heart, perhaps tying a tight, but not tourniquet- tight, band above the bite to slow spread andget thee to a hospital asap. If it's less than 30 min., you can prob. drive yourself. If longer, call an abulance, and stay as calmm and motionless as poss. to slow the venoms spread

-- Soni (, August 17, 2000.

The only good thing about widows is they stay put for the most part. Last year I killed over 50 of them here, and since I am allergic to just spiders I wasn't too thrilled with the volume of widows. They squash real well with 2 scrap pieces of 2x4. After squashing look for any egg cases that might be around and squash those with more vehemence than the spider. One thing I have noticed is that this year with a fair amount of guineas, I have only seen one black widow and no recluses. I LOVE my guineas!

-- Doreen (, August 17, 2000.

I recall an article I read once, about a lady who didn't even know she had been bitten by anything. She simply woke up in a hospital, and her arms and legs and nose had been amputated, due to the poison of the spider bite travelling to her extremities. The article was actually about how people adapt to handicaps, but it freaked me out so bad that all I remember to this day is the part about the amputations & the spider bite. And I don't even mind those critters! I think it was a brown recluse that got her.

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (, August 17, 2000.

I have always been freaked out, (I would spaz) by all spiders and webs (yuck!). I happen chance to attend training in a government building designed for spiders, bugs, etc. Met this bug Doctor,(ain't he strange?) I told him of my fright, and he said it would be sad to be so afraid of such a little thing. (Easy for him). He sought to show me the different webs of the spiders (Man was strange). Seems Black Widow has a kinda messy web, unlike the beautiful weavings of the Banana Spider, which can also put a hurt on you, so I am told. Got two or three of the "messy" webs in my home site, guess it means Black Widow. I haven't messed with them, nor they, me.

-- Put a Hurt on you (Jesus, Don', August 17, 2000.

In a hurry earlier (truck shopping time) but meant to add relatives of the black widow spider: the red-legged widow, shiny black with orange spots outlined in white, with distictly reddish legs and the brown widow,same body type, brownish gray (sometimes black) with dark brown spots surrounded by lighter brown-yellow markings. Orange hourglass on bottom. Both are rare and rarely bite, and their venom is less venomous. Just thought y'all might wanna have more to be paranoid about. Just remember - spiders in N. America are not aggressive unless threatened while guarding eggsacs. Generally speaking, spider bites are almost always the bitees fault, albeit unintentionally so. info from Peterson's Field Guides - Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants, to be used for personal reference only. (Peterson GUide Books are Da Bomb for homesteaders, from birds to animal tracks, to medicinal and edible plants. Too useful for words and imminently portable)

-- Soni (, August 17, 2000.

Becky, black widows love to hide. It is common to find them living under old lumber, logs, and anything else where they can find shelter. I've seen them in water meters and partially covered holes in the ground. It is rare to see one out in the open, but I have seen them. As others have said, they are solid shiny black (not dark brown) on top and have a very distinct red hourglass shape covering a large portion of their underside. Their bite does not cause the skin emaciation of a brown recluse, but it can be quite painful and even deadly especially to those with compromised immune systems. If you are ever bitten, get to a doctor quickly.

-- Jim (, August 18, 2000.

Becky: Black Widows are very very shy. Very thick sticky web strands. I think they are one of the most beautiful of all spiders so when I find one I just carefully move it down by my creek. As with anything fearful, the more you learn the less scary they become. Anyway you armed with a lot of excelent info so good luck!....Kirk...

-- Kirk Davis (Kirkay@, August 18, 2000.

Becky, I like spiders. They keep my garden free from pests, my house mosquito and fly free and I even let them weave screens on my doors and windows. There is a limit to my tolerance.

I once moved into a house that had been vacant for a few years. When it got hot, black widows were everywhere. I even found a big one on the lamp next to my baby's crib.

OVEN CLEANER is the most effective black widow spider killer I ever found. They do not crawl out of that foaming lye. I do not want them crawling off and recuperating. I want them dead before my very eyes.

Other than this strange quirk, everything else I use is organic.

-- Laura (, August 18, 2000.

I have ovencleaner and yes i will make sure of what i am killing I have learned to live with garden spiders (yellow and black huge things) wolf spiders(even though they jump) and some kinda brown spider that lives in the corners of my pourch (but dosn't fit the description(sp) of a brown recluse) thank you all so much. Just a chuckle for you all my grandpa used to compare me to a daddy long legs when i was a teen :)

-- becky (, August 18, 2000.

Now here's a puzzler for you. I'll move black widows to where they can't be of harm to my family. I'll hold still while a big wolf spider traverses my foot. I'll comfortable, indifferently co-exist with more spiders in this house than I have ever seen in one place in my entire life - YET - I am terribly, panic -ly horrified of harmless grandaddy long legs. If one of them gets near me, I move (me or them) and if one gets on me, the noises I make would frighten a rabid dog. There are even daddy look-a-like spiders in the house that only frighten me until I realize they aren't daddies. Go fig. I have yet to discover where this irrational terror comes from. Maybe one walked over me at Girl Scout Camp as a child or something. I'm trying to de-sensitize myself with controlled exposure. Maybe it'll work, or maybe I'll just move on and deal with it.

-- (, August 18, 2000.

Praying mantis will kill black widow spiders.

-- Linda Al-Sangar (, August 18, 2000.

It occurs to me that I should inform all of you (or is that y'all, or maybe all y'all?) that there are NO venonous spiders or snakes in Maine. If I get enough responses, I shall begin to study real estate. Otherwise, "HI!" to Lesley in Alabama. Are you enjoying your snakes and spiders? Frankly, I'll put up with the snow and maple syrup. The syrup lasts, and the snow melts. Snakes and spiders are like syrup, except I strongly suspect they are less tasty! GL!

-- Brad (, August 18, 2000.

FWIW: I recall reading about this zapper thing on an alternative medicine sit(sorry. Dunno where). Any way, the claim was if you got bit by spiders, snakes, ticks etc asap zap yourself with this thing and there would be no serious effects from the bite. The zapper was operated by a small 9v battery and would give you (the bite area) a short, fairly intense electrical shock that would neutralize the venom.

-- john leake (, August 20, 2000.

For you people who are overrun with Black Widow Spiders, there are places which will buy them from you. They put them in plastic for keychains, jewelry, etc. Address is somewhere in my e-book. Suspect you have to kill them my freezing before shipment.

-- Ken S. in TN (, August 21, 2000.

Ken, I would not attempt to catch one to "cash in" on anything. I am not pushing my luck. Linda: Thank you for telling me that a Praying Mantis eats spiders, this is after I beat my body silly after a Praying Mantis landed on my arm this weekend. Had I known his eating habits beforehand, I would have given him a more gentle ride off my physical self, and saved myself some bruises. ThomKilroy, it seems easy to say de-sensitize ones self. I have spent hours invisioning spiders in a pink tu-tu, with matching ballet slippers. While the stupid pink tu-tu remained in my mind, the HUGH Garden spider I encountered, chose not to wear that apparel on our encounter. Hence, I ran off screaming because they had not worn my choice of dress. How vulgar of them. Thanks for the smiles, it helps.

-- Put a hurt on you (Jesus,Don', August 21, 2000.

Hi Becky -

If bit, you should remain calm (or try, anyway), then if possible collect the spider for identification purposes. Seek professional medical attention immediately. First aid will not help with the bit of a Black Widow.

It's unusual for a Black Widow to be out during the day. They usually hide under things and in tiny cracks until dust, when they come out to feed. If it is a Black Widow, she'll stay in one location as long as she's not disturb. She will ride you of over 2000 insects in your garden during her life time. So consider her as an allie. They are fascinating to watch. Try is sometime, from a distance as first and you may find yourself become fond of her.

Good Luck!

And, I happen to be one of those people that incases Black Widow's for necklaces, key chains, paper weights, etc. but I don't have to pay people to relocate the Black Beauties.

-- The Mistress (, September 27, 2001.

Any venomous injection/bite, these days the first aid is to wrap with a pressure bandage (assuming it's on a limb, and not your torso or your head or your neck), starting from below (away from the heart) and wrapping upwards. Slows the spread of venom, and gives you time to get to hospital. Best, given enough elastic pressure bandaging (the sort you use for sprained ankles or knees) is to work all the way from the bottom of the limb up - means there's no areas isolated with fluid (from deep arterial circulation, trying to return via surface venous circulation) dammed up in them below the bandaging. The restricted circulation slows circulation of the venom as well, without the danger of gangrene that a tourniquet has.

With regard to your black widows - DON'T PANIC! There are close relatives all over the world - Australian redbacks, New Zealand (who pride themselves on not having venomous snakes, but never mention the) katipos, whatever. Fact is, their bites are almost never fatal. Damned painful, yes; tissue-damaging - possibly; but there's no need to panic - just bandage and get to hospital.

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (, September 27, 2001.

Someone mentioned nothing poisonous in Maine... A lot of people don't think there is anything poisonous in Mass but Massachusetts does have copperheads and timber rattlesnakes. Timber rattlesnakes are found in most of New England. Not often seen but are there. I personally am not afraid of spiders so this is easier for me to say... I keep all sorts of empty jars for catching bugs. I have caught and kept several black widows as pets. I even had another spider kill on once. If you are careful it is easy to catch one without fear. Take an empty jar in one hand and a stick or something in the other( I have used something as small as a pencil) despite what someone else said, black widows are not very fast. Not slow but not fast. Most often it is east to coax one with a stick to just walk into the jar. once inside because of their pointy legs, they can't climb out. Black Widows cannot climb straight up smooth glass or plastic. Other spiders can though. Anyway, they are not hard to catch, once you do it would then be easy to kill or release. You could even keep it and put it in fights with other insects and spiders.. fun to watch...

-- Someone... (, October 20, 2001.

ya im a all kind of spider cacther i catch black widows all thow

im exstreamly alergic to them im oh lets just say if i make a rong

moove i may never cach a nother black widow some people think in

nuts i got the fear over spiders i was 7 years of age i caght my

first brown recluse and 9 years old when i cought my firs

terachula spider now my room is full of poisionus spiders in glass

jars well get over your fear of spiders thair more afrade of you

yhen you are of them........

-- rod andrews (, January 31, 2002.

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