In our Sacramento service area, we have two species of widow spider, the western black widow spider and the brown widow spider. Of the two, the western black widow is superior in every way. There are far more black widows in Rancho Cordova, Roseville, and throughout Sacramento than there are brown widows, and the bites from black widow spiders are much more serious than those from brown widows. How much more serious? Well, that‘s the topic of our discussion today.
There was a time when a bite from a black widow spider was considered a life-threatening event. During the gold rush, someone bitten near Sutter's Mill would have had to travel by horse to get to a physician and hope that upon arrival at the physician's place of business or home that someone would be available to provide treatment. In this modern age, we have cars, trucks, ambulances, and even helicopters if needed to rush us to a physician within minutes for treatment. Along with this, we have a robust medical infrastructure that is able to quickly tend to life-threatening medical emergencies. That is why there are very few fatalities from black widow spider bites in California today. But that doesn't mean it is a pleasant experience to be bitten by one of these venomous spiders. A black widow spider bite can cause quite a bit of localized pain and result in uncomfortable symptoms such as fever, sweating, body aches, stomach pain, and nausea.
Fortunately, not all widow bites result in bad symptoms. The symptoms you experience will depend on how much venom the black widow spider injects into the wound. If you reach your hand into a brush pile and accidentally startle a black widow spider, you'll most likely receive a painful warning bite, but that bite likely won’t result in any serious symptoms. But if you crawl into bed without knowing there is a black widow spider in your bedding and inadvertently trap it against the covers, you'll probably receive a bite with much worse symptoms. Fear is a strong motivator for a black widow to inject more venom into the bite wound.
When deciding whether or not it is appropriate to be worried when you see a black widow in your yard or near your home, there is another important factor to consider: black widows are very reclusive spiders and are much more likely to be found in a pile of brush in your yard than in your bed. They are also more likely to take up residence in an attic space, cellar, or storage room than in a room that you frequent. This makes it unlikely that you'll be bitten in the common areas of your home. So, while seeing a black widow spider in your yard is certainly a warning to invest in professional home pest control services, it isn't something you should be fearful of. If you take precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of being bitten, especially in a way that can cause severe sickness.
Black Widow Bite Prevention Tips
Be cautious when going into storage areas, attic spaces, and your basement or cellar. When in these areas, bring a flashlight if it’s dark and be cautious when picking boxes up; black widow spiders often create their tangled webs between boxes to capture their prey.
Be cautious when opening boxes that have been in storage, especially in external storage areas; black widows sometimes hide inside boxes.
Shake towels, clothing, shoes, and other items before using them as black widows sometimes like to hide in these items.
Check your bedding for black widow spiders before sliding into bed; unmade beds can be inviting to black widows as they have plenty of holes and hollows to hide out in.
When doing yard work, wear gloves and always look around and under the objects you're moving.
Be aware that black widows are drawn to piles of lumber, wood, and other organic materials as they lure in the bugs they like to feed on.
If you're seeing black widow spiders around your Sacramento home, let them be the incentive you need to invest in ongoing pest control services for your home! Every home should have a pest control plan. Pests can bite, sting, spread illness, damage your belongings, and cause damage to your home. Get your protection in place today with the help of Pro Active Pest Control!