This time of year we need to be aware that the Black Widow spiders are around. We got called out on a job in Sedona where the homeowner had brought some patio furniture into the house when they went on vacation and came home to a full-size Black Widow hanging out inside their home.
The good thing about the Black Widow is for the most part she is a very shy spider and a web hunter. I find that the first time we go out to spray, most people are unaware that they even have a Black Widow around their house until we bring it to their attention.
Just like in the story Charlotte’s Web, the young widow spiders will put some silk out and use the air currents to float to their new home. For the Black Widow it is generally “location, location, location.” They generally like to pick a spot that’s secluded and dark but has good hunting for insects around it. Some of the areas we find Black Widow spiders are water boxes, crawlspaces, hose bibs, patio furniture, BBQ grills, garage doors openings and kid’s toys. We find that when kids toys get left outside for long periods of time the Black Widows will hide in their cracks and crevices. Generally, a thorough visual inspection will alert you to her presence. Look for her web – it is an erratic, messy, sticky construction of silk strands that will go to a secluded area so she can hide during the day.