It’s understandable that a pest with eight legs and eight eyes would make a person feel uncomfortable. Add in the distinct red or orange hourglass shape on their abdomen and the fact that the pest we’re discussing is a spider and a venomous spider at that and we can practically hear the shudders from right here in our Nashville office. Black widow spiders are more annoying than the spiders that make a mess of our landscaping and far more intimidating than the spiders that make unsightly webs inside our homes – they have the potential to be dangerous, which is why we urge Middle Tennessee homeowners to beware of black widow spiders.
Just this week, WAVE 3 News out of Louisville, Kentucky released a story about how black widow spider encounters are more common this time of year. Why? Because black widows mate in the spring and so now their eggs are hatching. The same holds true here in Tennessee, these venomous spiders are showing up in homes and backyards a bit more frequently of late.
So what do you need to know about these arachnids to protect your family from running into one or worse, being bitten by one? Let’s take a closer look.
No County Is Safe
The common black widow spider has been found in all counties of Tennessee, there’s no place you can hide from these pests.
They Prefer Their Own Company
Like many insects, black widow spiders would rather avoid encounters with us. They prefer dark, sheltered and undisturbed areas, outside that could mean a hollow log or in a woodpile. Indoors, black widows tend to hang out in boxes or in shoes that aren’t worn very often, under furniture or in ceiling voids.
A Bite With Zero Pain… At First
According to a study published by the University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Extension, pain does not accompany a black widow spider bite at first. Pain may be felt one to eight hours later along with other symptoms including cramping, chest and thigh pain, sweating, and nausea and as well as vomiting. For more information on symptoms of black widow spider bites, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/spiders/.
To prevent black widow spiders from lurking around your property, there’s a bit work that needs to be done. Modifying the environment both inside and out so that you eliminate potential hiding spots is a must. Here are a few black widow spider prevention tips to help you accomplish this:
Get rid of clutter
Closets filled to the brim with boxes of books, bags of clothes and totes of household items no longer used will attract black widows and other pests that don’t like to be disturbed. Clear out the clutter in your closets and other storage areas to cut down on potential hiding places. Not sure what to do with all these items? Check out Hands On Nashville for lists of items needed by area non-profits.
Remove potential food sources
As is the case with other types of spiders, black widows prey on insects that are often found around AND inside the house. You can remove potential food sources by making sure bugs can’t get in. Sealing gaps around doors and windows, fixing cracks in the foundations and addressing other areas that would permit pests to enter will help. You might also consider changing exterior lighting to sodium vapor lights that attract less insects and spiders to your structure.
Call in the professionals
All-American Pest Control offers comprehensive pest control services that stop black widow spiders, other insects and rodents from taking over. Our Perimeter Plus Pest Control is our most thorough program for homeowners and includes interior and exterior treatments as well as additional coverage for outdoor pests that attract black widows like mosquitoes and flies.
Black widow spiders are not simply a nuisance pest, but one that should be avoided by you, your family members and even your pets. If you’ve spotted one or several in your home, give us a call. Serving Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin and other Middle Tennessee communities, our pest control professionals understand these spiders and have the tools and experience to protect you and your family. Give us a call or click here to schedule your free home evaluation!