Widows

I just killed another one out in the garage. I guess it’s time to bring out the big guns again.

Widows? Yes I kill them. I have absolutely no use for the pesky things. Face it…those damn widows are just a pain in the ass. They jump out of nowhere and scare the bejesus out of you. Always lurking around in dark corners all by themselves. Creepy. Yes widows are just plain creepy beings. I say we rid ourselves of all of them. Southern California seems to attract widows like moths to a flame. I just don’t know where they all come from. Maybe they come over from our neighbor Arizona.

Exterminate the Widows! All of ’em!

Wait, you think I’m talking about someone’s grandma don’t you? Hell no …I love old lady human widows. I’m talking about widow spiders. Why widow spiders are as common around here as fleas on a stray dogs back.

from Wikipedia:

Latrodectus is a genus of spider in the big spider family Theridiidae, most of which are commonly known as widow spiders. The genus contains 31 recognized species[2] distributed worldwide, including the North American black widows (L. mactans, L. hesperus, and L. variolus), the button spiders of Africa, and the Australian redback. Species vary widely in size. In most cases the females are dark-colored and readily identifiable by reddish hourglass-shaped markings on the abdomen.

The venomous bite of these spiders is considered particularly dangerous because of the neurotoxin latrotoxin, which causes the condition latrodectism, both named for the genus. The female black widow has unusually large venom glands and its bite can be particularly harmful to humans. However, despite the genus’ notoriety, Latrodectus bites are rarely fatal. Only female bites are dangerous to humans.

The well known Black Widow

The well known Black Widow

Ok now that I’ve freaked Dr. Spo out I’ll fill you in on a few widow spider tidbits. Above is the most well known Black Widow. In these here parts the Black Widow is actualy rare in comparison to It’s cousin the Brown Widow. I’ve literally gone out to spray the front steps and had up to fifty brown widows gasping for air and convulsing on the stretch of steps from the door to the street in one spraying.

Brown Widow Spider

Brown Widow Spider

The brown widows vary in color from almost black to translucent tan to every shade of brown in between. They all have the classic bright orange to red hour glass marking on their bellies as well as the long jointed leg structure. Both the black and brown are very recognizable spiders as their look is quite unique. Both have virtually identical body structures just different colored slick leather like skin.

Widow spiders are actually very timid beings. They do not come after you. If you disturb their web they run and hide. You rarely actually see one. I know I need to spray when their webs start appearing. Humans and animals are rarely bitten. So while yes they are poisonous, bites are extremely rare. Their bites, while dangerous, are more painful than anything else as they are rarely fatal to humans and most animals. When I do encounter one, they are running away. Widows also do not care for the interior of homes. So while I may have a population explosion outside, in my 24 years in this 96 year old house with all its cracks we have yet to ever encounter even a tale tale sign of one inside.

The widow web is instantly recognizable. They are usually close to the ground. They typically angle down to ground from the foundation, patio furniture, steps or plants. They are an erratic mess of strings that are incredibly sticky.

Sticky erratic Widow web.

Sticky erratic Widow web, usually these are low and between a building or structural plant and the ground.

Often Widow webs will have several of these spiked white egg sacs.

Often Widow webs will have several of these spiked white egg sacs.

Widow Spiders are common throughout many regions. So be aware as they are poisonous but will only bite if cornered and provoked. They are very timid and very scared of you. Learn the web as that’s how you will know if they are in your garden or outdoor buildings.

….Oh and if you are reading this just prior to bedtime, sweet dreams!

 

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7 thoughts on “Widows

  1. yuck! I am not fond of spiders, but don’t mind them nearly as much as those damn thousand leggers! They are disgusting and run so damn fast, you have to get them quick. All of a sudden I feel itchy.

  2. We had them in Rhode Island. We took no chances. We also had the other very poisonous ‘top of the chain’ arachnid: the Funnel Web Spider. It’s known to exist in only 2 places: New England (Southern, especially) and southeastern Australia. While ‘down under’ 3 years ago they were shocked to learn we shared the same deadly spider, and one wonders who sent it to whom.

    Here in Texas we’re fighting off encounters with snakes thanks to all the rain. It kept up raining since I moved here last September. Don’t know if they should thank me for curing the drought or be upset with water moccasins showing up in city parks.

    God, I love Texas. A lot like Australia but with worse accents, LOL.

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