The Black Widow

Your Chicagoland Guide on Black Widows

The Breakdown

COLOR

SIZE

LEGS

DANGER/DESTRUCTION RATING

Black & Red

.5 – 1.5 in

Eight

HIGH

The Black Widow

Black widows have smooth and shiny hairless bodies with a bright red hourglass shape on their abdomen. They range between .5 inch to 1.5 inches long and can live up to 3 years. These arachnids are nocturnal and anti-social, preferring to live alone and avoiding any activity in your home. The only time these spiders tend to interact with one another is solely for the purpose of mating. There can be between 300-900 eggs in a single black widow egg sack. Once these eggs hatch, the newly born spiders enter into a kind of battle-royale with one another, killing and cannibalizing each other until the strongest, most ruthless of the bunch remain. These survivors then branch out to make their own secluded homes.

Unlike other arachnid bites, the bite of a black widow appears as two clear puncture marks. Black widows have very strong fangs and are easily able to stab through human skin to inject venom into their victims. This venom contains a powerful neurotoxin that will begin radiating pain in the location of the wound before spreading to the chest, other limbs, abdomen or even the entire body.

Only female black widows bite and, in some cases, their bites are rather harmless. This is due to the fact that they are able to acutely control the release of their venom, deciding how much to release per bite – if at all. Furthermore, symptoms from the bite may take a few hours to even begin to show. However, this does not mean that a black widow bite should be taken at all lightly. Depending on the amount of venom released, and the health of the individual bitten, these bites can cause extreme health complications and even death.

Signs of an Infestation

The webs of black widows are a bit peculiar looking, making them a clear sign of a black widow problem as opposed to another arachnid. Their webs are built in an uneven pattern and appear messy and tangled. Female black widows also have a tendency to hang upside-down on these webs, revealing their distinct red markings. Aside from these webs and seeing the spiders themselves, there are no other signs of an infestation.

The venom of black widows can be extremely harmful, so it is important to call for professional intervention if you suspect you may be living with these creepy crawlers in your home.

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Understanding the Seasons

Weather has a profound effect on pest life cycle. Most pests, rodents and insects breed aggressively during spring and go through periods of hibernation during autumn and winter.

When the weather slowly begins to heat up, pests start to get more active after having stayed dormant over the colder winter months.

  • Birds often start to find mates and start building their nests.
  • Moths which consumer leaves usually become active again.
  • Flies often emerge from their winter hibernation places and start to breed and spread out.
  • Squirrels also spend the winter in hibernation. When spring approaches these creatures start looking for a new home. This is usually the time when they make their way into lofts and other spaces.

Summer is arguably the best season for pests. It is the time when they are in full swing and breed as rapidly as they can. Wasps are one of the most common summer pests followed by flies and rodents. Many a summer picnics and BBQs have been ruined by the ‘home invasion’ of these pests.

  • Wasps build their nesting grounds and lay their eggs during this time. Although the creatures are not directly harmful, they can be very aggressive and territorial at this time of the year, because they’re at their strongest.
  • The number of fleas also multiplies. Since pets spend more time outdoors during summer, they are more likely to bring the pests back indoors with them.
  • Bees are also more active during summer as they go out to gather nectar. Many times, homeowners find a new beehive in their garden and require pest control to take care of it. Because of their sting, bees are more dangerous than some of the other pests and you should call our professional service to get rid of them.
  • Moths and flies usually start to multiply significantly during summer.
  • Ants begin to swarm to find new mates and start new colonies during summer.
  • Cockroaches become very noticeable in the summer, especially in the kitchen and toilets. This is due to the hotter temperatures and stronger smells.
  • Bedbugs are also very active in the summer.

Autumn is the month when things start to get cooler. The number of pests starts to dwindle as they begin to slow down their breeding activities.

  • Wasps start becoming dozy and docile. You may find them buzzing around occasionally as if they are drunk. This is usually the end-time for their life.
  • Spiders in particular are more active at this time of the year.
  • Squirrels will gather their food and start to look for shelter.
  • The second breeding phase for flies begins. These pests remain active during the season.
  • Rodents also become more active. Due to the approaching cold, rodents usually find shelter inside homes in the loft or inside walls.

The coldest months are when pests seek out warmth and shelter. You will find a number of insects especially rodents and lizards make their way inside your home.

  • Spiders come into our homes to escape the web-destroying frosts.
  • Rodents move indoors to escape the cold, increasing infestations.
  • In many cases, homeowners find squirrels nesting in lofts when they go to get their Christmas decorations.

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