Black Widow Spider


Appearance: Glossy black, often with red "hourglass" on back. May also be dark or light brown. 3/4-inch length, 3/8-inch diameter.

Habitat
Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour males after mating. They are found in all 50 states, often living around wood piles and gaining entry to a structure when firewood is carried in. They spin their webs near ground level in protected areas, such as in cluttered garages, outhouses and stacks of firewood. These webs are almost always constructed in a protected site such as among items piled together, beneath boards, in firewood, and between boxes. The black widow is widely feared because its bite results in severe pain that may take several days to subside. Such bites are rarely fatal, but because small children and elderly persons are at risk, spider control is important if you suspect black widows.

Diet
Black widows eat any insect they can capture. They paralyze or kill their prey with venom, then inject a fluid that enables them to suck out the digestive liquid food. They can survive without food for several weeks to a few months.

Control
Bites can be avoided by wearing heavy gloves when moving items stored for long periods outside or in garages, basements or warehouses. Shoes should be stored inside shoeboxes or shaken vigorously prior to wearing. Inspect carefully before putting your hand down under an object such as a log or rock. Professionals can remove spider infestations with a shop vacuum and apply spider control materials that help prevent their return.





Brown Recluse Spider


Appearance: In the mature brown recluse spider, there is a dark "violin" marking with the neck of the violin pointing toward the abdomen. The abdomen is uniformly colored, although the coloration can range from light tan to dark brown, and is covered with numerous fine hairs that provide a velvety appearance. Adult brown recluse spiders have a leg span about the size of a quarter, with a body of 3/8-inch length, 3/16-inch width.

Habitat
found in attics, basements, crawl spaces, cellars, closets, and ductwork or registers. They may nest in storage boxes, shoes, clothing, folded linens, and behind furniture. They also may be found in outbuildings such as barns, storage sheds, and garages. Outdoors, brown recluse spiders may be found underneath logs, loose stones in rock piles, and stacks of lumber.

The brown recluse spider spins a loose, irregular web of very sticky, off-white to grayish threads. This web serves as the spider's daytime retreat. This spider roams at night searching for insect prey.

Diet
The brown recluse spider is largely a scavenger, preferring dead insects.

Control
Bites can be avoided by wearing heavy gloves when moving items stored for long periods outside or in garages, basements or warehouses. Shoes should be stored inside shoeboxes or shaken vigorously prior to wearing. Inspect carefully before putting your hand down under an object such as a log or rock. Professionals can remove spider infestations with a shop vacuum and apply spider control materials that help prevent their return.