SantaFePrax
Full Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:22 am
Location: Santa Fe, NM

BLACK WIDOWS INVADE!

Hullo folks,
Overnight any path I have not used for a day is criss-crossed with Black Widow webs--as well as my sacks of compost, etc. Any way to discourage this invasion? Our ER services are so poor here, don't know if they can even treat such a bite!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

black widow spiders

Wow!

Here's a fact sheet on black widows and their control:

https://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2061A.html

I'm a big believer in organic gardening and not poisoning the environment, but I believe an invasion of black widows is one time when I would make an exception and call in the exterminator with the insecticide. Those are dangerous little beasties!

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

My yard has always been litterally filled with black widows. I spend time during the spring and summer doing search and destroy, with a stick, but that just thins the herd a bit. Thankfully they only show occassional interest in the house area. The best control stems from removing their habitat. Most of the black widows here in the east are reclusive and generally will nest only in any dark recessed areas. That trait has given rise to one of my more effective black widow controls. I simply place a few one gallon nursery pots around the yard, and in a day or two, usually a black widow has move in, and meets her end from the end of a stick. If you clean up any piles of debris or of stored piles of lumber, logs, or other piles or stacks that provide their favorite nesting sites, keep heavy weed spots cut relatively short, and be careful how and what you store in out buildings, and the black widow density will stay fairly low. One nice thing is that the spiders are quite reclusive and usually not aggressive. On the other hand, like all cold blooded spiders and insects, they get very agitated in weather over about 90 degrees, and during those times will run out and and attack faster than you would imagine possible. Be aware of their irregular web shape with its high luster, and squish both the spider and her egg sacks, any time they are found in an area of concern. Black widows are resistant to most long term house hold sprays so best to focus on habitat removal and mechanically killing the individual spiders. Good luck in co-existing with these creepy and somewhat dangerous spiders.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

SantaFePrax
Full Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:22 am
Location: Santa Fe, NM

BLACK WIDOWS INVADE!

Thank you Rainbow Gardener and Green Thumb!

I was somewhat comforted by the sheet indicating that only 1% of those bitten actually die! I already have EI (Environmental Illness--sensitivity to petrochemicals, chemical scents in products)--so cannot risk pesticides.

I have also had these scraggly webs inside--and was shocked that if I just don't close the bathroom door for a few days--there's a web on it! Just killed a huge one in the kitchen, too.

The description of getting planters set up fits perfectly as that is one place where I spotted a widow--where my mulch is stacked and some planters are stored. So will carefully clear those spots more and keep an eye out. Sigh. Won't walk around in the dark that's for sure <grin>!

a0c8c
Greener Thumb
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

I haven't noticed Widows, but I carry a stick when I walk along our house at night. We have spiders than span the 4 foot path between bushes and trees. I have noticed, once I knock down the webs a couple times, they move somewhere else. And if you keep your house insect free(flying insects like flies and gnats) they'll have no reason to stay inside.

User avatar
nes
Green Thumb
Posts: 631
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:20 pm
Location: Rural Ottawa, ON

Locally there was an older woman parallelized by a black widow bite just a few weeks ago, she was out working in her garden.

[url]https://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1891684[/url]

I heartily welcome our daddy long legs & a few other varieties of smaller spiders in our home (especially during August, a.k.a. fly season) however, if their bodies are larger then a loonie they get stomped!
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Reasons to wear gloves when you garden! :wink:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Decado
Green Thumb
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 2:52 am
Location: Crystal, MN (Zone 4)

I am so glad I live in Minnesota, I don't think I'd be able to handle having black widows everywhere. *shudder*

User avatar
Sage Hermit
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Finlaysen, MN Coniferous Forest

Wow! Last year I found a black widow and embraced it as my pet. I had a lizard home made from rock and I put the widow in the rock. I put the ends of carrots and what not in the cave and misted it. They are very docile creatues to me. Do they even live in MN maybe it was just a black spider with a hourglass in red on its back. nope it sure was a widow :D I aint afraid of bugs.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Black widow spiders (I grew up with them in Southern California) have the hourglass marking on their abdomen, not their back. They don't eat vegetables, they suck the juices out of other insects and spiders. I think they can be found throughout the contiguous US, but they are much more common in warmer climates and MN would be at the way northern edge of their range. I have never seen one since I moved here to Ohio.

User avatar
Sage Hermit
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Finlaysen, MN Coniferous Forest

Thanks, I remember them living in AZ. I must have kept a black widow mimic spider. OH has Wolf Spiders 25x bigger.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

Turk
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:31 pm
Location: Ventura County, CA

I found a HUGE widow in an old yard can the other day. She was big, healthy and beautiful and I had to kill her. I have a 1 year old lab that hangs in the yard. I cannot knowingly allow a venomous critter to live in the same space as my family and pup. I know others are out there, but if you see them, I recommend taking them out. I am all for house spiders and other helpful and harmless critters but I draw the line at venomous.

I definitely recommend calling a professional exterminator for these little guys. Nasty business having them around.
If you see a weed, pull it.

Everyday brings a new Google search.

User avatar
Sage Hermit
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Finlaysen, MN Coniferous Forest

arachnophobia was a good movie. I draw the line at rare amazonian killer spiders. black widows are not in any way killers for Pete's sake they are just venomous and so are bees.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

I know someone who got bitten by a black widow that hid in her shoe, though she didn't die, she was very poorly and nearly lost part of her leg. Be very careful x

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

syntheticbutterfly wrote:I know someone who got bitten by a black widow that hid in her shoe, though she didn't die, she was very poorly and nearly lost part of her leg. Be very careful x
Good point Black Widows like warm moist spots like shoes, so keep and eye out for that.

I'm glad we don't have to deal with them around here, though there are a ton of spiders around my house mostly wolf spiders big enough but not so dangerous.

Turk
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:31 pm
Location: Ventura County, CA

Sage Hermit wrote:arachnophobia was a good movie. I draw the line at rare amazonian killer spiders. black widows are not in any way killers for Pete's sake they are just venomous and so are bees.
Yea but a widow bite can kill a child or a pet. That's serious stuff.
If you see a weed, pull it.

Everyday brings a new Google search.

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Have you ever put your shoes on with a spider in it?

That is one weird feeling. Mine was a wolf spider, big guy..
I don't know who was more frightened me or it...
It felt like my sock had just balled up on the toes...

He didn't survive the episode... due to the shoe being so convenient...

I think he rode into the house... with seed starting trays...

Harmless, just they really are startling... especially in your shoe.

As long as spiders are not poisonous, I welcome to my garden. Not so much inside the house... the web makers make more work for me...
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
GardenRN
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1102
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Chesterfield, Va

I do have them in my yard, quite a few if you actually go hunting. Knock on wood, I have never had a problem. Like Alex said, I keep their fav sites to a minimum. Just like snakes, all you have to do is be mindful when you are reaching somewhere where one might like to hide!

From what I hear, if it doesn't kill you, you'll wish it did! Bad cramping, muscle spasms, stomach ache, fever, chills. But nature could throw a lot worse at you if she wanted to!
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

tc_31_fillAmenist
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:11 pm

I think I've only seen one Black Widow here. It was on an old rusted out well-pump that I carried around front to recycle.

But I've seen a few [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2GtMRaMP7U#!]Brown Widows[/url], which I hadn't heard of until I moved here. Under the eve, under an outdoor chair, under the hood of my car.

As for snakes, about all I ever see are Black Racers and they're comforting. Better than poisonous ones or... [url=https://jacksonville.com/tu-online/apnews/stories/072204/D8407T9O3.shtml]this[/url] or [url=https://www.tcpalm.com/news/2007/dec/11/3016-foot-python-bushwhacked-by-roadside-mower/]this[/url]. Maybe that's why my dog doesn't like to go out at night? ;)

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

I noticed a few of them last year especially in the summer time. One had a web on the bottom of my tomato plant. I knew where atleast 3 Black Widow webs were and I thought if I was careful I didn't see the harm.

User avatar
GardenRN
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1102
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Chesterfield, Va

tc_31_fillAmenist wrote: As for snakes, about all I ever see are Black Racers and they're comforting. Better than poisonous ones or... [url=https://jacksonville.com/tu-online/apnews/stories/072204/D8407T9O3.shtml]this[/url] or [url=https://www.tcpalm.com/news/2007/dec/11/3016-foot-python-bushwhacked-by-roadside-mower/]this[/url]. Maybe that's why my dog doesn't like to go out at night? ;)
Ugh, I have snakes too. Not black snakes though. Cotton mouths. BUT, like the black widows, remove their homes= removing the snakes. I have all but gotten rid of them and I didn't have to kill one. They're still good to have around, I just don't want them camping out in MY yard with my kids playing out there. The kiddos aren't old enough to really understand where not to stick their hands. Especially my son (2 and 1/2yrs)
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

Annageckos
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:32 pm
Location: Outside Philly, PA

Ozark Lady wrote:
As long as spiders are not poisonous, I welcome to my garden. Not so much inside the house... the web makers make more work for me...
All spiders are venomous (not poisonous, sorry, it's a little pet peeve of mine) :) But most will not hurt you, unless you are sensitive to the venom. As far as black widows go not everyone is affected by the venom. The brown recluse is far worst.
Anna
Zone 6b

Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”