Pest Identification: Black Widow Spiders in Tennessee

Black widow spider in a web

As one of the few truly venomous spiders in Tennessee and the United States, black widow spiders have accrued a truly formidable reputation. Their distinctive black color and relatively large size for a spider contribute to their reputation. Like other spiders, they prefer to live outside, but can enter your home in search of insects to consume. 

Black widow spider venom is extremely potent and is many times more potent than a rattlesnake’s bite. Fortunately, black widows rarely bite humans, and when they do, they do not always inject venom. Symptoms of a black widow bite can include:

  • Redness and itching
  • Chills, nausea, or headache
  • Muscle weakness and difficulty breathing

While the vast majority of black widow bites do not pose serious, long-term complications, it’s recommended that you contact a medical professional if you know you or a family member have been bitten by a black widow, especially if the bitten individual is a child, is elderly, or has a weakened immune system.

U.S. Pest Protection has experience with black widow control in Tennessee, and can help get rid of an infestation and prevent future infestations from happening.

How to Identify Black Widow Spiders

If you’re not sure if you have a black widow crawling around your home, contact the professionals at U.S. Pest Protection. Black widows generally aren’t aggressive. However, they can bite if scared or provoked, and their potent venom poses a problem. 

Thankfully, female black widows—the ones with the venom—are quite distinctive among spiders and can be identified via:

  • Relatively large size (more than one inch)
  • Jet-black color
  • Large abdomen
  • Distinctive red hourglass-shaped marking

Male black widow spiders are not venomous but are more difficult to identify. Like female black widows, male black widows are generally black, but they can also be gray. Males tend to be smaller than females and feature less-distinctive red markings. 

Where to Find Black Widow Spiders

Black widow spiders feed on insects and follow insect populations for sustenance. As a result, if you’ve found a higher degree of other insects—such as moths or mosquitos—in your home, a black widow might not be far behind. Black widows tend to congregate in places where insects do, such as in crevices, under furniture, and in dark corners, especially in garages, sheds, or basements. 

Webs are an evidence of black widows or other spiders as well. You’ll find webs set up where other insects are, such as in moist areas or near lights, where flying insects are drawn to.

Get Back at Black Widows with U.S. Pest Protection

Black widows are perhaps the scariest spider species that resides in Tennessee or in the United States. With a venomous bite, an infamous reputation, a large size, and striking visual markings, finding a black widow can quickly ruin your day. 

Thankfully, that’s where U.S. Pest Protection comes in. Our expert technicians have experience dealing with spider infestations of all types, from non-venomous house spiders to the black widow. We can help rid your property from both spiders and the insects they’re drawn to and, with our monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly pest control services, prevent them from coming back. If you’ve seen a black widow, your free pest inspection is just a call or click away. 

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