Can You Find Black Widow Spiders In Ontario?

Can You Find Black Widow Spiders In Ontario_

During the fall, spiders look for warm places, such as human homes, in which to spend the colder months of winter. Do-it-yourself solutions such as spider repellent are unlikely to deter them, and the only way you may be able to keep them out permanently is with professional spider pest control in Barrie.

Most people have heard of the black widow spider, one of the few with a bite that poses a danger to humans. There are multiple species of spiders that go by this name. Only two of these species live in Canada and only one, the northern black widow, is found in Ontario. This species of spider is not very common in Ontario but because it lives primarily in the southern and eastern regions, there is at least a slight chance that you may encounter one in your Barrie home one day.

How Do You Recognize a Black Widow Spider?

Black widows get their name from their colour, which can range from deep black to dark brown, and the fact that the females have been known to consume the males after mating, though this is less common than previously thought. It is the females rather than the males with a venomous bite that can cause harm to humans. Male black widow spiders are smaller than the females, are grey or brown rather than black, and can have markings on their abdomens resembling red spots or white stripes.

Female black widows have markings on the undersides of their abdomens resembling a red hourglass shape. It may be most visible when a female hangs upside down in her web waiting for prey. However, if you see a spider walking around that you think might be a black widow but you cannot see the underside of its abdomen, it is unwise to try to flip it over to check. Black widows actually are not very aggressive spiders but are most likely to bite in self-defence when provoked. Fortunately, there are other characteristics by which you can recognize them. Female are shiny black in colour with spindly legs and a large, round, bulbous abdomen.

How Dangerous Is the Bite of a Black Widow?

The bite of a northern black widow spider usually isn’t deadly. Most people who are bitten survive and suffer no long-term ill effects from the bite. However, it can be extremely painful. Symptoms of a bite from a black widow include extreme muscle pain that occurs immediately and reaches its peak up to three hours following the incident. Other symptoms of a black widow bite may include the following:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Abdominal cramps and nausea
  • Fever
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased blood pressure or heartbeat

Symptoms can persist for several weeks but usually resolve after three to seven days. Most people who are bitten do not require medical treatment. Nevertheless, the symptoms can be severe. A researcher in the 1930s once conducted an experiment to see if a person would develop an immunity to the venom of a black widow. However, the first bite was so painful that the experiment had to be abandoned.

How Do You Know if You Have Black Widow Spiders?

Black widows prefer to spin their webs in dry protected areas, usually in outbuildings. If they make a home inside your house, it is usually in the basement or on the lowest level. They spin large, messy webs that do not follow a particular pattern. You can protect yourself and your home from black widows by reducing clutter in your basement or garage. When moving items that have been stored for a long time, wear protective gloves.

Spider Pest Control in Barrie From Truly Nolen

If you see or suspect black widows in your home, protect yourself from potential bites by calling a professional for help. Find out more about Truly Nolen’s indoor spider control methods.