This is one of the most popular spiders in the world. One of the scariest insects ever existed. There are many myths surrounding black widow spider, and today we will…

Black Widow Spider: All You Need to Know About the Most Notorious Spider in the World!

This is one of the most popular spiders in the world. One of the scariest insects ever existed. There are many myths surrounding black widow spider, and today we will learn what truth is, and which facts are false. This article gives all information about this deadly creature.

Why Is It Called So?

There are about 31 species of this bug, and all of them are generally called widow spider. These insects got their name due to their awful habit: after mating, male insect is eaten by female.  Some scientists claim it is done to increase the chances that baby black widow spiders will survive. However, females do that not in all cases – most often, that happens in laboratory conditions when a male has nowhere to escape.


Females have dark bodies that are covered by a red or orange hourglass mark on the back part of their abdomen:

black widow

Females have dark bodies that are covered by a red or orange hourglass mark.

Sometimes insects have small red colorings, or none of them.

Red or white marks (stripes or spots) sometimes appear on the upper side of body. Some spiders are pale brown but have contrasting markings.

As all other spiders, this has four pairs of thin legs, three pair of eyes and a relatively big globular abdomen. Female body is ½ inch in diameter, and are 1.5 inches long with their legs spread. Males are twice shorter, have smaller bodies and longer legs, their bodies are adorned by yellow or orange spots/stripes on back. Here is the comparison between them:


Males are twice shorter.

Newly hatched offspring are yellowish-white, and acquire black color and markings while aging. Here are baby black widow spider pics:

black widow spider kids

This is the baby black widow spider pics.

But before babies hatch, black widow spider eggs are kept in a white ball that is being carried by a female all around:

black widow

Black widow spider eggs are kept in a white ball.

Areas of Habitat

Insects of this family are spread almost around the world. They can be found in:

  • North America;
  • Central and South America (Chili, Argentina, Paraguay);
  • Europe;
  • Africa (species living there are also called button spiders);
  • Middle East;
  • Asia;
  • Madagascar;
  • Australia (redback species).
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Thus, insect locations are spread on all continents excluding Antarctica. This is a cosmopolitan insect that prefers warm regions with tropical climate. As a rule, people meet it in native habitat, but in some rare cases it may crawl into human dwellings.

widow black

Insects of this family are spread almost around the world.

5 Facts About Black Widow Spider

What else can you learn about this insect? At least five facts are known for sure:

  1. The insect makes web to suspend a cocoon with hundreds of eggs.
  2. This net is also used for catching prey. When the spider sees it, he attacks and uses his bristles at legs that help to cover a victim in silk (ensnare).
  3. The bug applies fangs to spray poison and digestion fluid into its dead preys. It liquefies the creatures, and the hunter sucks up the moisture gathering inside.
  4. These spiders mostly eat mosquitoes, flies, caterpillars and beetles.
  5. Bug lives from 1 to 3 years.

This net is also used for catching prey.

Black Widow Spider Bite Images and Characteristics

Poison of this insect is far more deadly than the poison of some rattlesnakes. That insect is fatally threatening for people. Usually it bites legs and arms. Initially, only two little wounds from its fangs are visible.

Then skin inflammation and redness develop during the first 1-2 days. The affected area may swell, redness around grows.

If well-timed treatment is not rendered, the wound may start decay, which leads to atrophy (venom is known to have flesh-eating properties).

black widow bite

Usually it bites legs and arms.


Usually, people attacked by this insect experience:

  1. Pains in muscles.
  2. Breathing complications.
  3. Cramps in abdomen.
  4. Skin inflammation and redness.
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They can last for up to one week, in rare occasions last a month or more. In the vast majority of cases, symptoms disappear within a day, and people recover quickly. Since 20th century, there were a few cases of death.

How Dangerous Black Widows Are?

In fact, male and baby bites are totally harmless: females have the highest venom concentrations. Furthermore, some spiders bite without injecting venom so that just to intimidate a person.

Generally, these insects are not aggressive, and attack only when being constantly harassed, e.g. squeezed and punched, or accidentally being sat on. As a rule, they play dead when feeling threat. So if you meet a spider, he won’t attack you immediately, preferring to run away and hide. Bites are mostly fatal for children and the elderly who have weak immune system. Adults who are prone to allergy are also at risk.

These insects are not aggressive.

Treatment of Black Widow Spider Bites

What can be done, if you have been attacked by a female spider? A person should seek immediate medical help. Call emergency, and while they are coming, do these things:

  1. Cleanse the wound thoroughly. That will help to reduce infection, or prevent it.
  2. Apply an ice pack. That will relieve swelling and irritation, and slow down venom circulation.
  3. If a spider bit your arm or leg, keep the limb elevated and tie a tight bandage to prevent venom spreading.
  4. For the same purpose, move as little as possible until medical workers arrive.

Remember that such bites should not be ignored: if you identify a female of black widow, you’re under risk.

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What Should Not Be Done?

To prevent infection and fast venom spreading, avoid several things:

  1. Exaggerate moving.
  2. Scratching of itching skin.

Remember that only minor amount of cases (about 2%) really require medical help and usage of anti-venom, so there is nothing to worry about, if you have an opportunity to call emergency.

Infestation Treatment

If you have black widows in your house, try insecticides that can be bought in home depot or ordered in the Net, for instance, Amazon store. Spray is the most effective remedy, because it may reach even the most discreet corners. But if you have pets or children, home-made or 100% organic remedies will also do well.

Although Black Widow is one of the deadliest spiders in the world, it is not as scary as many people think. If you ever meet is, the golden rule is not to provoke it, and the insect will go away peacefully. Do not be afraid of facing it – this is a non-aggressive creature that doesn’t attack without cause. But if you have been bitten, now you know what to do.

  1. I would like to see a photo of a single, up clise, baby black widoe. I know whatvthe adults look like, but have just read “brown bidy, white stripes/markings fo babies, & all the pics seem to be if large groups of tiny things, barely identifiable as spiders, let alone by species! Can you help?

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