What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Trying to identify this spider.
February 28, 2010
I’ve got this great picture my brother took. We’re trying to identify it. Can you give me any information. Is it poisonous?
Renee
Southern California

Immature Black Widow

Hi Renee,
This is an immature Black Widow, and you probably know that the bite can be dangerous.  The female’s venom may cause a poisonous reaction.  BugGuide has much information on the Widow Spiders in the genus Latrodectus, and there are numerous images that show these markings on the immature specimens.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

7 Responses to Immature Black Widow Spider

  1. Sharon flood says:

    I hope one of these articles is correct in stating that a black widow spider lives around 180 days as I have also read elsewhere that they can live up to a few years. I have seen an immature one three times inside where I live and been bitten several times so far. The first two times I was very ill. I have searched everywhere for it and constantly vacuum everywhere but every time is sleep with the lights off I am bitten again. Your info on how they live for just 180 days has given me hope that I may outlive this critter after all!

  2. Sharon Flood says:

    I agree with bugman. I have have been stuck with what began as an immature female widow spider in my condo for around 7 months and it’s bites look like she must be quite healthy. I was so sick the first time I was bitten that I new it was not a flu and I thought my head was going to fly off. The third time and beyond have not been as bad for some reason. I have 2 pieces of furniture that I cannot move on my own and when a friend helps me move them we find nothing. My home is nearly all white and very clean and I have only seen this spider twice but the bites more often. I nearly lost both of my cats but suspected what the problem with them was and had the vet give a 10 day antibiotic shot both times which saved their lives. I will not spray as I live in a condo. I am thinking of using sprigs of Euc, mint and lemon to at least drive the spider out. I have numerous night lights and often sleep with all room lights on.

    • Justin says:

      1. Immature females, spiderligs and male spiders are not dangerous. Their fangs are too short to inflict a poisonous bite. 2. They produce quite strong webs around their dwelling spots. Since you find nothing, it’s not widows 🙂
      3. Widow spiders don’t go hunting by leaving their nests or attack people for no reason. If that was true, I would have been dead probably lol.

  3. SpiderMan says:

    I find it unseemly for a black widow to be biting at night (and unfindable otherwise) and doing so repeatedly. These spiders make a web and wait for prey to become entangled in it, or to jiggle it enough for the spider to catch the prey.

    • Justin says:

      Yeah, they don’t attack people, they tend to hide and run. Widows are shy spiders. The commented Sharon Flood’s spider sound more like Brown recluse. Or maybe she’s just bitten by bed bugs lol

  4. Karen says:

    In my wood pile, I found several large reddish spiders. They seem to be the size of
    a black widow maybe very slightly larger, have the bulbous belly, the long legs and shiny exoskeletons. They are reddish in color and move fast when disturbed. I have not found webs, but this is a box of kindling that they are living in. I thought they might be immature black widows, but they don’t have the markings of the one you show. Perhaps they haven’t had the sunlight to darken up yet, I don’t know, but I bring the wood in to burn, and I find myself hitting each piece of wood and kindling so that I don’t bring them inside. You don’t seem to advocate extermination, but I want to feel safe in my own home.

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