There are some spiders and insects that are simply misunderstood. The Black Widow’s bad reputation might be a little blown out of proportion, but it is still one spider that you don’t want hanging around your home. In fact, they are known in the animal world as literal homewreckers.
One of the more well-known facts surrounding black widows is that the females will eat the males. This is true on some level but doesn’t really tell the whole story. There are a total of 31 species of black widow spiders and only two of them consistently eat their mate. Even in these cases, the male actually instigates it by somersaulting into the female’s mouth. There may also be some cases in other species where the male approaches the female a little too quickly and is mistaken for food.
What is perhaps even more interesting is how males find females to mate with in the first place. The process begins with females building webs that are laced with pheromones to attract the males. The scent from the web conveys all sorts of information including her hunger level and mating history. Once the male finds the web, he begins to systematically take it apart, essentially wrecking the home. Scientists believe that the male tears down the web to keep other males away and claim the female for himself. After the spiders have mated, the female will remodel with silk that is pheromone-free.
Black Widows and Humans
While Black Widows can deliver a venomous bite, they are considered shy and will only react when disturbed. Their venom is meant to kill insects. Unfortunately, for humans, they are nocturnal spiders that like to hide in dark corners, making it easy to inadvertently suffer a bite. In addition, only the females can actually bite, which makes them potential homewreckers for humans.
Regular cleaning in dark and hard-to-reach areas can help keep Black Widows out of your home. If you have already noticed one or more around your home and you don’t want to risk getting a bite, contact PMi Pest Management. We can remove any spiders and use the right products to act as a repellent. Call today to learn more.