Spider Treatment

About Black Widows

There are only two main types of venomous spiders found in Richardson, Texas: the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow.

These  are nocturnal and are therefore often found in or under objects where their presence is not immediately obvious. To maintain safety, it is recommended that people wear gloves when doing activities in which they cannot see where their hands are being placed such as reaching into storage boxes or lifting boards or firewood. Also, all clothing that hasn’t been used for a considerable time should be checked before wearing as they may have taken up residence within it.

Their Bite

Generally, they are very timid and only bite in self-defense such as when they accidentally come in contact with humans. They will usually attempt to flee even when their web is disturbed before attacking. Generally bites will occur when they become trapped against the skin. Bite symptoms of the widows are systemic, spreading through the body via the lymphatic system.

They usually start about 1-3 hours after the bite has occurred. The most common symptoms of their bite are intense pain, rigid abdominal muscles, muscle cramping, nausea, vomiting, general malaise (not feeling well), local sweating and hypertension (high blood pressure). If left untreated, bite symptoms will generally last 3-5 days. If you or someone you know has been bitten by what you believe to be a black widow, seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment includes Calcium gluconate and/or antivenin which is administered to relieve or counteract symptoms. These treatments are generally not found at your regular doctor’s office, so you will more than likely need to go to the nearest emergency department.

Different Species Of Black Widow

Three species of black widow are found in the Richardson, Texas area.

Southern Black Widow: Most common of the native widow ones in the Richardson, Texas area. This is the classic black widow spider that most people think of. The southern black widow is a glossy jet black all over. The only red marks it has are the bright red hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen, and a red spot just above the spinnerets.

Western Black Widow: Found most frequently in the western side of Texas. It is commonly found in southwestern parts Texas through the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the adjoining parts of Mexico. The Western Black Widow’s appearance is similar to the Southern Black widow except that its bottom hourglass triangle often resembles an oval rather than a triangle. Some adults will keep their brilliant immature colors on their back. 

Brown Widow:  The brown widow is brown with accent marking that can vary from black to white with an orange hourglass on their underside. Their leg segments are banded, with one half of each segment lighter in color than the other half. The brown widow’s back sometimes has a row of white spots and can sometimes be orange or light blue. The darker Brown Widows lack these extra markings and are difficult to distinguish from black widows. Brown widows can sometimes be identified by their egg sac if it is present. Their egg sacs resemble a sandspur and are tan, spherical, and have many small tufts of silk sticking out from them, while the other widow spiders make white, smooth egg sacs that are pear-shaped.

The Brown Widow is extremely timid and has rarely been reported to bite. Its webs can occur just about anywhere in a home. Brown widows reproduce quickly, which makes it very hard to control them.

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