Where Do Black Widow Spiders Hide?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Many people are understandably afraid of spiders, especially venomous spiders. Brown recluses and black widows are the only venomous spiders in the U.S., but the black widow is the most dangerous of the two. Because of that, it’s important to be careful if you live in a state where black widows are active. So, where do black widow spiders hide?

Black widow spiders hide in cluttered areas such as crawlspaces, attics, basements, closets, and sheds. They are drawn to piles of rocks, leaves, and wood, and black widows are most active at night. Black widow spider bites aren’t typically fatal, but they are painful and can make you quite sick. Go to the emergency room if you get bitten by a black widow spider.

Keep your house clean and declutter, so you don’t attract black widows. It also helps to spray your house with an insecticide, so the bugs they eat don’t come inside. Follow along as we explore where black widow spiders hide and highlight what you can do to avoid them.

Where Do Black Widow Spiders Live?

Black widows primarily live in the Southern United States, but you can find them throughout the country. The warm climate in states like Texas attracts black widows. That said, you can find black widows everywhere from northern Illinois to southern California.

The northern black widow is commonly found in Illinois, whereas the western black widow resides in Colorado and Utah. You can find the southern black widow in Ohio, but they are most active in Texas. That said, the names are somewhat misleading as southern black widows also live in New York.

Where Do Black Widow Spiders Hide In The House?

Garages, attics, and basements are the most common hiding spots for black widows in a house. You may also find black widows in closets and rooms with lots of storage items. These types of spaces provide many hiding spots and plenty of room for them to build webs.

Sheds are also common hiding spots for black widows. Because sheds are outside, they typically attract lots of bugs that black widows like to eat. Wear gloves whenever you handle items in your shed if you’ve noticed black widows before so you can avoid getting bitten.

Exercise caution in your crawlspace, as black widows and brown recluse spiders are drawn to crawlspaces. The combination of clutter, darkness, and other bugs make crawlspaces the perfect hiding spots for venomous spiders like black widows.

What Attracts Black Widow Spiders?

Black widow spiders are primarily attracted to clutter. Cluttered spaces with piles of clothes and debris attract black widows because they offer perfect hiding spots. They are also drawn to piles of rocks and stacks of wood.

Black widows also gravitate towards areas with lots of prey. You are more likely to find black widows in your home if other bugs have made their way inside. They eat everything from cockroaches and caterpillars to beetles and scorpions.

Common household bugs like mosquitoes and flies also attract black widow spiders. You can help prevent black widow infestations if you spray your home with a common insecticide, so they have no prey to find.

What To Do When You Find A Black Widow Spider

Call a pest control company right away when you find a black widow spider. Some people understandably kill black widow spiders when they find them, but that can be dangerous. Ideally, you should limit contact with black widows at all costs, and stepping on them or swatting them puts you at risk of getting bitten.

Leave that to the exterminator, as they will do a better job and keep them away from your home. Exterminators typically spray the perimeter of your home as well as hot spot areas in your house. This will keep black widows and the prey they eat away.

Are Black Widow Spider Bites Fatal?

Black widow bites are rarely fatal, but they can be quite painful and make you sick. Much like brown recluse bites, black widow bites can be quite dangerous. Visit the emergency room or urgent care if you get bitten by a black widow spider.

Black widows are one of the only two venomous spiders in the United States alongside brown recluses.

Children are especially susceptible to black widow bites. Tell your kids about black widows if you live in an area where they are active. Make sure they know to tell you right away if they suspect they were bitten by a black widow so they can be treated immediately.

In many cases, doctors give people a shot of intravenous antivenom to counteract the effects of the spider’s venom. Stay calm if you get bitten by a black widow, as modern medicine makes it easy to recover quickly. Never put a tourniquet around the bite, as it could make the problem worse.

Are Black Widows Aggressive?

Black widows aren’t generally aggressive toward humans. They only bite humans when they feel threatened or if you come into physical contact with them. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says that approximately 2,200 black widow bites are reported per year in the United States.

Roughly 4 to 8 people die in the U.S. each year from black widow bites. That is quite sad and scary to consider, but you don’t need to panic about black widow bites. The United States is home to over 300 million people, so the fatality rate of black widow bites is quite low.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about black widow spiders hunting you. They don’t seek out humans, but they do hunt other bugs.

How Can You Tell It’s A Black Widow Spider?

The easiest way to tell a spider is a black widow is if it has a red hourglass marking on its abdomen. Unfortunately, you can only see the hourglass marking if you see the underside of the spider. Because of that, some people see a black spider and don’t know it’s a black widow because they can’t see the underside with the hourglass.

From a top view, black widows don’t look too much different than other black spiders. That said, black widows are much shinier looking than most spiders, and that’s their other biggest defining trait. Don’t be fooled by the false widow, which looks like a black widow but is different in several ways.

For example, the false widow lacks the red hourglass symbol on its abdomen. They aren’t as shiny or as big as black widows. Luckily, false black widows rarely bite, and they aren’t venomous.

Summing It Up

Attics, garages, crawlspaces, basements, and sheds are the most common hiding spots for black widow spiders. Black widows don’t purposely bite humans unless they become startled and defend themselves. You can find black widows in many U.S. states, such as Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Illinois. Deaths from black widow bites are quite rare, but the bites are painful. Visit the emergency room to seek medical attention if you get bitten by a black widow spider.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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