Black Widow Invasion!
Summertime often brings visitors, but recent blistering temperatures are bringing unwanted house guests in the tri-state: Black Widows. The heat is driving people -- and spiders -- indoors.
Mcmahon Exterminating entomologist Brian Ranes says this is the worst year they've seen for Black Widows indoors, only comparable to 2006. They told me they've already responded to two situations involving Black Widow bites. The first of those was on a man bitten while doing yard work, most likely near a tool shed. He was sick for a week.
The second bite situation -- reads like something out of a horror story.
"She felt something crawling on her in the middle of the night, so she went to turn on a light that was next to her bed, and when she turned on the light, the spiderlings were around the light and on the wall and bed and all around. When she touched the light she felt what she thought was a jolt of electricity go through her," said Ranes. "They started looking for the adult spider and found a female Black Widow that was next to an egg sac, underneath a dresser."
That dresser had recently been moved from another location by the family.
Fortunately, Ranes told me that only about one percent of Black Widow bites are fatal. If you know how to protect yourself, it's easier to avoid a painful hospital stay.
First, spiders are most often found in spacious pockets, like between rock formations. If you’re an avid gardener, make sure you wear covered, durable shoes and gardening gloves.
Second, they are nocturnal. The best way to find them is with a flashlight. Be sure to check beneath furniture that may have recently been moved into your house, and under cabinets.
Finally, those who are elderly, young or have compromised immune systems are at the most risk.
Pets usually don’t get Black Widow bites, but they are at risk of eating them. That can be fatal as well.
Unfortunately, Black Widows will be back once the summer is over. McMahon Exterminating usually deals with spiders moving inside once colder temperatures kick in, but because this year's heat allowed a population boom, homeowners should be on the lookout for round two in September.