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Black Widow

The female black widow is normally shiny black, with a red hourglass marking (see photo) on the underside of the abdomen.  The abdominal marking may range in color from yellowish orange to red and its shape may range from an hourglass to a dot.   The body of a female black widow can be 1/2 inch long.


The black widow is commonly found in the following places:


  • Outdoors – woodpiles, rubble piles, under stones, in hollow stumps, and in rodent burrows, privies, sheds and garages.

  • Indoors – undisturbed, cluttered areas in basements and crawl space




  • The bite of the black widow may be painful or it may go unnoticed.

  • The skin may display one or two bite marks with local swelling. Pain usually progresses from the bite site and eventually to the abdomen and back.

  • Severe cramping or rigidity may occur in the abdominal muscles.

  • Symptoms may include nausea, profuse perspiration, tremors, labored breathing, restlessness, increased blood pressure and fever.

  • The pain from the bite will usually persist for the first 8-12 hours.

  • Symptoms may continue for several days.










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