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Why Black Widow Spiders Are a Problem in Missouri


Obviously, the first and most important reason that black widow spiders are such a problem in Missouri is the fact that they can inject a potent venom that could send you to the hospital if you are bitten. And while the rumors of how deadly black widow spider bites can be are greatly exaggerated, it is still an extremely unpleasant experience. Black widow venom can cause severe localized pain, chills, body aches, perspiration, stomach cramps, and vomiting. It can also cause a swelling of the feet, hands, eyelids, and other areas of the body. So, definitely not something you want to experience. But you'll probably live. The other reason that black widow spiders are such a big problem in Missouri is that they do quite well here. This increases the chances of running into one of these spiders. But knowing where these spiders prefer to hang out can help you avoid being bitten.



Like all spiders, black widows hang out where they can find food. Around your home, these venomous spiders will feed on beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, flies, and other insects and arthropods. Inside your home, they'll target common household pests like cockroachesflies, and ants. So wherever there is bug activity, you may find black widows. Here are some examples:

  • Beetles like moist, shaded locations. They'll congregate in the soil around your perimeter, taking advantage of the shadow cast by your home. They're also commonly found under your deck, stairs, and other external structures. This will make these locations attractive to black widows as well.

  • Crickets and grasshoppers are commonly found in our yards. The presence of these insects in your yard will have black widows looking for holes or cavities to create their webs in so that unsuspecting lawn pests can be caught and eaten. It is not wise to mess around with any hole that has webbing in it as it can lead to bites.

  • A wide range of insects like to hide under or in between rocks. And the gap between rocks is a common place for black widow spiders to establish their webs. Be mindful that the rocks on your property could have black window hiding around them and be cautious when overturning or moving these stones.

  • Many insects species like to take up residence inside our homes. And the more pests that get into our homes, the more likely it is that black widows will come in as well. Once inside, they will hide in different areas around your home. In your home, be sure to shake out your shoes, clothing, and other items before wearing them.

  • Several of the insects that black widow spiders feed on like to hide in and around wood piles. If there is a nice recess for them to build a web in, black widows will take advantage of these areas to be closer to their prey. So make sure to examine your wood pile before grabbing wood.

  • Insect pests often use piles of brush and other organic debris as harborage areas, so be careful when moving brush or putting your hand into a brush pile. It is also a good idea to consider wearing gloves.

Another factor that motivates black widows is seclusion which is why they are often found in outbuildings, root cellars, basements, crawl spaces, garages, attics, barns, and other secluded areas. They're also likely to establish webs between stored boxes or inside those boxes if they can. And while black widows don't prefer to bite people, they can and will if they feel startled or if you get too close to them. When entering dark locations, use a flashlight and examine the area carefully before going in to avoid a run-in with these venomous spiders.

The best way to avoid being bitten by spiders on your property is to have routine inspections performed by a licensed pest control professional. If black widows are part of your ongoing pest control plan, which keeps your property safe from termites and other wood-destroying pests, ticks and other dangerous bugs, and your belongings from carpet beetles and other destructive insects, you'll have protection from poisonous spiders as well! For this kind of protection, we offer our Signature Pest Protection program. With our Signature Pest Protection, you'll have routine visits from a certified pest management professional and appropriate treatments as needed throughout the year to make your home and perimeter resistant to pest activity. This service is also backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, meaning that if you ever become aware of new pest activity in between your scheduled services, we'll come back and deal with those pests until we've addressed the problem to your satisfaction!

When you have Rottler’s Signature Protection program, it is like having insurance against pests for your home. Reach out to us at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions today and schedule a free inspection to get started!

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