The black widow spider is world renowned, and we all know that it can be very dangerous. However, there is a genus of spiders, the Steatoda, which closely resemble black widow spiders, but are actually a different subspecies. The Steatoda are so similar to the black widows that they’ve earned the name “false black widow spiders.” Let’s take a look at these false black widows and the threats that they pose.
The characteristics of the false black widow
The false black widow is similar in shape to the normal black widow spider, with the females being slightly larger than the males. The false black widows have a bulbous abdomen, with a brownish color and pale markings. This coloration is mainly what sets the two species apart visually, but there are black widows that have dark brown coloration, so it’s not that clear of a delineation. However, most true black widows have a black shiny color, and they have the hourglass marking on the abdomen.
In terms of habitats, the false widows will settle in trees, beneath tree bark, on fences, and in walls when they are inside the home. They build an irregularly shaped cobweb, and they are not very aggressive by nature. Just like true black widows, they will only bite in self-defense.
The false black widow bite
Speaking of biting, the false black widow has venom strong enough to cause a lot of pain, but the bites are generally milder than those of a true black widow. The bite itself is not usually felt, but within 20 minutes, the bite area will start to swell. The symptoms from the bite will not last very long, and there are antivenin treatments available. The big issue with false black widow spider bites is that they are usually confused with true black widow bites, and treatments are applied improperly.
Getting rid of the false black widow
Both the false black widow and the black widow spider are considered pests, and having them around the home can cause huge problems. To get rid of them, you will need the help of a pro, who can remove the infestation completely and ensure that the spiders do not return for the foreseeable future. If you have a spider infestation, or if you have any questions about the false black widow, the black widow, or any other spider species, contact us today, and we will gladly help you out.