Hogarth's Pest Control specializes in all types of industries, residential and commercial.
The northern black widow is a native species to Michigan. Though we find them throughout the state, larger populations exist in the lower peninsula. This spider is relatively small, only growing to about a half inch long (1.5 inches if you include the legs). They are entirely black, except for a distinct bright red, hourglass marking on the abdomen of the female. It is important also to note that the hourglass is incomplete in the middle. Males lack this trademark, but many have red or yellow bands on their abdomen or back.
Outdoors they live hollow logs, stumps, under fallen fence posts, in abandoned animal burrows or piles of brush. Indoors they are most commonly found in the corners of sheds and crawlspaces. Taking extra precautions when working in areas where black widows may live is beneficial; always be sure to wear gloves and pay attention.
Black widows rarely bite, as they are not aggressive and prefer to flee an encounter. However, her venom is neurotoxic, which means that it blocks the transmission of nervous impulses. If the spider bites, most likely, it has been pressed against bare human skin, and this causes a natural reaction— a bite in self-defense. If a black widow bites you, medical attention should be sought immediately. Their bites are quite painful. They can cause acute latrodectism, a condition in which the spider’s venom spreads quickly throughout the body, causing constant, intense muscle contractions in all of the major muscle groups followed by painful and severe cramping.
Though death from a northern black widow bite is rare, and though symptoms will usually dissipate within three days, medical treatment can considerably lessen the unpleasantness of the symptoms by the use of antivenoms and muscle relaxers. Asn with many ailments, the elderly, extremely young, and very ill victims are at a higher risk for more severe complications.