Many areas of the country are prone to harbor black widow spiders. They are generally easy to spot, have well known favorite hide-outs, and can make a person very ill. Knowing what precautions to take can prevent having a black widow infestation in your home. The steps are simple, and the effort will be worth your piece of mind.
Before you do anything, familiarize yourself with the black widow. Black widow spiders are well known for the red, hour-glass shape on their belly. They are also shiny, as compared to other spiders which appear to be furry. The female spider is the venomous one to watch out for. She is nocturnal, and general hangs upside down in her web, making her red to orange hour glass easy to spot. Black widows usually make their webs close to the ground. They will normally not bite unless they are touched or threatened.
Step 1 - Check Your Home Thoroughly
Go through your home at night and check for black widow spiders. Since they are nocturnal, they will be hard to find during the day. Use a flashlight to check into dark corners and areas with poor lighting. If you find a spider, you can opt to kill it, or capture and remove it from your home. Make sure to release it far away from homes and out buildings.
Step 2 - Fix the Leaks
Go around and inspect your home for cracks and holes where spiders might find entry. Check window screens and replace them if necessary. Make sure doors and windows are tightly sealed. Caulk around them to make sure they are airtight. Install door sweeps at the bottom of outside doors. This will help prevent spiders from crawling in under the door or approaching the door as it is opened.
Step 3 - Clean Your Home
If you keep your home clean, vacuumed, dusted, and web free, you are much less likely to have a black widow problem. Remove any unnecessary clutter and clean up storage spaces.
Step 4 - Clean Up Outside Your Home
Another way to deter the spiders is to keep your lawn cleared and mowed. Keep weeds at bay, and keep vines and other plants away from your home, in other words, make sure they are at least 1 to 2 feet away from your house. Wood piles are notorious homes for black widow spiders, so make sure to keep wood piles well away from you house. Make sure there are no other piles near your house, like rock or trash piles. Take the same precautions in your garage and sheds.
Step 5 - Install Yellow Outside Lights
Use yellow light bulbs in outside light fixtures. The yellow light will deter bugs that black widows like to feed on.
Step 6 - Spray Your Home
There are many options for insecticides in the home. There are many that contain harsh chemicals, some that contain natural ingredients, or you can make your own spider repellent at home using easy to find ingredients. There is also the option of having a professional pest control company spray your home.