New Jersey Black Widow Spiders and Their Bites

Spider's Web
Spider’s Web

The most venomous spider on the continent can be found right here in New Jersey: the black widow.

These scary arachnids can produce venom 15 times as poisonous as a rattlesnake, causing severe pain and sometimes worse symptoms ranging from difficulty breathing to paralysis or even death.

New Jersey residents encounter black widows often enough that everyone should know how to identify them, how to react when bitten, and when to call for spider control services to stamp out the problem.

Identifying Black Widows in New Jersey

Depending on the exact species and gender, black widows can vary in appearance. The Northern black widow—the most common variety in New Jersey—will be 1 to 1.5 inches long, with four long inner legs and four shorter outer legs. Males have white stripes and are less venomous. The females have an red hourglass shape or row of red dots on their backs.

Black Widow Bites & Symptoms

Black widows bite humans defensively, not as an attack. However, it only takes accidental contact to provoke the black widow.

Bites feel like a simple pin prick and symptoms gradually increase. Redness and pain worsen, often turning to wider spread soreness and severe nausea. Dogs, cats and other pets experience similar symptoms with a wide range of severity.

What to Do When You Encounter Black Widows

After a bite, seek medical attention for effective treatment—if untreated, the victim might experience convulsions, fainting, and paralysis. Fatal bites are rare in New Jersey, but possible.

If you see a black widow inside or around your New Jersey home, call for pest control immediately! If you spot one, many more may be living around you.

Allison Pest Control services more than 5,000 homes and businesses in our area annually. Isn’t it time to get service from the local NJ pest control experts? It all starts with a free pest inspection.