Black Widow

(Lactrodectus mactans)


The adult Black Widow (Lactrodectus mactans) female is usually jet black and nearly 1/2” in length. The underside has the infamous bright red hourglass marking. The males are half the size of females and light brown with a yellow hourglass marking. This spider is usually found around shrubbery and in areas with little disturbance such as woodpiles, under boards and around brickwork, especially where brick and wood siding extends close to ground level.


Black Widow female spiders produce a venom which affects the nervous system. Although not typically aggressive, these spiders will bite if disturbed. Some of the symptoms involve muscle pain and spasms, severe abdominal cramps, sweating, and stiffness in the legs. Some people are more susceptible to the venom of the black widow than others. Although bites are rarely fatal to adults, children are especially susceptible, and should be taken to the hospital immediately if bitten.


Although it is difficult to prevent black widows, Cook’s perimeter service is usually sufficient to eliminate black widow spiders from around your home or structure. Cook’s Pest Control offers expert treatment for the control of Black Widow spiders and our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address our Black Widow issues.

About Spiders

  • All spiders are eight-legged, and they can enter a home in a variety of ways: on clothing, through cracks under doors, and more.
  • Although some bites may hurt, most spiders can’t seriously harm people, except for a few species present in the U.S. like the brown recluse and black widow.
  • A Cook’s professional knows how to spot and control all types.