You've probably heard of black widow spiders, but you may not know that there are other types of dangerous widow spiders in the United States. Red widow spiders aren't as famous as their relatives, but they're still a concern for American homeowners. Here's what you need to know about them.
What do red widow spiders look like?
Red widow spiders are fairly easy to identify. They have round, shiny bodies, and reach lengths of between 1 and 1.5 inches . Their heads and legs are either orange or red while their bodies are black. On their backs, they have rows of striking red spots with yellow edges. They don't have a red hourglass on their stomachs like black widows do; instead, they have one or two red dots.
Where do they live?
These spiders have a fairly small range within the United States. They're found in central and southeastern Florida and are most common near scrub habitats. They are often found living in palmetto shrubs, so if you have these plants on your property, you may also have red widow spiders.
Can they infest houses?
Red widow spiders probably won't infest your home. Unlike other types of spiders, they're very picky about where they live and what they eat, and your home probably doesn't offer what they need. They like to live in palmetto shrubs and only eat a few species of scarab beetles, so if you don't have either of these things inside your house, don't worry. An infestation in your garden is a more likely problem
Are they as dangerous as black widow spiders?
All spiders in the widow spider family are dangerous, and red widow spiders are no exception. If you get bitten by one of these spiders, you can expect symptoms like muscle pain, muscle spasms, and a racing heart. While the bite is unpleasant, widow spider venom doesn't usually kill healthy adults,
How can you avoid getting bitten?
Since these spiders live in palmetto shrubs, you need to be very careful when you're doing gardening or other yard work. Wear thick gardening gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants while you're working outside, and always look before you reach into an area where spiders could be living.
How do you get rid of them?
You can get rid of red widow spiders by making your backyard less appealing to them. Remove your palmetto plants to take away their preferred habitat, and if that isn't possible, you can spray the plants with insecticides.
Red widow spiders are dangerous, but, fortunately, they tend to stay outdoors. If you need help getting rid of them, call a pest control company like Hadley Termite & Pest Control Inc to treat your yard.