black widow spiders web

How to get rid of

the Widows

They have many names.

Black widow spiders are also known as Southern and Northern Black Widows, Red Widows, and Brown Widows. That red hourglass on the spiders back…that is how you know it is one of them.

Black widow spiders kids found

Black widows are smaller than everyone thinks. Black with 8 legs (please, only count the legs after it is dead), about 3/4 inch long and 3/8 inches around. Because of their reputation, most folks think they are a very large spider that waits in hiding for you to come close so it can attack and bite you. That is not the case. They are solitary insects that would prefer never to see you up close.

Black widow spiders are night dwellers

Very dormant during the day with their web close to the ground in a protected place like in a child’s sandbox. Yes we said…in an unsuspecting child’s sandbox in their own backyard.

You usually bring black widow spiders into the house in your firewood load and then they move into things like shoes that you don’t wear often. Unlike the brown recluse spider who ventures out to feed, black widows feed at their web.

Black widow spiders on gravestone

They only bite as a defense response when you push them against your skin like when you put your hand on them in the wood pile. But be aware, their bite is venomous and can cause a significant reaction.


  • Natural (Organic): Trim grass, brush, bushes that are next to the walls. Keep the kids sandbox closed tightly as well as any other concealed protected cavities need removal or constant maintenance to tell the black widow spider it is not a good place to set up her residence because the human will keep irritating her.
  • Lights tend to bring the food types that they eat…bugs of all types…so it follows that turning the light out or dimming it or putting in a yellow bulb is one method to make it harder for the spider to get food and learn it is time to relocate.
  • Inspect your walls and seal up all small openings, cracks, etc to deny entry to the spider and his fast food friends.
  • (NO COST TIP) Vacuum up any webs, eggs, nests that you can see. Some of them are black widow owned and some not.

Remember the adage.

Squish first and ask questions later.

The problem here is that spiders really do help us by eating a lot of insect pests so think before squashing and if it’s not likely a black widow spider or brown recluse, let it be…is a good thing.

black widow spiders in car


  • Homeowner applied: You can buy sprays locally and apply them as directed at the black widow spider.
  • Professional applied: Applications by professionals will deter longer because they use stronger chemical concentration than a homeowner can get locally.