What to Do When You Find a Black Widow in the House

Black widow spiders are extremely poisonous.
Black widow spiders are extremely poisonous. (Image: black spider image by Artyom Davidov from Fotolia.com)

Black widow spiders are black or brown, shiny, round and approximately one-fourth to one-third an inch long. Black widows generally have a reddish hourglass-shaped marking on the abdomen. Black widows received their name because the females often eat the males after mating.

Kill the Spider

After spotting a black widow in the home, kill the spider. These spiders are dangerous, so it is important to take care of it right away. Using an object such as a shoe or heavy book is helpful.

Clear Areas

Black widows live in clusters; if a black widow is found in the home, there are most likely more. Any dark, undisturbed places inside or outside are likely homes for the black widows. Clear all such areas to discourage the spiders from nesting.


In some cases, the only way to completely remove black widows from the home is with extermination. Black widows have tiny feet, too small to absorb poison. They do not drag their bodies on the ground either, making them even more difficult to poison. Professional exterminators will be able to kill the spiders and destroy the nests.

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