Beware Her Poison Bite

We’re pretty lucky here that we only have a handful of potentially-deadly critters lurking among us. But of those here that do possess the poison bite, the “queen” is probably the black widow spider. She is an easy one to identify thanks to the telltale hourglass-shaped red mark on her abdomen.

I have always been warned that she might visit, but before this week she had never stopped by. Since Monday, we have had her come calling not once–but twice.

The first one we discovered was in our gas cooking grill. She was larger than I had ever pictured a black widow spider–probably 4-5 cm (1.5-2 inches) leg span. The second was a surprise sighting–in how wide open she had woven her nest! We found her beside our front door, and she was maybe a little more than half the size of the first one.

Now let me make this clear: I love spiders. They are a great filter for keeping other more annoying and nefarious bugs from entering. They generally keep to themselves, spinning their webs in corners out of the way. The biggest threat is to them–from one of our four cats. In fact, I usually rescue ones I find have caught the eyes of one or more of my cats. And late summer, like now, is when we definitely see a spike in their presence around our house.

Instead of fearing all spiders–since most are beneficial to us–I’ve simply learned to recognize the ones that are dangerous. Around here, there are only two–the brown recluse and the aforementioned black widow. But those two are fair game when I find them. I take no joy in having done so, but both these little ladies met their end under my watch. I am always sorry to take any living creature’s life, and this was no exception.

3 thoughts on “Beware Her Poison Bite

    • Most spiders are actually quite beneficial. They help control a lot of other pests–like flies and gnats and such. There are really only a tiny fraction of them that are deadly. We only have two species here that are truly dangerous, and even a black widow bite is probably not fatal to an adult, though kids are at risk. Not that I aspire to being bitten even by the harmless ones! But I let most of the spiders here hang around because of all the good they do otherwise. I just try not to upset them!

  1. Pingback: What a Tangled Web We Weave… « Sterling Starling Creations

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