Arizona is home to many insects that can wreak havoc on your home (and leave you with some annoying, itchy bites), and the prevalent black widow warrants caution as it is more venomous than the rest. Black widow spiders are nocturnal and typically keep to themselves unless they’re bothered — but watch out when that happens, because they can lash out with a painful bite.

“You don’t have to live in fear of black widow spiders — and you don’t ever have to experience one of their bites”

You can protect yourself from black widows by knowing what to expect, including how to identify them, where they live and the best ways to keep them from invading your home. There are a few things Phoenix homeowners should know when living and dealing with black widow spiders.

What do the black widow spiders look like?

Female black widow spiders are striking with their shiny black bodies and distinctive red “hourglass” or dual triangle shape located on the underside of the abdomen. The shape makes them easy to spot since they hang upside down in their webs. They’re also big: A female is about 1.5 inches long, while a male is half the size and completely harmless.

Black Widow webs are asymmetrical (no distinguishable pattern) and are most often found close to the ground. They can be found under the lip of the stucco and in corners and other undisturbed places. Other common areas where they are common found include: the garage, under patio furniture, on toys including plastic cozy coupes that have hollow areas where black widows can nest and hide, around bbqs, sheds and around clutter and debris. Keeping debris and clutter in the yard and garage picked-up and keeping toys picked-up will reduce these common harborage areas around your home.

Are male and female black widow spiders poisonous?

The black widow spider is the most venomous spider in the United States, but the females are the only ones with the poisonous bite. Males are usually pretty harmless because they have less venom than the female spiders. Black widow bites are characterized by two small red spots surrounded by redness and some slight swelling. Pain can spread up or down the arms or legs, eventually settling in the midsection or back. Chest and muscle pain are the two most common symptoms, but black widow spider bites can also lead to nausea, vomiting, convulsions or unconsciousness. Consult competent medical professionals for guidance on what to do if you receive a black widow bite.

How do I get rid of black widows?

They like to spin their webs in dark areas near the ground, like your garage, shed, yard or scrap piles

  1. Be sure to check those areas often for new webs — and keep your hands away from dark places while you do it so you won’t get bitten.
  2. Keeping debris and clutter in the yard and garage picked-up and keeping toys picked-up will reduce the number of black widows around your home, too.
  3. In addition, a regular inspection and targeted treatment of infested areas is generally required for black widow control.


If you have concerns with spiders in and around your home and want to rest easy knowing that they are kept at bay, contact our trained pest specialists today. Cummings Termite and Pest take multiple steps in our general treatment approach to rid your home of unwanted spiders, including effective black widow treatment and elimination.