Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) is a highly venomous species of spider that is a native species to the United States. Canada and Mexico. The Northern Black Widow spider can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. They are rare to find, but they generally like to hang out around trash piles, sheds, under rocks, wood piles, etc. Anyplace that is dark and a little damp is a great place for them to hide.

Female black widow spiders are known for their distinctive black and red colouring and their sometimes habit of eating the males after they mate. The mature female black widow spider is usually around 1.5 inches long and about .25 inches in diameter. They are shiny black with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the ventral (under)side of their abdomen, which is very round. The sizing of the female black widows can vary especially in egg-carrying or gravid females. The abdomen diameter in a gravid female can be more than 0.5 inches.

Mature male black widow spiders are very different in appearance to the females. Males are much smaller than females with their bodies at less than 1/4 inch. Their colouring is usually black but often they take have a similar appearance to that of juvenile black widow spiders. Juveniles have a distinctly different appearance then the females (and some males) in that their abdomens are greyish to black in colour with white stripes running across them spotted with orange or yellow.

Black Widows will typically prey on a variety of insects, but they will also sometimes feed on woodlice, diplopods, chilopods and even other aracnids. When their prey gets entangled in their web, the black widow will wrap the prey securely with web and then bite and envenom the prey. The venom takes up to 10 minutes to work and then digestive enzymes will be injected into the wound of the prey. After that the black widow will carry their prey back to their retreat where they will feed.

Despite being known as highly venomous spider, there is not much to worry about. In an article here Antonia Guidotti, an entomology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, says while black widow sightings make headlines, Ontario is not exactly undergoing a scourge of the famed eight-legged arachnids.”The black widow is very rarely encountered. Most of us, even entomologists, haven’t seen a black widow in the wild in Ontario. Most of you are never going to see one. And the risk if you come across one is very small,” she assures.Guidotti says even if one should have the misfortune of encountering a black widow, the spiders present a much smaller danger that we’ve been led to believe.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada. In Canada they are known to live southeast Ontario and southern parts of Quebec. They are typically light to medium brown but can range in colour from cream to dark brown or blackish gray.

Brown recluse spider

Brown Recluse spiders are relatively small and are usually between 6-20 mm however they can grow larger. They have no obvious colouration patterns on their abdomens or legs and their legs also lack spines and their abdomens are covered in a fine short hair that gives the appearance of soft fur. Unlike many other species of spiders, brown recluse spiders only have six eyes instead of eight. Their eyes are arranged in pairs with one median pair and two lateral pairs.

Adult brown recluse spiders live for about 1-2 years and in their lifetime an adult brown recluse will produce several egg sacs over a period of 2-3 months from May to July with each sac holding about 50 eggs. The eggs will then hatch in about a month and the spiderlings will reach adulthood in about a year.

Brown recluse spiders are resilient spiders and they can tolerate up to 6 months of extreme drought and scarce food.

They will build irregular webs that frequently include a shelter the consists of disorderly threads and they will also usually build their webs in places such as woodpiles, sheds, garages, cellars and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed.

If you are seeing spiders of any sort – and more importantly webs – on your home, cottage, storefront, or signs, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at (705)534-7863 or email us Ross will be happy to help.

Spiders & Spider Sprays

General Info

Spiders that are commonly found in Canadian homes include house spiders, wolf spiders, cellar spiders, fishing spiders and, much more infrequently, black widow spiders. These spiders are usually found in corners of rooms, closets, boxes, dark crevices, basements, garages, and gardens. There are only a few species in Canada are that considered to be health threats.

While spiders may creep some people out, they are actually beneficial to have around when it comes to controlling other insects and pests in garden and homes since they will feed on other insects and spiders.

One of the most common misconceptions about spiders is that they are classified as insects. This is not true—they are arachnids and are closely related to mites, ticks and scorpions.

Spiders have 2 body parts—the cephalothorax and the abdomen—8 legs and generally 6-8 eyes. The average life span of a spider is usually between 1-2 years however, some can live up to 5 years and in extreme cases up to 20 years.

Life Cycles and Habits

Spiders lay eggs in a silken egg sac that is often ball-shaped and is either hidden in a web, carried by the female or affixed to a surface. Each egg sac can house up to several hundred eggs (aka. Several hundred baby spiders). Spiders will shed their skin (aka molt) usually between 4 – 12 times before they reach maturity as they are growing.

All spiders produce silk, which is secreted as a liquid through the spinneret e and hardens with air contact. This silk is used for a variety of purposes such as making the egg sacs, capturing and holding prey, making shelters or retreats and for transferring sperm during mating.

Spiders are predators when it comes to insects and other spiders. They will typically feed on live prey by producing a venom that is poisonous to the prey. This venom is injected into the prey through their hollow fangs to immobilize the prey so they can begin the digestion process.

Because spiders can only ingest liquid, they will either inject or regurgitate digestive fluids into their prey and then they will suck in the digested liquid food.

Spiders also have a number of tactics for capturing their prey. Some species will use webbing to catch their prey, while active hunters will hunt down their prey.

How to Get Rid of Spiders (or at least evict them from your home)

So, you want to get rid of your spiders? Well the simplest method to controlling the population of spiders inside your home is to reduce the population of insects within your home, so the spiders will seek out a more dependable food source outside. Control of spiders is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves multiple tactics, such as preventive measures, exclusion, sanitation, and chemicals applied to targeted sites.

Cottage Country Pest Control can help with this. We can come in and use a pyrethrum-based spray to eliminate the spiders from your home (both inside and outside) and also on docks, boats, garages, sheds, etc to help the outside of your home or cottage look cleaner. We also have the option available to use other environmentally conscious methods as well if that is your preference. We recommend that you book your spider spray as soon as you start seeing an excessive amount of spiders in your home, but the best time is around May since that is usually when they start showing up more (it really depends on the conditions). We also recommend booking a spider spray for early spring so that spiders don’t have the chance to make their webs in the first place.

Contact us through email or 705-534-7863 to book your spider spray.

Wanderings

Ross new volvoIsn’t it pretty? Ross picked up his new-to-him vehicle yesterday… spent some time this morning (between phone calls and my pestering him about invoices & so on) figuring out how he wanted to set everything up in it…. but eventually had to quit playing and get off to work.  He’s doing several spider sprays here in Victoria Harbour today, then tomorrow he’s off to Muskoka for a few more. Those ones are for people who have had carpenter ants in the past …. the carpenter ant problems are solved, but following up with spider sprays in subsequent years just makes sense.

Even though we call it a spider spray, the spray that we use is effective on most insects – and it lasts for several weeks – so it helps to keep carpenter ants – and ladybugs – and mosquitos – and …well, you get the idea – on the outside of your home or cottage, where they belong.

And that, of course, is the main thing… we wouldn’t want to kill off all the insects, even if we could…. they are an important part of the food chain! But keeping them outside of your home, cottage or business just makes sense.

 

Spider sprays & rain

… because, of course, the skies just opened.

If you had your spray done today though, not to worry …. first of all, it only needs about half an hour between the spray and the rain for the rain to have minimal/no effect….  and all but the last one or two trailers he did this afternoon had more than that….

but he’ll be back again in the next day or two to finish up with others anyway, so will do some touching up just to be sure.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse SpiderThe Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada.

Check out our blog post about brown recluse spiders here.

If you have carpenter ants, spiders, or any other pests (well except for the ones you brought into the world yourself), give us a call at (705) 534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will solve it.

Serving Victoria Harbour, Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Muskoka, Tiny, Tay and Simcoe County as well – and pretty much anyplace in and around these areas. Island and weekend calls, no problem.

Black widow spiders

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) is a highly venomous species of spider that is a native species to the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Northern Black Widow spider can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

They are extremely difficult to find and chances are you will never actually see one, although there’s always a possibility, especially if you know where to look (although why you would want to, I don’t know).

To read about Black Widow Spiders you can do so here.

You can also read 2 blog posts about the black widow spiders that CCPC has encountered in Penetanguishene here and here.

Anyway, if you’re having any sort of pest problem at your home or cottage, give us a call at (705)534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com