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Black Widow spiders are thriving in hot humid summer


A hot steamy summer and mild winter are breeding a population boom in black widow spiders. The notorious bugs are identified by a colored hourglass-shaped mark on black bodies. There are several species of the spider that go by the name 'black widow' including the Australian Redback Spider.


Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images

A mild winter coupled with a hot and humid summer is breeding a new population boom in black widow spiders.

New York-based spider exterminator Bernie Holst told CBS that, although rare in the tri-state area, people should be on the lookout for the poisonous arachnid.

“Just be aware that the Black Widow spider is around,” Holst said. “It can be dangerous.” Holst recommended paying special attention to plants growing near the front door.

“This is a perfect highway for insects,” Holst told CBS. “They can come up and go into the house. But when that happens, it’s a perfect area for spiders as well, because that’s where they can locate their food.”

ABC news reported that a family in Pennsylvania discovered a black widow under a child’s bicycle seat.

Though rarely fatal, one bite from a black widow can be very dangerous for humans. The venom is reportedly 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's and causes aches, nausea, and can paralyze the diaphragm. 

"You're talking organ shutdown ... big time stuff," said Ryan Bridge, a entomology outreach instructor told ABC. "There's no cold temperatures and not enough predators to kill them off, so we are going to be seeing a lot more black widows.”

If you do find yourself face to face with this toxic bug, Bridge recommends unleashing a couple of sprays of hairspray.