I want a black widow

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
268
Backyard. They love human structures. I find them around the air conditioning unit and grill down here. They could very well be found inside your house too.
 

bojesse57

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
15
Here's what I do, and believe it or not it actually works. Get a piece of plywood or something flat, dig a small hole and lay the wood on top of it. Come back in a week and I can almost guarantee you they'll be a black widow under it. If you do it, pay little to no attention to the spot for at least a week. Leave it completely undisturbed. If you have any high grass by your house make the spot there.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
4,212
go out at night and look low...

overhangs are especially productive.
 

chris_vegas

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
87
I'm not sure if they're more common or not in Michigan, but I'm in Southern Ontario and I've NEVER found an L. variolus in the wild here...and it's not for a lack of looking.

From what I understand the Northern Widow is typicaly found in forests and more rural locations...and tends to avoid humans (unlike it's southern cousin).

A few people I've spoken to (who HAVE found them), said old tree stumps and even old BBQ's have turned up results.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
4,212
some parts of Michigan have more than others. it's not going to be a bumper crop like AZ or someplace like that though ;)
 

KUJordan

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
344
Ok, first of all... you are ONLY going to find variolus in Michigan. The plywood idea will NOT work for variolus, nor will looking in/around your house most likely. Variolus are different than mactans and hesperus- unless you know exactly where to find them, it can be tough. For a northern widow, you need to go to the woods. I know it sounds weird, but don't waste your time looking under rocks, boards, or other structures for them. Go to a patch of woods in the Fall where ther is a lot of leaf litter and a lot of dappled sunlight getting through to the ground. Walk around DURING THE DAYTIME and look for webs that have pulled up leaf litter suspended near other undergrowth. You need practice at this to recognize a true variolus web as opposed to an Agelenidae web or the like. Variolus will even usually have a funnel retreat like other spiders that will go down into the leaf litter, but if you see enough of them, you will be able to tell from 20' away whether it is a widow web or not. This will work if you try it long enough... and once you find one, you will start to find many. They aren't going to everywhere like widows west of you. Good luck!

-Jordan
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
4,212
web strength is also a HUGE indicator. their webs are very strong, unmistakable. that would be the easiest way to tell webs apart from other spiders.
 

KUJordan

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
344
web strength is also a HUGE indicator. their webs are very strong, unmistakable. that would be the easiest way to tell webs apart from other spiders.

Absolutely! Somehow I forgot to mention that part.
 

chris_vegas

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
87
Ok, first of all... you are ONLY going to find variolus in Michigan. The plywood idea will NOT work for variolus, nor will looking in/around your house most likely. Variolus are different than mactans and hesperus- unless you know exactly where to find them, it can be tough. For a northern widow, you need to go to the woods. I know it sounds weird, but don't waste your time looking under rocks, boards, or other structures for them. Go to a patch of woods in the Fall where ther is a lot of leaf litter and a lot of dappled sunlight getting through to the ground. Walk around DURING THE DAYTIME and look for webs that have pulled up leaf litter suspended near other undergrowth. You need practice at this to recognize a true variolus web as opposed to an Agelenidae web or the like. Variolus will even usually have a funnel retreat like other spiders that will go down into the leaf litter, but if you see enough of them, you will be able to tell from 20' away whether it is a widow web or not. This will work if you try it long enough... and once you find one, you will start to find many. They aren't going to everywhere like widows west of you. Good luck!

-Jordan
Will be using your advice this fall cheers ;)
 

poppaJT

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
47
I found one under my wooden bench in the back yard, I think they hide in wood piles too.
 

groovyspider

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
257
ok well when i lived in florida one of my friends had a big underground pool. ok you know the filter thing where everything gets swept under? and theres like that little man hole type deal covering we used to lift it up and see flashes of black maybe check there?
 

KUJordan

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
344
ok well when i lived in florida one of my friends had a big underground pool. ok you know the filter thing where everything gets swept under? and theres like that little man hole type deal covering we used to lift it up and see flashes of black maybe check there?
It's reasonable they were variolus, but are you sure they weren't L. mactans?
 

John Apple

Just a guy
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
1,148
they are hers in a few select populations Michigan...Grand rapids has a very large population as well as highway 27 an hour south of the bridge
milan Michigan has a good one as well as tecunseh.
The only time I have found them around human populations is in and under trailers in parks...other than that open fields -dappled woods and rock and wood piles out in the middle of nowhere...very cool spider that seems to mature rather quickly...slings are red
I am going out hunting this weekend so give me a call if you like
 

GiantVinegaroon

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
1,389
web strength is also a HUGE indicator. their webs are very strong, unmistakable. that would be the easiest way to tell webs apart from other spiders.
That's how I found mine. I saw a messy web during the day and nudged it with a stick. It was very tough, so I marked it and checked it later that night. Sure enough, it was a widow.
 

cjm1991

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
1,210
Ive had a big female for almost 2 years, pretty tough spiders. They are fun to watch hunt down moths and tiny crickets.
 

Kruggar

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
369
I live in Ontario, about halfway between Barrie and Brampton, and I came across a northern black widow male this summer. I was looking for insects etc. in tall grass in a park (Earl Rowe) with a net and came across him. Took me a while to realize it was a widow. Let him go. I've only ever seen one years ago and that was in the shed that was attached to our house. We weren't anywhere near forests, but lots of feilds and some trees. I'm guessing that beacuse this summer was so hot, we were more likely to find widows.... hope this helps.
 
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