Latrodectus Unfortunately

Spatulars

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2
I haven't intentionally kept any spiders until now. I have a multi-species widow infestation. I found Sheila in my backyard. She's huge. I would like to hand deliver her to someone north of Houston. I am uncomfortable keeping her in my house because I have a baby and two cats.

The rest of the latrodectus are headed for the shop vac. I am sorry that I built my house on their home but thems the breaks. The widows' toll on the spiders I would actually appreciate around my home has been innumerable.

If, in your expertise, you feel killing or preserving Sheila would be better or more practical than giving her away let me know.

Attached are 2 photos, one of Sheila and one of a beautiful jumper that succumbed to the poison I put out for the latros, to my regret. RIP to the jumper, never forget. IMG_1278.JPG IMG_1279.JPG
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,111
In my experience, poisons are rarely effective against widow spiders. Unless you get the spray directly on the spiders themselves, it doesn't really do much. It's easy enough to direct-spray one isolated spider, but when you have a larger population, most of them are likely to be safely tucked away in their hidey-holes while you spread toxins all over your home.

I grew up in a widow-infested house in Arizona. I am now i Southern California - and can easily find dozens of widows in my garage or yard on any given night. I have children and pets, but we have never had a problem with the widows. They are such shy, timid spiders that encounters are incredibly rare. Basic precautions - like not putting on shoes or gloves that have been left lying around in the garage without giving them a good shake (or squish) first and not sticking my bare hands into dark places where I can't see what might be in there - are usually sufficient to prevent problems, particularly with spiders that stay outdoors. Any that enter the house itself can be relocated - or sucked up with the vacuum cleaner.
 

Spatulars

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2
What you say is true, unfortunately I hired an exterminator first and asked questions later. The males have been the most likely to walk through and meet their end due to the pesticides, the females are safe in their webs.

I've only seen the mactans in my garage and outside, the geometricus inside, and plenty of tiny babies all around. I'm sure there's more fear than real danger around kids, but why take the chance? One or two here or there, probably not a big deal. I'm assuming the larger the population the greater the chance of an accidental run-in.

Not to mention they ate my "pet" jumpers in the garage. I found the biggest guy I named Herbert in a widow web.

I've already decided to end pesticides but continue my manual vacuum campaign against the widows. Hopefully when the poison has worn away I can reintroduce some jumpers, geckos, anoles, birds... some natural way to keep latrodectus away.

If Sheila will be fine in the woods down the street, I'll take her there.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,111
What you say is true, unfortunately I hired an exterminator first and asked questions later. The males have been the most likely to walk through and meet their end due to the pesticides, the females are safe in their webs.

I've only seen the mactans in my garage and outside, the geometricus inside, and plenty of tiny babies all around. I'm sure there's more fear than real danger around kids, but why take the chance? One or two here or there, probably not a big deal. I'm assuming the larger the population the greater the chance of an accidental run-in.

Not to mention they ate my "pet" jumpers in the garage. I found the biggest guy I named Herbert in a widow web.

I've already decided to end pesticides but continue my manual vacuum campaign against the widows. Hopefully when the poison has worn away I can reintroduce some jumpers, geckos, anoles, birds... some natural way to keep latrodectus away.

If Sheila will be fine in the woods down the street, I'll take her there.
If you want to reduce your widow population after the poison has worn off, introduce some Pholcids (Cellar Spiders) to your garage. Once the Pholcids established themselves in my garage, they really knocked back both the brown and black widow populations. (Also, the brown widows do a pretty good job of displacing the blacks.) Pholcids are harmless. The only thing that did a better job of widow control than the Pholcids were the mud dauber wasps - so if you find any of their little mud tube nests on your house or in the garage, let them be. They are not aggressive and are great spider hunters. They sting the spiders to paralyze them, then stuff them in their nests as food for their larvae.
 
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