Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider Identification and Control

Correct identification is an important first step in pest control.

black and red black widow spider on a white background
Latrodectus hesperus
How to Identify a Black Widow Spider

Adult female black widow spiders are a shiny black color with a red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen (there are beneficial lookalikes without the red hourglass).

Immature females have a pale brown to black body with a white to orangish banding; they get progressively more solid black as they molt toward adulthood.

Male black widows are about 1/3 of the size of females are pale brown with white markings, resembling immature females. 

Where Do They Come From

Black widows prefer preexisting holes in dark, undisturbed areas. They hide during the day and are in their cobwebs at night. Black widows are common around building foundations, rock and wood piles, outbuildings, water meter/irrigation boxes and around exterior lighting. 

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black and red black widow spider

Are They Dangerous

Black widows can be a serious health risk, especially to children and elderly people. Their bite can cause pain, nausea, cramping or in rare cases death.

Learn more by reading our blog post: Utah Spiders: Guide to Identification and Prevention.


Latrodectus hesperus


Painful bites


Nocturnal, meaning they are awake at night

Tips & Tricks

Black, white, and brown colored adolescent black widow spider

How To Keep Spiders Away

  • Minimize their harborage around the property.
  • Seal exterior cracks and crevices to reduce hiding places.
  • Install tight-fitting door sweeps and window screens.
  • Change exterior lighting to sodium vapor or yellow bulbs.
  • Regularly vacuum individuals and webs.
  • Reduce clutter indoors and outdoors.
  • Reduce insects that serve as food. 
black and red black widow spider on a white background

About black widow spiders

Black widow spiders are a common spider around homes and structures here in Utah. They build three-dimensional webs of tangles lines that fill space and are usually built under some sort of overhang that they can use for cover. They have striking black and red coloring.

Black Widow Bites

The bite of a black widow is not very painful often feeling like a pinprick if it is felt at all. Within about an hour, symptoms develop including severe pain, localized sweating, reduced urine output, and rigid abdominal muscles. The symptoms mimic those of appendicitis. Some experience flu like symptoms. There is antivenin but doctors can be hesitant to use it. Symptoms usually dissipate over a few days.

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How To Control

Pests can be difficult to control, but that’s what we are here for. We create a strategic plan to gain control of your problem and make sure we get results.

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Thorn's Approach

We take a scientific approach to pest control. We start with an inspection and assessment to help us identify the pest, locate where they are, and create a specific plan for your property. Every home and business is different and requires a unique strategy.


Our Approach to Pest Control

Proper pest management starts with a detailed inspection and assessment from an expert pest professional before treatment. Thorn Pest Solutions uses a three-step process rooted in science to eliminate pests with long-term results.

Driven By Science. Lead By Service.

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Assess Situation

First, we identify the root problem(s) with a site assessment. Pests are almost always an indicator of an environmental condition. This will determine the best actions to provide short and your long-term results against pests.

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Execute Action Plan

Next, we develop a plan to fix the problems we discovered. This includes solving current pest issues, eliminating conducive conditions, and monitoring for future pest activity. Good pest management starts with a good plan.

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Track Success

Lastly, we implement the solutions we developed including inspection, monitoring, and preventing future pest infestations. Good pest control requires a good offense and not just defense. Prevention is key.

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