If you think there is a Black Widow spider in your house don’t play around. This is one of the few spiders in Melbourne, Florida that can hurt you even if you aren’t sensitive to spider bites. Black Widow spiders are dangerous and nasty. Though generally they shy away from humans if they believe they are threatened they will attack and you don’t want to be on the other end of that attack.
Black Widows feed at night for the most part then they sleep during the day. If you aren’t sure if the spider is a Black Widow get a look at the abdomen. If you see what looks like an hourglass then you are dealing with a Black Widow. Without seeing the spider, you may be able to tell by the web. They build three-dimensional webs that are tangled and irregular-looking. During the day, the Black Widow rests in the web; usually hanging upside down in the center. Kind of reminds you of a vampire, doesn’t it?
If you think a Black Widow is in your home take precautions until someone can come out to help you. Shake out old clothing before you wear it and shake out shoes and boots too. Many people bitten by these spiders are bitten because the spider was in a shoe or on some clothing and felt threatened when you shoved your foot in or tried to put the clothing on. You can’t really blame them for being frightened, but you can blame them for being in your house in the first place.
Black Widows can consume some rather large insects like grasshoppers and beetles and they also will eat scorpions. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about those in Florida. When they catch their prey, they inject it with digestive enzymes. These enzymes break down the insect and the Black Widow consumes it once it’s soft and liquefied.
They mate in the spring and in the early summer and when they have finished with their mate they kill it and eat it. They produce several eggs a year and are incredibly protective of the eggs until they hatch. The egg sacs contain hundreds of eggs which all turn into little spiders. Fortunately, they don’t all survive because the mother ha cannibalistic tendencies and eats many of her young.