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Deadly Bite of the Black Widow Spider

By Yona Williams    6/6/11

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The highly venomous black widow spider can kill a bite victim. The painful bite is especially deadly to young children and the elderly. Luckily, effective anti-venom was created in 1956 that can save the lives of those lucky enough to receive it in time. In this article, you will learn more about the deadly black widow spider

It only takes a small amount of venom to cause a serious illness in a victim. The poison works its way into the body – attacking the nervous system. Typical symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, pyrexia and hypertension.

An adult black widow spider measures about a 1/2 inch long. There are differences between a male and female black widow. For example, only the female is able to kill a human with its bite. She is typically shiny black in color with a red hourglass (or dot) marking situated on the underside of the abdomen. Markings on the spider may range in color from yellowish orange to red. The black widow also benefits from the bright red markings because it lets predators know that they aren’t the best of meals to pursue.

Black widow spiders tend to dwell in woodpiles, rubble piles, under stones, in hollow stumps, sheds and garages. If a black widow finds its way into the inside of a home, it tends to set up shop in undisturbed places, such as cluttered basements and crawl spaces. The black widow spider is capable of laying up to 400 eggs at one time. The species is known as a cannibal, which means that they will eat one another.

The black widow also creates some of the strongest silk of all spiders. They are not known for spinning the attractive webs you often associate with spiders. The black widow instead spins thick jumbles of cobwebs that effectively catch their next meal, such as beetles, flies, grasshoppers, moths and other spiders.

Unlike the human world, the black widow spider is not the most feared in the insect world. There are some wasps that can sting and paralyze a black widow because eating it. The praying mantis is also on the list of things for its dinner. Some birds go after the black widow, but suffer later when they experience an upset stomach from the poisons.

For some people, they are unaware of a black widow spider bite, while others have described an excruciating pain. If bitten, immediate medical attention or first aid procedures are needed. Victims with a heart condition often spend time in the hospital.

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