Creepy Crawly Latrodectus Hesperus

I always thought that the oft-used image in fiction of a sinister creature deeper than night was quite fantastical, but now I believe it's perfectly real.

We pulled into the driveway at around 9:30pm, and as I stepped out of the car I glanced down at the foot of the fence and saw its silhouette looming dark against the already-dark shadows.

I was going to post a clear picture of the creature in real life, but I just couldn't do it. Too horrific. I'm hoping to avoid en masse nightmares (or unsubscription *cough cough*).

They say we fear most what we don't know, but truth be told... I can happily admire Esther's pictures of rattlesnakes, creatures which I've only encountered a few times, but even just pictures of black widows still give me the serious creeps despite the fact that I've handled dozens of them over the years.

But I get ahead of myself. Through the darkness I felt certain I was looking at a black widow. We've killed many in our thoroughly spider-infested backyard, so they are definitely around, but beyond that there was the disconcerting quality of shadow-within-shadow. As a child, every time I saw a spider I wondered if it could be a black widow. But when you actually see one, you don't wonder; you know. In daylight, at least. In the dark, I snapped a picture with flash.

The details were unclear in my Loch Ness/UFO-style snapshot, but a quick blow up revealed the tell-tale flash of red against slick, shiny black, confirming my paranoia.

Black widows are considered the most venomous spiders in North America. While their bites are seldom lethal when medical care is received, I've known people who have suffered poisonous spider bites, and who wants to require that kind of medical care?

So for those of you lucky enough to have not met a black widow, now you know where to never come. For those of you who've been around these suckers, are you more used to them than I am? (I'm pretty sure Esther is) Do you have any methods of discouraging them from setting up vast citadels and settlements in yards where children explore?

I am horrified by spiders, and hours later I am still shivering and entirely creeped out, but somehow having a child, especially a child who was recently playing in the immediate vicinity, activates that mother bear adrenaline pumped primal roar of indignation. Sorry, Charlotte. This yard belongs to Jack.
6 sprinkles of fairy dust:

There's the empowerment which comes from squashing it like the bug it is. Usually there's a neutral zone outside the indoors where nature is safe. Poisonous creatures are not afforded such luxuries.

Ugh!! We have found a few black widows around here (fortunately nowhere near where the little dude plays)...but the one who decided to take up residence in our mailbox was the last straw!! So we had pest control come out yesterday to treat specifically for spiders and crickets and the pest guy actually ended up killing a quarter sized wolf spider in the little dude's bathroom!! I know the black widow in the mailbox is dead cause Brack killed it, but I sure hope the wolf spider we saw in the garage that was as big as my palm dies from the spraying...cause we don't want either kind around!! Spiders creep both of us out whether they are poisonous or not!!

OH, GROSS. Not a fan of spiders in any shape or form. Thankfully we still live in apartments and I can just call up the pest control when I start noticing them again (now).

I think spiders are very difficult to kill from an exterminators perspective because their long legs keep them from traipsing about in any sort of poison, but hopefully I'm wrong?

As I've mentioned before, I had a pet black widow as a child. She died tragically of old age. Obviously I don't mind spiders too much, but I do get a bit paranoid when they're around my children.

Stephanie T recommended an essential oil blend that is useful for spiders and I use it to clean the baseboards with since black widows are fans of baseboards.

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There is one person in our family who fears this spider! MY HUSBAND!! I don't blame him, he was bitten in the middle of the night on his lip. Woke up very ill and we didn't know he was bitten by a spider. We thought he had the flu and a cold sore appearing on his top lip. Two days later and the venom started to spread. We finally went to the doctor and they told us what kind of bite it was. The doctor told us the black widow is attracted to heat and why it struck on his lip. Its been about 7 years and every time Anthony gets sick the venom comes out and you can see the mark appear on his lip. Hope no one else has this fate but you can survive it.