28 November 2017

Pest advice for controlling False Black Widow

The female False Black Widow is of similar appearance to the Black Widow. It's a relatively small spider, with a body length being 10-15mm (female) and only 3-6mm (male). The False Black Widow is shiny black and globular like the Black Widow, but they lack the characteristic red double triangle or ‘hourglass' marking. The abdomen of the immature female has pale chevron markings on the dorsal surface and a white band around the anterior, but these diminish with each moult until the adult abdomen is black except for the band, now turned red.

False widow-1The False Black Widow is one species that was probably accidentally imported into the United Kingdom. It is native to the south-west Mediterranean, including Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

Although related to the Black Widow, it is a less venomous spider. It is not a particularly aggressive spider, but it can bite. The venom can cause illness in children. In adults, although bites cause discomfort, there are no records of serious symptoms. This species is capable of adapting to the British climate, and there are reports of it becoming established along the south coast and in Essex.

How to get rid of False Widow Spiders

Where spiders require controlling, this is usually achieved by physical collection and web destruction. If this isn't possible, control may be accomplished by the removal of prey. This may involve the use of insecticidal sprays to control prey and predator.

Some BPCA member companies may offer advice and possible treatment methods, however, some public health pesticides may not be approved for use in outside garden areas, or may not affect spiders. Alternative treatment methods may be applied, however, treatments methods will be at the discretion of the professional pest controller.

If you are experiencing problems from a species in which you can not identify with the UK and are worried, you can contact the Natural History Museum or your local RSPCA shelter for advice.

Having problems with false widow spiders?

Use a trained professional pest controller.

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Source: A-Z