Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) are found throughout the Western Hemisphere. A female black
widow is much more likely to deliver more venom than a male spider.
Female black widows are long-legged, shiny, coal-black spiders with an
orange, red, or yellow hourglass shape on the underside. The female black widow
is usually about
1.5 in. (3.8 cm) long, but it may
Black widow spiders tend to
bite defensively when their webs are disturbed. Black widow spiders are
frequently found in low-lying webs in garages, barbecue grills, around swimming
pools, and in wood piles. Bites to babies and children may be more serious than
bites to adults. Signs and symptoms of a black widow bite include:
In some cases, severe symptoms appear within 30 to 60
minutes. These include:
A doctor should be contacted immediately when a person is
bitten by a black widow spider.
July 8, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
We are happy to take your appointment request over the phone, or, you may fill out an online request form.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.