Nov 11, 2005 - They're small in size - but they pack a powerful bite. Black widow spiders have crept into western New York.
So far, 7 News has only heard of one recent case where the dreaded black widow spider has shown up in western New York. Because it's so unusual to find them here – 7 News asked a zoologist to make a positive identification.
Clemmons Clarence recently found not one, but three black widow spiders in his garage.
“Upon flipping it upside down, I discovered her in one of these small wells,” said Clarence. “Her eggs as well. There were four of them.”
Each sack contains 25 to 900 eggs.
A pile of kindling was home to one of the other spiders, which is not unusual except for the fact they're not indigenous to America's northeast. They're easily identified by a red spot.
“There are six spices found throughout the United States and through Canada, but they're most commonly found in the southwest and southeast,” said Jarod Miller, a zoologist. “They're a spider that prefers a warmer clement.”
“I'm not sure if it actually came in with the wood,” said Miller. “It was cut locally, it was purchased locally. It is alarming to find.”
Equally alarming is the bite of the black widow, considered to be the most venomous spider in the U.S.
“The initial response is going to be intense pain,” said Miller. “An area where ever the bite was is going to be extremely painful, feeling a burning sensation. They’re venom is very toxic.”
In fact, 10 to 15 times more toxic than some rattle snakes - a very powerful bite considering the black widow is only one gram in size. So, the next time you're hauling wood into the house be sure to examine it closely.
“I'm very careful,” said Clarence. “In looking over the wood prior to bringing it into my home.”