Black Widow Spiders in Canada

Discussion in 'The Village Square' started by AAnightowl, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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  3. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    There are actually 2 species of black widow spiders in Canada! The western black widow found in parts of BC through to Manitoba (mostly restricted to areas close to the southern Canada-U.S. border) and the northern black widow in southern and eastern Ontario. The male black widow - which is actually brown, not black - doesn't bite and doesn't have venom. It's the female that could bite, and her bite isn't as dangerous as originally thought. The symptoms of a black widow spider bite are muscle cramps and stomach cramps that last a few hours to a few days - not pleasant for sure, but not fatal.
     
  4. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    My only Black widow story took place in spider friendly New Mexico and had to do with a Western Black Widow(Latrodectus hesperus). The lady had established her home under a large block of wood that covered a trough preventing rainwater from entering our aircraft hangar. Periodically, the trough had to be cleaned out. The task required the large wooden blocks to be removed and set aside allowing the process to continue. The unfortunate fellow was bitten on the arm. An allergic reaction soon followed along with an ambulance ride to the hospital. Future cleanings required an insect spray prior to block removal, no one objected.

    Jerry
     
  5. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Texas, God bless us, had more spiders than we need. I have learned to NEVER put my hand into a space I can't see clearly. A friend was bitten by a Brown Recluse, and lost part of the calf of her leg. We have spider spray in the house, workshop, and barn. I also wear boots that are a great deterrent and result in a very flat spider!:sete_079:
     



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  6. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Seedling

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    Due to the summer heat here in Alabama, we often find them in ground holes, water meters, rotten stumps etc. She makes a web that looks like she was on LSD when she spun it. All crazy, not radial. If we see the web, we definitely perk up our attention.
     
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  7. Gail-Steman

    Gail-Steman Young Pine

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    Ether one would frighten me to death...my best of wishes to Canadian friends on this subject :(
     
  8. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    My middle son was bitten a few times on the hand by black widow spiders, and had nasty reactions. And that was indoors.

    I have been bitten twice by copperheads, also very horrible reactions. I almost died the 2d time. And never ever put your hand where you cannot see, especially in Missouri! I bought a tool akin to a hoe, but with four tines. I use it when weeding before my hands go anywhere. I keep shovels and sharp tools around my yard just in case I meet another venomous snake in my yard.
     
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  9. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    We have two "snake grabbers". One in the house for snakes close to the house, and one in the barn. They are like the can lifters used in grocery stores for objects on upper shelves, but with pads.
    I've taken snakes out of the chickens' coops with a pair of barbecue tongs (no longer used for cooking!) and with my hands in work gloves. These were not venomous snakes but they could still bite. I didn't want to kill the snakes since they are better at controlling vermin than almost any other mammal or reptile.
    If the snake is venomous I either avoid it, or kill it. We have cottonmouths and rattlers, and we know what they look like. The prairie rat snake, common rat snake, and the several types of garden snakes are welcome to be here as long as they stay out of the coops and off the patio!
    Rat Snake 1 (2).jpg
     
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  10. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    We only have one venomous snake here in the UK, the adder, also known as the common European viper. They are not aggressive creatures as they will only use their venom as a last means of defence and this is usually if they are caught or trodden on. We do have three other snakes - grass snakes, smooth snakes and slow worms which are all harmless.
     
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  11. Gail-Steman

    Gail-Steman Young Pine

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    Well @AAnightowl and @marlingardener I definitely wouldn't like to be in your shoes and @AAnightowl you came out very lucky and sorry it happened :(
    It's a grass snake we had Eileen and it had 4 mice weekly, it would eat two in no time...hubby would pinch their noses so blood would come out and get a pair of pliers and hold the tails and it would rise and go for the attack, not a nice scene to watch.
     
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  12. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    I try not to bother harmless snakes, especially the king snakes. The king snakes kill venomous snakes like copperheads and rattlers. However, if they get in the hen house, DS takes them for very long rides, and turns them loose at his work (outdoors). If I find copperheads, etc in my yard, I kill them. I do not want bitten ever again. It is a very miserable experience.
     
  13. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    I completely agree, AAnightowl. I try to live with the wildlife around here, in something like a symbiotic relationship. We provide shelter and water, and they take whatever food they can (mice, voles, insects, etc.) which helps us with less damage in the vegetable gardens.
    I must admit finding a Prairie King snake snoozing under a tomato plant can startle me, but then I'm something of a scardey-cat! (This from a woman who has had a teen-age tiger on her lap, and has sat on a bucking bull.) Jane on Bull.jpg
     
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