Black Widows - EEEEK!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Black Widows - EEEEK!
7
Tue, 09-30-2008 - 12:23am

Okay, Okay...So, there has to be some kind of downside to living in a place where there is Margarita/Flip-Flop weather year round.

And I discovered it today in my back yard.

Eff-ing Black Widows! (can I say that here? I rarely swear, but seriously...I can't think of a single other word I would use to describe them).

I knew they were probably in our garage- detached from the house...hot, lots of places to hide, etc. But, I've come across very few in there since we moved in in 2002 and I've NEVER seen them in our yard. The girls and I were on a long trip back East this summer and while I was gone, our backyard fell into disrepair. DH was working 16 hour days so the yard rarely got water (and died, as a result) and of course, no one was playing in the playhouse so it got dusty and cobwebby. As an added bonus, the folks next door who - while great neighbors - have tended for the past 10 years or so to not do ANY work on their house - decided to clean-up. They're digging out old brick walkways and removing long dead shrubs (etc.). Which is great, except, it seems every creepy crawly thing that's been enjoying their place has decided to move over to our side of the fence - and why wouldn't they...since no one was here.

Well, now I'm back. And over the past few weeks I've been slowly whipping the yard back into shape - removing dead plants, cleaning out the kids' playhouse, etc.

Two weeks ago we hired a contractor to put in a new cement walkway, install a sprinkler system and replace all our sod. The job was finally completed Saturday and today was the first day I had time to go out and clean-up/plant new flowerpots, etc. The kids hadn't been allowed to play in the yard for 2 weeks while all the work was going on. The weather is getting cooler...and I'm ready to use my back patio/yard for outdoor dining, etc.

Suffice it to say, today, I killed EIGHT black widows in my yard in the span of one hour. 2 were under the girls slide (which Molly had just done a run down) and 1 was in the play house (which I was washing out). The rest were in various shrubs I was trimming and...the icing on the cake was when I was done with what I wanted to do and went to wind the hose back up and saw one just sitting on the hose wheel.

Eff-ing Black WIDOWS. In my yard where my 3-year-old and 1-year-old are supposed to be able to play!

If I killed 8 that were in obvious places...I'm trying to figure out just HOW many more are in un-obvious places.

Any other So-Cal moms out there that can help me out with some kind of solution? Is there something I can plant that will repel them? I'd rather not spray because I hear it doesn't solve the problem anyway and I don't want the girls playing in spray any more than I want them playing where there are Black Widows. Do I need to get rid of the house/slide?

HEEEELP!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2005
Tue, 09-30-2008 - 5:04am
OMG! I have no idea what to tell you b/c I have no experience with black widows but OMG, I'd freak out!! I killed a daddy long legs spider yesterday and that freaked me out! I might just pass out if I saw one of those.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2004
Tue, 09-30-2008 - 9:02am
Do they have the red hourglass shape on them?
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Tue, 09-30-2008 - 12:07pm

Morgan - LMAO! We could be millionaires!

These definitely had the red hourglass on the back. I've had a few unconfirmed kills in the garage before (didn't see the hourglass, just smashed it) - but because these were in the back yard where the kids play, I _HAD_ to be sure they were black widows. Most were hanging in their webs belly up so I could see it. I flipped two with my rake and the others I smashed first, analyzed later!

There is NO way I could try to capture them - ha ha!!!... I actually can't believe I was able to get close enough to one to step on it. After I came in from the battle, I took a shower but ALL NIGHT I was feeling like there were creepy crawlies on me. Usually I'm NOT arachnaphobic - but now I am!

I can't believe people would want them as pets!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2004
Tue, 09-30-2008 - 12:38pm
I'm dying laughing over your squish first ask questions later policy!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2005
Tue, 09-30-2008 - 5:51pm
I don't usually freak over spiders either but I would FREAK over Black Widows- yikes!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Wed, 10-08-2008 - 4:10pm
I *heart* my exterminator.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2006
Sun, 10-12-2008 - 2:23am

Ashley, OMG this thread was scary! I love your pic though. :) Ha ha ha.

Your post made me thankful, briefly, that I live in such a cold climate.

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