Neighborhood concerned by increase in black widow sightings

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WEST JORDAN, Utah -- They're creepy, they're crawly and they're also potentially deadly; the black widow spider has spun itself into the center of attention in one West Jordan neighborhood.

"I have lived in Utah my entire life and never saw one until now, and that's concerning," said resident Mary Anderson.

Exterminator Chris Harbert of Black Widow Pest Control said this could be one of the worst seasons ever. He's seeing three to five times more black widows per house call.

"We have a lot of rain is year that we don't typically have during the summer time, which has created an atmosphere for other insects, which in turn spiders have become more populous," Harbert said.

Mary Anderson and her neighbors are finding the spiders on an almost daily basis. Typically the spiders are hiding out in cool, dark places--like the garage.

"I'm big on my boys, if they want to be in the garage I have to be out there because I'm more afraid of my boys because I'm afraid they'll find them first," said West Jordan resident Sara Owen.

The spider's venom is 15 times more poisonous than that of a rattle snake, according to Harbert.

"They are fatal for infants, toddlers, anybody elderly, anyone that has a compromised immune system, they can kill," Harbert said.

Black widows are one of the easiest spiders to identify. On average, they are the size of a paper clip and they’re jet black with a red hourglass shape on the underside of their belly.

"I've told my boys stay away from the spiders; they are the kind that have poison. They're not fun spiders," Anderson said.

Experts said anyone who is bitten by a black widow should seek immediate medical attention.

12 comments

  • Aron Deamer

    Up here in Odgen we’re seeing a ton too. we found one yesterday crawling across our hard wood floor.. first time ever seeing one that wasn’t outside; we’ve seen A LOT this summer and fall.

    • miles (dave)

      my favorite way to keep them out is eucalyptus i literally went to the local flower place and bought some real eucalyptus and then ground the whole stems into a powder in my blender then i sprinkled it in the basement where i see the most spiders. the stuff smells forever and when it stops just spray a little water and it starts smelling again i prefer it to bug spray because it keeps working for a ridicules amount of time. although i dont vacuum those places ether because i dont want to vacuum up the eucalyptus but i bet if you put it just along the walls where the vacuum dosnt get well anyway i bet it would have some positive effect. apparently spiders dont like the smell of it and the way i see it if they cant get away from it in the rooms where i put it they will just keep moving till they leave my house. and it discourages more from coming in.

      it used to be that i would see about 10 in the bedroom down stairs in a year and the year i placed the eucalyptus i found 3 and one was dead and may have been there before i placed the eucalyptus the 2nd was sitting in a plastic bag on the ground (probably the only place it could have gone to get away from the stuff. and the 3rd was one i could have brought inside from bringing things in from outside.

  • jordierivers

    Where in West Jordan? Fox must think that WJ is a small town. It stretches westward about ten miles from its border at the Jordan River.

    • Joseph

      That’s what I was thinking too. We’ve lived in our house near 4800w and 9000s for 17 years. This is the first year we’ve ever found a black widow actually inside our house.

  • J

    I’m in Bountiful and have killed a bunch of black widows this year. I even found one crawling across my daughters bed one day–ahhhhh! They seem to be everywhere! in the garage, on the patio, on vacations. shiver. NOT a fan!

  • Angie

    We’re in West Jordan off of 6700 W. and 8500 S. and we see them in the garage too. Killed one last week… Gross!

  • Tracie

    And it should be noted that baby Black Widows are pure white. They don’t get there color until they are older but are still poisonous.

  • Tayler

    I’ve seen 5+ black widows outside of my house recently, I sprayed insect killer multiple times outside along the house where I’ve seen them & they keep coming back. It’s quite concerning.

  • worried momma

    Had 5 in our garage just the other day… i live in ogden and i also have 5 kids… i dont need my kids hospitalized for a dang spider

  • Nelly

    Well, I live in West Valley and I just killed 5 black widow spiders outside of my house, I’m thinking very seriously to hire a exterminator.

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