How to Kill Black Widow Spiders - Pest Control Methods

Written by Ivy

Jan 03 2023

How to Kill Black Widow Spiders - Pest Control Methods

How can black widow spiders be eliminated? You can get rid of this feared spider using strong scents, vinegar, your vacuum cleaner, and pesticides, among other methods.

What Are Black Widow Spiders?

One of the worst insects in the United States, black widow spiders are more venomous than rattlesnakes. Black widows are the most prevalent species of this glossy black spider in the South, though they can be found throughout North America and the United States. Regardless of where you reside, we'll show you how to exterminate black widows both inside and outside of your home.

How to Get Rid of Black Widow Spiders Naturally

Using only items you probably already have lying around your house, you can ward off or kill black widows.

Strong Scents

Black widows are rumored to dislike lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and peppermint because they have a very good sense of smell. Since black widows can smell through their feet, you can deter them by releasing these potent odors.

How to make this spider repellent: All you need to make your own homemade spider repellent is a spray bottle, some water, essential oils, and dish soap.

  • Add five drops of your preferred essential oil into a 16-ounce spray bottle
  • Fill with water
  • Add 3-4 drops of dish soap

Spray this under furniture, on corners, baseboards, and window ledges. Spray liberally all entry points, such as windows, doors, and plumbing fixtures with an outdoor connection.

Bonus: While serving as a black widow repellent, your homemade spray also serves as an air freshener. Most grocery stores and online retailers like Amazon sell the necessary supplies.

Note: Because they can be toxic to your pet, essential oils should not be used in areas where there are animals.


Black widow killer vinegar. On contact, vinegar's acidity will burn a spider's body.

How to make this black widow spray: Spray directly on the black widow using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Spray liberally on all sides if you come across an egg sac.

Note: You can add essential oils to help with the strong vinegar odor. Some essential oils can be safely used around children and pets when properly diluted and handled. Lavender, rosemary, and chamomile essential oils are a few instances.


Removing webs is your first line of defense against black widows and other spiders because they rely on them for food and shelter.

To get rid of any webs, vacuum thoroughly, paying particular attention to hiding places like furniture's dark corners and crevices there. Carefully aim for the egg sacs, and then safely toss everything into the vacuum's canister.

How to Get Rid of Black Widow Spiders Chemically

There are many store-bought solutions available to get rid of black widow spiders if homemade solutions are unsuccessful.

Insecticides and Pesticides

Black widows can be killed with liquid or dust-based chemical insecticides. Dusts work well in areas that people won't enter, like window sills, crawl spaces, and basements. Other applications, such as known webs, are well suited for liquids. Spiders will be eradicated by insecticides and their reproduction will be stopped.

The best pesticides for attacking egg sacs are those that are oil-based, such as pyrethrin. If you can, cover all of the egg sac's sides with pyrethrin after finding it. The pesticide kills black widows and deters others from entering your house, garage, or attic.

Here are two products that will control black widows around your home:

  • Bayer Advanced Home Indoor and Outdoor Insect Killer (Active ingredient: cyfluthrin)
  • Ortho Home Defense Perimeter and Indoor Insect Killer (Active ingredient: bifenthrin)

Wettable powder or microencapsulated ("slow-release") formulations are best.

Insect Traps

Spiders' food sources can be reduced by getting rid of flies, moths, grasshoppers, and earwigs. A black widow's likelihood of choosing a nearby location to construct her web will naturally be decreased by placing traps for these pests.

Kinds of insect traps: To send black widows out to lunch, you can buy insect traps like bug zappers, sticky traps, or disposable fly traps.

DIY Traps: The University of Florida offers these tips on homemade pest traps.

  • DIY flypaper is easy to make from strips cut from a thin plastic material (such as a grocery bag) covered with a honey or sugar solution. Immediately after the flypaper has dried, hang the adhesive strips where flies are most active.
  • Poison bait stations for ants: A 2% concentration of boric acid should be combined with sugar water or honey. In shallow container lids where ants are foraging, place the bait.
  • DIY pantry pest bait stations may help. To help get rid of a persistent infestation of pantry pests, combine cornmeal and boric acid (or borax) and place the mixture in jar lids. The remaining larvae can be attracted by placing the traps in the pantry or cupboard.
  • Soda-bottle traps: A large plastic bottle, such as a soda bottle, should be cut. A sweet substance should be added. Rotate the portion you cut off above. In this manner, bugs will find an easy way in but not out.

How to Get Rid of Black Widows Inside Your Home

Black widows enter your home and settle in dim, frequently unoccupied areas like the basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and shed.

  • Organize storage spaces to encourage spiders to construct webs in more obvious locations that are simpler to treat, making it simpler to spot black widows.
  • Keeping items in storage in tightly sealed containers will protect your belongings while limiting web-building opportunities.
  • To protect yourself on spider seek-and-destroy missions, wear gloves and protective clothing. Your hands and feet will be protected by gardening gloves and closed-toed footwear. Put on a pair of work pants, preferably denim.

Once black widows are in your home's dark and little-used areas, here's how to evict these unwelcome houseguests:

Basements and Attics

In areas where you have observed black widows or have reason to believe they may be residing in your basement or attic, spray a homemade chemical solution, insecticide, or pesticide. Any webs you notice should be vacuumed.

Pro Tip: Go downstairs (or upstairs to your attic) at night to apply your spider killers after you've seen daytime indications of black widows. You have a better chance of success because black widows are most active just after sunset.

Garages and Crawl Spaces

Black widow spider populations in garages and crawl spaces may increase during certain seasons because cold weather and drought drive spiders indoors.

Apply black widow killers frequently, and vacuum window frames, corners, and furniture undersides.

Pro Tip: The simplest way to keep spiders out is to seal any points of entry. Repair screens, install door sweeps, and seal any gaps around windows. Look for ground-level openings that can be caulked or otherwise sealed.

How to Kill Black Widow Spiders

How to Kill Black Widows Outside Your Home

The best way to keep these spiders outside your house is to try to deter black widows from coming onto your property. Additionally, it improves the safety and enjoyment of your backyard space for all of your favorite outdoor activities.

To deter black widows on your yard and property, take these three measures:

Remove Web-Building Spots

  • Stacks of firewood are a favorite place for black widows to build webs, so get rid of these spider hiding places.
  • Tall grass also can be a web-building platform, so trim this grass regularly.
  • Compost heaps and garden bags should be closed tightly. By doing this, a potential food source and a place to build webs are removed.

Limit Outdoor Lighting

Keep the lights off outside to prevent a black widow's food supply because they attract moths and flies.

Note: Change the incandescent bulbs in your outdoor lighting to sodium vapor or yellow bulbs instead, as they are less enticing to flying insects.

Add Birds and Plants as Deterrents

Attracting wrens is a natural spider control method because they enjoy eating black widow spiders. Establish nest boxes and stuff them with apple slices, peanut butter, or bread crumbs. But be aware that feeding animals can lead to other problems.

Spiders don't like plants with strong scents, just like essential oils. Excellent choices include lemon balm, lavender, mint, and lemongrass. To help prevent black widows from entering your buildings, place these potent plants close to the garage, basement, and house doors.

How to Treat a Black Widow Spider Bite

What to do if a black widow bites you: The Mayo Clinic advises that you wash the bite area and apply an ice pack. then look for medical assistance.

Black widow bites typically don't hurt right away, but once symptoms appear, the neurotoxin can have serious consequences. A few hours after the bite, nausea, pain, and breathing problems will appear.

Female black widows only bite in self-defense, and their bites are rarely fatal. They don't have a hostile nature and only attack out of fear. If you are discovered disturbing her web, a black widow will bite you to defend herself from what she perceives to be a threat.

Where Do Black Widows Live?

In the U.S., black widows are typically found in the West and South. They frequently construct their unkempt, disorganized webs in dark, dry shelters like cellars, barns, and garages. Additionally, you might come across them as outdoor furniture, dog houses, underwater meter covers, or close to the ground.

Are Black Widows Venomous?

Black widows are among the few dangerous venomous spiders found in the United States. For perspective, a female black widow's venom is approximately 15 times more potent than that of a rattlesnake.

The good news is that these spiders are rarely aggressive and typically only bite when they feel threatened. However, bites can cause symptoms such as nausea, nauseousness, and diaphragmatic paralysis, which can make breathing challenging. While bites are rarely fatal, their toxin affects your central nervous system, requiring immediate medical treatment – especially for young children.

Can a Black Widow Kill You?

Yes, but don't be overly alarmed; black widows rarely bite without being threatened or startled. Less than ten Americans per year pass away from a black widow bite.

The most common symptoms from a black widow bite include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling or Rash
  • Sweating and itching

Visit the emergency room right away if you think a black widow bit you, especially if the victim is a child. Consider washing the bite, applying ice to it, taking painkillers, or applying antibiotic creams in the interim if you are unable to seek immediate medical attention.

Basic Information About Black Widows

What Do Black Widows Look Like?

While black widows are often seen with red hourglass markings on their abdomens, they can also have a variety of colored dots or even no markings at all.

A black widow spider's nest is made of sturdy threads and has an irregular shape, in contrast to the delicate webs that many other spiders you find around your house make.

Where Do Black Widows Live?

Dark spaces with unmolested spider webs are particularly attractive to black widow spiders. They are most frequently discovered on the underside of furniture and in basements, attics, closets, and crawl spaces.

Black widows typically establish residences outside of your home in existing woodpiles, crevices, or small holes in your yard.

What Do Black Widows Eat?

Flies, ants, and other spiders are the main sources of food for black widows. Small vertebrates like snakes, lizards, and scorpions have all been caught by them and eaten.

Black widows rely on vibrations that travel across their web to find prey and other disturbances because they have poor eyesight and rarely leave their webs. Black widows typically only bite when provoked, so keep this in mind if one enters your space without permission.


If you frequently see a black widow, there's a good chance you might have an infestation because they tend to avoid people. In this situation, killing individual spiders is not the best course of action; instead, you should consult a pest control professional.


How Do You Keep Black Widow Spiders Away?

Sealing points of entry is the simplest way to keep spiders out. Install door sweeps, seal window openings, and repair screens. Look for openings at ground level that can be caulked or otherwise closed. You can use a pesticide or the potent aromas found in vinegar and essential oils as natural repellents.

Can I Use Essential Oils as a Black Widow Repellent?

Black widows can be made to flee by applying diluted essential oils to their feet, such as lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint. Black widows can smell through their feet. The use of essential oils should be done with caution because they can harm pets and trigger allergic reactions.

Why Are They Called Black Widow Spiders?

Notorious for killing their mates, the term "black widow" encompasses 31 Latrodectus species that exhibit this ritual.

How Do You Treat a Black Widow Spider Bite?

Black widow spiders in female form are poisonous. The Mayo Clinic suggests applying an ice pack and washing the bite site with mild soap and water. then get medical help. Black widow bites typically don't hurt at first, but once symptoms appear, the neurotoxin can lead to serious issues.

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