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Booming Black Widow Population

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  • Booming Black Widow Population

    We're having a bumper crop of black widows. I found one making her home between my truck tire and concrete driveway this weekend; the truck had been idle only a day. This morning, I found one in the garage busily setting up shop at the base of the hay bale I still have in there. I've been finding them everywhere throughout the garden and pasture, mostly living at the base of plants and/or under melons and under various troughs, feed pans, etc., and haven't been overly concerned about it. But having now killed one in my garage, I'm ready to declare war and reclaim my territory.

    My exterminator will be here Friday to spray in/around the house. He doesn't do yards. Hubby swears up and down there is an organic product that can be used to eradicate both ants and spiders in the yard. Any idea what product this might be? Anyone ever treated broad areas for widow spiders and had success?
    "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

  • #2
    No, how would anyone know what the pesticide guy is going to use? Why not ask him, since he knows?

    I would "bug bomb" the buildings, myself. The kinds of canisters you buy at the hardware store, for spiders. I just did my new house - would vacume everything then the next day, cobwebs everywhere. Piles of their lunch carcasses within two days of vacuming. I wanted them gone in 60 seconds. All of them.

    You need to do it again in about 6 weeks, after the eggs hatch. Not a big deal about the poison, need to keep everyone out for half a day, animals will be fine going back in after that.

    Personally, I want them dead and whatever the material is, I want it to be poison as far as the spiders are concerned. I want em dead dead dead. No survivors. Nuke 'em.

    What's "organic" anyway? Chemicals are 'organic'.

    Originally posted by Aggie4Bar View Post
    We're having a bumper crop of black widows. I found one making her home between my truck tire and concrete driveway this weekend; the truck had been idle only a day. This morning, I found one in the garage busily setting up shop at the base of the hay bale I still have in there. I've been finding them everywhere throughout the garden and pasture, mostly living at the base of plants and/or under melons and under various troughs, feed pans, etc., and haven't been overly concerned about it. But having now killed one in my garage, I'm ready to declare war and reclaim my territory.

    My exterminator will be here Friday to spray in/around the house. He doesn't do yards. Hubby swears up and down there is an organic product that can be used to eradicate both ants and spiders in the yard. Any idea what product this might be? Anyone ever treated broad areas for widow spiders and had success?
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hair spray works very well on the ones you find. It is not poisonous either. It stops the Black Widow in her tracks though. I used to be a pest control tech many years ago and I used hair spray on black widows in my home....quick knock down and it kills them with no residual poison for children and pets to pick up.
      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

      Comment


      • #4
        Good to know about the hairspray

        cause the can of spider spray I bought didn't do crap. My pine sol vinegar and water mix did better at knocking them down..... hairspray here i come. I am really sick and tired of turning on the bathroom light and seeing them scurry into the corners...blech. And i am pretty sure that one is responsible for the connect the dots pattern on the back of my left thigh. Seems someone though it would be FUN to crawl up my pj pants leg..... EWWWWWWWWW
        Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          When I asked the exterminator on the phone, they had no idea about any organic yard treatment. They use a knock-em-dead toxin in/around buildings, which is what I'm all about. I find dead dust and hunting spiders in the house fairly often, but since they are dead, I figure our pest control schedule works. The garage does get a lot of spideys but generally of the harmless dust variety. This was the first widow I've found in the garage; the one in the driveway was the first I found near the house.

          I'm interpretting "organic" to mean non-toxic to humans, animals, or consumable plants. But I really have no idea how they're using the term. Hubby swears there was a flyer on our door some time ago for organic yard treatment guaranteed to knock out fire ants and poisonous spiders. I don't recall seeing it, and for that matter, I've never heard of such thing. Every broadcast I've seen comes with warning labels (i.e., water in and stay off till dry) and doesn't kill spiders. In addition to wondering if such a product exists, the better question might be if its even reasonable to attempt to kill them in the great outdoors.

          Will chickens eat black widows? I really want to build a coop when my barn is complete and get chickens. Maybe that will be my yard solution or part of it anyway. Hubby is not so pro-chicken, though being anti-spider...
          Last edited by Aggie4Bar; Jul. 26, 2010, 04:30 PM.
          "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

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          • #6
            Yes, I've used spray shellac. Even better. Makes me scream, but hell.

            Problem is, there are so many - there are thousands she's not even seeing. You need poison which is going to seep into every crevace and kill, and you need to put it in the eaves and basements, attics and between boards. You're not going to get this infestation with hairspray.

            BWs also hide - I sure as heck am not going to go hunting for those suckers with a can of hairspray. What do you want her to do, pull apart the woodpile? Turn over the chairs and picknic table? peers between the boards? Good way to get bitten. Leave the hairspray and shellac to non-threatening species, like that yellolw and black garden spider (writing spider - makes "I" or "L" in it web - won't hurt you, but heck, you don't want that making a web across your french doors, like happened to me, one morning. That sucker is the size of a silver dollar, legs and all.

            She has to have a bomb which is going to seep into everything.

            Organic? You have to ask the people who say they are using "Organic" what that means.

            Coal is "organic", so is methane and carbone monoxide, and so is poison ivy and deadly nightshade. Natural gas is all natural - kill the snot out of you if you take a deep breath and naturally, too.

            Mustard gas is a mixture of amonia and chlorine bleach. Can't get any more oraganic than that.

            The poisons they use kill everything and dissapate into the air and after the required time to wait, don't hurt the family and pets, and that's in my experience as well as what they say.

            Just ask about it.
            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

            Comment


            • #7
              What about diatomacious earth? It's organic and should kill any insect. The downside is that it gets washed away when it rains.

              Comment


              • #8
                I did specifically say the Hair spray works best on the ones you find. There is actually no residiual spray that works great for spiders so you almost HAVE to spray them directly which is a lot of poison all over the yard and the OP specifically asked about non toxic treatments. Black Widows are particularly easy to find. They make these rather unorganized webs that come down from underneath something....like the weep vents at the bottom of stucco walls, under wood piles etc. Then they hide up safe underneath until something trips on their web...signaling dinner time and the spider pounces out. I was very good at finding and killing Black Widows when I was a Pest Tech. I did choose not to use poisons in my home and around my children and pets though. Once or twice a week with a hair spray can and I kept the population in check.
                "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                  Good way to get bitten. Leave the hairspray and shellac to non-threatening species, like that yellolw and black garden spider (writing spider - makes "I" or "L" in it web - won't hurt you, but heck, you don't want that making a web across your french doors, like happened to me, one morning. That sucker is the size of a silver dollar, legs and all.
                  Those spider are harmless and fun to feed. I enjoy them having them around and even feel a little sad when they fall prey to wasps. I watched a wasp try to carry one once back to her nest once, and it was interesting. She had to drag it and eventually dragged it under the side of a shed, so I never saw if she managed to get where she intended. Mud dauber nests are generally full of the juvenile ones though... among other types of spiders. If you're not too squeamish to take one apart, it makes an interesting science lesson for kids. The spiders inside are only stunned though, not dead, so touching or handling the is not advisable.

                  Coal is "organic", so is methane and carbone monoxide...
                  I do realize 'organic' had become a catch-all term, and that even water is a chemical. You're preaching to a ChemE. It's a simple question of whether or not, organic or not, there is a yard treatment for spiders. I'm thinking no and that hubby misread the flyer, but if there is, someone here on CoTH has probably tried it.
                  "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

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                  • #10
                    "Organic" means they can get away with charging two or three (or more) times what the product is actually worth.
                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                    Winston Churchill

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                      What about diatomacious earth? It's organic and should kill any insect. The downside is that it gets washed away when it rains.
                      I like diatomacious earth for killing ants and crickets. It should work on the black widows too and will definitely remove their food sources, although I tend to favor either spraying them with non-organic bug spray or smashing them with something.

                      http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp

                      Only drawback is that it's going to kill the 'good' bugs too. But it won't hurt people, dogs, cats, horses, etc. Just don't get any on your bare hands when you're distributing because it'll suck the water right out of your skin & you'll have a dry patch.
                      Delicious strawberry flavored death!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I thought studies showed that diatomaceous earth was bogus for that? I don't know, I'm just trying to remember.
                        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our county agent told me it was pointless to spray for them. As long as their habitat existed new ones would just move in to fill the void.

                          In the summer I don't stick an ungloved hand anywhere I can't see
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                          • #14
                            The reason things like diatomaceous earth don't work for spiders is centered in the way they travel. Diatomaceous earth is supposed to work by getting on the bug and drying it out. Most spiders travel with their bodies way up off the surfaces they are traveling across therefore not contacting that surface and any poisonous substance thereof. THIS is why it is best to use direct contact poisons when treating for spiders. Sooooo we're back to non poisonous treatments like hairspray to kill black widows where they are found.
                            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just read about DE. Interesting stuff. I wonder if it would actually be effective with spiders, though. They would have to hang out in it to have it dehydrate them. Its not like a slug, where you could put it around your plants and if a slug comes along it is in a pile of the stuff.

                              BW spiders move quickly, and they hang out in their webs (females). A fogger would do better, as it would reach into the hidey hole places spiders live. If you use DE, I would think you would have to open up the woody places to place the DE down, and that really puts you at risk for a bite, and how do you find them all? Also, I wouldn't want to be pulling up flooring or walls or trim to find them.

                              I still would have a fumigation/fogger type fumigation to get them. Then, you gotta do it again in 20 days (eggs).
                              Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My thought on the DE is while it most likley wouldn't come in contact with the spiders to kill them, it would come in contact with their crawling food sources. No/less food = no/less spiders.
                                Delicious strawberry flavored death!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I read up on Siphotrol, which was what we used to rid our house of flea infestation when we first moved in. I noticed that for months afterwards, we had no fleas (good) but also no spiders or ants in the house. It doesn't say anything in the literature about killing spiders, but it does contain a general insecticide in a micro encapsulated form which remains active for months, so it worked for us. However, we don't have too many black widows, just hobo spiders, wolf spiders and giant house spiders- and I happen to like all those species. Why just this morning I had a fight with a funnel weaver- I tried to remove her funnel from the doorstep, and she grabbed it and pulled it back under the stoop! It is very funny when a 2 inch spider comes out waving her arms at you and telling you to shoo away from her house!
                                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

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                                  • #18
                                    While it won't kill them, I have read and been told, that a garlic oil mixture will make a barrier that many things, spiders included, will not cross. It might be a good thing to spray around your house and buildings so more don't come in after you have evicted the current ones.

                                    I am horribly allergic to most bug sprays and will end up in the hospital with upper respiratory infection if I am anywhere that is being sprayed professionally, so if you find anything, let me know.

                                    Also, chickens are great for keeping spiders and other bugs down. My friend purchased a house in the middle of a field that came with chickens. The owners told them to always keep some chickens free range or they would be overrun with spiders. Well, my friend's husband didn't listen and got rid of the chickens. The spiders quickly moved in and they quickly ran out and purchased new chickens..lol.
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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
                                      Also, chickens are great for keeping spiders and other bugs down. My friend purchased a house in the middle of a field that came with chickens. The owners told them to always keep some chickens free range or they would be overrun with spiders. Well, my friend's husband didn't listen and got rid of the chickens. The spiders quickly moved in and they quickly ran out and purchased new chickens..lol.
                                      Cool beans. I mainly want them b/c of my garden, but any excuse helps.

                                      I think the widow in the garage was an anomaly. I've been cleaning the place out, and she was in the one front corner I'd not gotten to, where I shoved the bale of hay and also next to a small gap that junebugs often crawl in. So, she picked her spot... if she picked her spot. She may have actually (and more likely) been on the bale before I put it in the garage since the hay had been in my trailer, which was parked in the far corner of the pasture where I've found the most spiders. Anyhow, I'm 90% done with my garage overhaul and have found no other dangerous creatures, just a bunch of little dust spideys.

                                      Mellsmom - Do you seriously have them inside your house? I don't think I'd enter my bathroom again if I ever found one in there... at least not before putting enough pesticides down to warrant a call to HAZMAT.
                                      "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Eww, ick, ugh.

                                        We have the occasional black widow, but lots of brown widows. As far as I can tell, basically the same thing except they aren't as retiring and shy. I.e., they hang out in the garage and under the eaves, not just in deep dark hidey holes. Double

                                        Anyway, I think application of poison to their habitat, plus spraying the ones you find, is the only way to get/ keep down an infestation. When you say "yard treatment" I picture the stuff you'd use for fire ants--because of where the spideys live, would that even work? They don't seem to move far from their webs. My theory is that ours blow in as babies on the breeze and land in the barn and garage, etc. (breeze is great in all other respects, sigh).

                                        Pressure washing, poison from exterminator, and spraying all the ones you find. Thoroughly spray and destroy any eggsacs, 'cause if those things hatch.... (Grasshopper is slightly arachnophobic and this point in the conversation is where I run away screaming!)
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