Black Widow Spider


Actual Size: ½ to 1 ½”

Characteristics: Shiny brown or black body. Females have a distinctive red hourglass pattern on their abdomen.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Constructs unusual webs with erratic shapes. Webs are usually located in low-traffic areas like rock piles, sprinkler valve boxes, or old sheds.


  • The most venomous spiders in the U.S., but are generally not aggressive.
  • Bites are extremely painful, though they’re rarely fatal.
  • Only females have the bright red marking on their abdomen.

Black Widow Spiders in Anaheim

Black widow spiders are infamous across the globe for their painful, venomous bite. Males and females both have shiny brown or black bodies, but females are easily recognized thanks to the bright red pattern on their abdomen. These spiders are drawn to areas with lots of cracks and crevices, which is why they often invade backyards or landscapes. Black widow spiders are frequently found outside of houses in old sheds, wood piles, rock retaining walls, and other undisturbed areas. While black widow bites are extremely painful, they aren’t usually fatal.

Black Widow Spider Habitat

Unlike some spiders that build very neat and uniform webs, widows are known for their erratically-shaped webs. They usually build their unusual webs in quiet areas that are unlikely to be disturbed, such as within rock piles or underneath patio furniture. Black widows may also invade garages, old sheds, or playground equipment. Since these spiders prefer to live outdoors, they usually only end up inside if they’re accidentally carried in on a box or piece of furniture. If you notice messy webs in or around your property, you may have an infestation.

Black Widow Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though black widow spiders are the most venomous species in the United States, they aren’t typically aggressive. They usually only bite when scared or accidentally touched. Most bites happen when somebody brushes against a black widow while cleaning out a dark space or grabbing something from a cluttered area. About 20 minutes after a black widow bite, you may notice intense pain, nausea, chills, or a fever. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a black widow, seek medical attention immediately. 

Worried you might have black widow spiders on your property? Contact your local spider exterminators for identification and safe removal.