Black Widow Spider


Actual Size: ½ to 1 ½”

Characteristics: Shiny black or brown body, bright red marking.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Will build irregular, erratic webs in quiet undisturbed areas. Webs are found in rock piles, block walls, sprinkler valve boxes, sheds, garages, and the undersides of patio furniture.


  • The most venomous spider in North America.
  • Builds messy, erratic, and irregular-shaped webs.
  • Despite their venom, black widows are typically non-aggressive.

Black Widow Spiders in Michigan

Black widow spiders are notorious worldwide for their ability to cause discomfort in humans. They come in varying shades of dark brown to black, with a notable feature: only the females display the characteristic hourglass or spots on their abdomen.

You’ll often find black widow spiders in places cluttered with human structures, such as homes, barns, outbuildings, and rock walls. While they’re known as the most venomous spider in North America, black widow bites are rarely life-threatening. Still, they can cause intense pain.

Black Widow Habitat

Black widow spiders love the great outdoors. They prefer quiet, dark, and undisturbed spots near the ground. You’ll find their messy, irregular webs in crevices, rock piles, block walls, sprinkler valve boxes, and under patio furniture. They also like hanging out in garages, sheds, and on playground equipment.

Though they usually stay outside, black widows can sometimes find their way into homes or buildings, often hitching a ride in boxes or on furniture. If you spot their messy webs indoors or around your property, it’s a sign of a black widow’s presence.

Black Widow Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Black widow spiders, despite their venom, are usually not aggressive. They will only bite if they feel threatened, which often happens when they’re pinched, squeezed, or pressed. Most bites occur when a person unintentionally brushes against a black widow, often while reaching for something or when clearing out a dark space.

If someone is bitten by a black widow, symptoms typically start within 20 minutes to an hour. These may include stiffness, and intense pain at the bite site, along with feelings of nausea, chills, and fever. It’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if a black widow bite is suspected or confirmed.

If you are dealing with a black widow problem, always contact your local spider exterminators.