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Are Black Widow Spiders Dangerous?

black widow spider

Did you know the female black widow spider’s venom is 15 times as toxic as the venom of a rattlesnake?

Even though she is the most venomous spider in North America, she seldom causes death because she injects such a small amount of poison in each bite. The mortality rate for female black widow spider bites is less than 1%. 

Male black widows and juveniles are harmless.

Should you get bit by a female black widow do not freak out. Some people only have a minor reaction while others prone to allergic reaction may have a more severe response. 


The female black widow spider’s venom affects the nervous system. Immediately you may feel severe pain, swelling, redness, and even a burning sensation. 

Other possible symptoms:

  • Sore stiff muscles
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Excessive sweating
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Fatigue, weakness, tremors
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
If you start to experience any of these symptoms and believe you may have been bitten by a black widow spider please seek medical attention. 

Children and elderly bite victims

Do not take any chances with children or elderly. If you suspect a black widow bite get to the emergency room immediately. Black widow bites can be fatal, especially with young children. 

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