The area near our house is no stranger to Black Widow spiders. Heck, I used to walk home from middle school through what the paper said "looked like a cotton field" from all the spider webs. (From the ground you couldn't tell. It's amazing I was never bit!) We only live a mile away from the school, but I had never seen a spider at the house. Until last year.
This was October 23, 2011:
That is a Black Widow spider just hanging out and living in the twins outside playhouse. The same playhouse that I've let them get in a thousand times. I have always glanced in there looking for snakes ('cause we get those all over out here) but never close enough to inspect for spiders. Why would I?? You better believe I do now though!
I have been more diligent about checking things out before the kiddos play in them now and hadn't seen another one until today. Ricky and the twins were playing outside on the trampoline and I was working in the yard. Like I said, I'm always very careful about snakes. Those buggers scare the crap out of me. I don't want to come face to face with one accidentally. If I did, I probably would end up accidentally stabbing myself with my pruning shears while fumbling in my attempt to dash out of there! I clear up the area around the a/c unit without incident. Then I weed-eat around our cement area. My last area of trimming before getting out the lawn mower was going to be under our pavilion. We haven't been under there since the summer so I figured it was about due for a little clean-up.
I assumed there would be something creepy-crawly mixed up in our pool cover that had been lying on our outside table, so I flipped it over quickly and carefully. Nothing popped up or flew out so I got a little closer for a better inspection. That's when I saw the fat black body. I yelled for Ricky to come over and confirm what I already knew...Black Widow. Ricky sends me into the garage to get some Raid and I took that opportunity to grab my camera. While I was out there taking some photos, they weren't really turning out all that great. It was buried a bit in the shadows (where they like to be). Plus I wasn't getting close enough, 'cause you know, SPIDER!
So, I told Ricky not to kill it until I got back. I ran inside and grabbed my step-dad's telephoto lens to see how that would work. Much better!
Here's what I discovered today:
I think I have about reached my limit for Black Widows. I don't know what number my limit is, but I know it's close. I am about ready to concrete in our whole yard and put it in a bubble. With snake and spider repellant everywhere.
I'll leave you with this: