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A black widow spider is usually black with a red-orange hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of its belly. Its bite may be painful or may not be noticed. Black widows don’t bite often because they prefer to hide and live in crawl spaces, attics, or other places where they won’t get disturbed. However, if anything enters their living spaces, they won’t hesitate to bite out of defense.


Possible symptoms after a bite may include:

• pain, warmth, and possibly pale skin with redness around it at the bite site
• severe muscle pain and cramping
• headache
• nausea and/or vomiting
• high blood pressure
• weakness
• difficulty breathing


Symptoms usually begin within the first three hours.


Prevention and First Aid

1. Use caution when in crawl spaces or attics where black widows prefer to hide and live.

2. Wash the site of bite with soap and water and keep the area clean.

3. Contact your primary healthcare provider to make sure you are up to date on your tetanus vaccine.

4. Seek medical attention for severe muscle pain, excessive nausea or vomiting, weakness, or difficulty breathing.


Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site with questions or for more information about a spider bite.











Last Updated on 12/11/2023