Colder temperatures forcing black widows into homes

Mom in Tampa finds black widow in home
Posted at 6:24 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 18:24:57-05

This cold snap the past few days is bringing black widow spiders into Tampa Bay homes. And the drop in temperature is forcing more than just humans to find a way to stay warm.

Tamara Sims instantly recognized the famous red hourglass mark in her garage and froze. A black widow in the same area her kids play everyday.

"And I thought 'Oh my gosh, what if the kids had gone in there?'" she said. 

Sims snapped a picture of it and called pest control. Best Termite and Pest Control get half a dozen calls every year from worried families like Sims'.

"There's arachnophobia if you will," says Frank Mongiovi, President of the pest control company, "They are scared of spiders because they don't understand spiders."

The facts back him up. Even though their bite is 15 times more powerful than a rattlesnake, death by black widow is incredibly rare.

"It hurts about like a wasp sting," said Mongiovi.

He says if you do see one, vacuum it up. He adds, look in your own garage for any clutter that might be touching the ground. Dark areas are perfect conditions for these spiders to hide. Now that's advice Sims is definitely following. She's moving all her stuff to higher ground.  

Sims says after actually researching black widows, she feels safer. Although the spiders are well-known and famous for their venom. They're not aggressive and only bite when threatened.