Just thought I would ask if anyone has run into any problems in the past with widows. My concern is with the birds. I'm putting in a call to the vet in the morning. Cassie will be going to the sitters Aug 7 so we can paint and we will be spraying for bugs at that time. I've seen widows in the yard and in the garage a few times over the past three years. My son Brian had a nasty bite last week on his ankle. We didn't know what bit him but he got a pretty nasty reaction with swelling and pain. I was bitten this morning on the back by a widow. I caught her so know for sure it was one. Fun filled day with hives. I'm assuming at this point that Brian's bite last week was also a widow. We're concerned about the birds reaction if they were to be bitten. I've never read anything concerning spiders and birds in the past. Nancy
One of the people here, either Deborah (Feathered Angels) or Kim H, I think, had a battle with brown recluse spiders a couple of years ago. Sounded awful!!! I'm not really fond of spiders, even the "harmless" ones, because you just never know where they are. Some sadist estimated and calculated that you are never more than 3 feet from one, here in Iowa. Makes me itch and shudder at the same time, so I try to avoid thinking about it. . . (shuddering and scratching)
Spoke with the vet this morning and yes black widows are dangerous for birds. She said even more so due to their high metabolism. Guess I'm going to be vacuuming in the house all day in all the nooks and crannies. SB after doing hours of research last night and this morning I did find a few post on some other boards that can't be linked here where people have had issues with spider bites and their birds. I think more often than not when a bird is bitten and dies it goes undetected unless a necropsy is performed and actually is tested for it. While most spider venom is similiar there are differences. While the Recluse venom causes the skin to necrotize, black widow venom has a neurological component. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_bite Nancy
Day 2 of vacuuming to start. We got the garage, front hall, kitchen, living room and one bedroom done yesterday. Today the other three bedrooms and I'll be done. My back is killing me! I'm so glad we're doing this though. I was shocked at just how many were in the garage and front hall. I even found one big female under a chest in the front hall with two egg sacs!!! At 100-300 spiderlings in each sac that would have been one massive invasion!! If you ever see one in your yard or house don't wait to see more, just get ready to do battle against them all. I had one in the yard two years ago, two in the garage last year and now this year we must have killed close to 100 yesterday and that wasn't counting the sheds which we are going to bomb. Nancy
I think that I can say that the inside of my house and garage is spider free! Please feel free to ask any questions regarding Black Widows and their habits as I feel like I am an expert at this point in time after reading everything about them and dealing with the creepy critters in my house for the past 72 hours!!!! LOL So now my weekend is over, my back is killing me and I have to go to work in the morning
I wonder what my favorite enzyme cleaner would do to spiders? Have to try some on the next one that marches in. . .I suspect it would dissolve parts of the exoskeleton, as it does on insects and mites.
Seems we are spider free. We finished the large shed this weekend. I bought a lot of fresh eucalyptus and put it in small batches everywhere in the house, under furniture, in closets, attic and basement, in the sheds and garage. After doing additional research on deterrents I learned that eucalyptus supposedly deters all insects and rodents. It's also safe for the birds. I used foil to make small trays for it so it wouldn't bleed onto carpeting,wood and grout. It will be interesting to see if it actually works. If it works I'll be buying it twice per year! Nancy
An update on the Eucalyptus. I've not seen anymore black widows in the house. I did see a couple in the basement so went out and bought some of the eucalyptus oil. I put three small containers of water in the basement with about 4 drops of oil in each. I refresh it monthly or as it evaporates. No more spiders and the real benny is (knock on wood) no mice!!!! We live on the lake with swamp and woods within 200 feet of the house. The only times we have not had mice was about 20 years ago when my neighbors boa escaped and 4 yrs ago when there was a rat snake living down there over winter. The oil is expensive $6 for a very tiny bottle, maybe an eight of an ounce. It has a dropper top so you use it by the drop, it's very strong! Nancy