Black widow spiders get their names from the belief that the female devours her partner after sex. But this gruesome ritual doesn’t always happen after mating. The males of the species are thought to be harmless, it’s the mature female whose bite can cause severe illness.
The black widow avoids light and is usually found in dry, undisturbed places outdoors. Their favorite places are in man-made outdoor structures such as block walls, sprinkler valve boxes, sheds, and under porches, patio furniture, decks or eaves. Indoors, they can be found in undisturbed corners of garages or basements.
Like other spiders, the black widow is not aggressive unless disturbed or when guarding her egg sac. But that’s the catch. Because she is so reclusive, hidden away in dark corners and under objects, it’s easy to accidentally “disturb” her.
A black widow spider web is messy and unorganized, like a cobweb. The strands will not come together to form a definitive pattern. Due to the overlapping strands a black widow spider web is very strong and hard to pull apart. Any webs of this variety around your home most likely belong to black widows.