Phoenix residents report black widow sightings: What you need to know

Spooky sights are common with Halloween right around the corner, but there's one thing homeowners don't want to see: a real black widow spider creeping around their home.

Residents in Phoenix are swapping stories on popular app NextDoor about black widow sightings in their neighborhood.

Brandin W. Bear, owner of Frontino Pest Co., says this isn't the time of year to typically see black widows, but the recent summer months have created more habitable environments for the spiders in the Valley.

"We obviously got a lot more rain this past monsoon season as opposed to last year, so there's just more conducive conditions, there's a lot more water sources," Bear explained. "Their food has a lot more water sources."

Black widows are poisonous to people and pets, but their bite isn't fatal, Bear said. They are typically docile and do not bite unless they are going to be crushed.

Bear also noted that the spiders stay outside normally, and it is rare to see them indoors unless it's an environment like a basement that isn't in use often.

Some things to look out for:

  • Webs that are lower than waist level, coming at a 45 degree angle away from a wall
  • A "messy" web structure, not the normal angled, symmetrical shape of a regular web
  • The pen test: If you stick a pen through the web and you can hear it cracking, it belongs to a black or brown widow spider

In anyone sees a black widow, the best bet is to give an expert a call. Eggs can be crushed safely, but anyone with concerns should contact a professional.

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