Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Black Widows


Hi Walter,

I live in a basement apartment that is invested with Black Widows.  Last summer I killed over one hundred of them . . . mostly in my bedroom!  I can't have poison spray.  Also, when the bug guy came to spray (I wouldn't let him), he said that it doesn't kill them right away . . . they have very small feet.  So I was figuring on half dead punch drunk Black Widows acting in uncharacteristic ways.  Because they were very "reliable" not on any poison.  I always knew where they were or where they might be.  They never were in my clothes or beds . . . always someplace that had an "angle" like a corner or something.  My question is: how reliable are those electronic spider repellents? Not the cheap ones, but the more expensive fancy ones? And since "my" black widows haven't returned this year yet, would it keep them from returning? And lastly, would it make them punch drunk like the poison or would it just make them stay away?

Thanks so much!

Hello JK
This question leaves me with some problems. First of all the presence of so many widows in a bedroom is very unusual as there is little source of energy there. Black widows hide under rocks out side and not in bedrooms and Black Widows eat bugs. Do you have a lot of bugs in the room Are you positive these are widows. Can you send me a photo?
 Since the spiders have not come back I would suspect a large hatching except that the results would be small spiderlings and they would need a lot of bugs to mature. Also if 200 spiders hatch the odds of more them one or two reaching maturity are slim and that would take a lot of bugs.
 AS to the control: Since they are no longer around you have no control problems. The exterminator statement that insecticides do not kill spiders quickly is ridiculous
 I have not investigated electronic repellents for insects and spiders but I suspect that they are a waste of money. If you want to get rid of bugs you want to kill them not repel them.
By the way there are non toxic and safe insecticides for use against bugs and spiders. Two of them are Boric acid powder and diatomaceous earth

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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