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Black Widow

 
anthony coffee
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I have a 6 year old son with mild autism and there is a ton of black widows in my yard. I am afraid of them biting him since he is so inquisitive and adventurous. Any ideas?
 
John Elliott
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Black widows are not aggressive spiders. You really have to provoke them to get a bite from one. Many of the reported cases are from people who did not check first before sitting down in the outhouse. Dark outhouse pits with flies buzzing around are very fine habitat for black widows and so it is likely that one will set up web and then get annoyed when a large disturbance parks itself on top and begins to rain down.

When I was in elementary school, there were many spiders underneath the porcelain drinking fountains. Boys, being inquisitive by nature, would use sticks and coax these spiders into bottles (with air holes punched in the lid, of course). We thought these were interesting stripey spiders, and it was only later that we found out that the juvenile black widows lose their stripes as they get older. No one at my school ever got a spider bite.

I think if you teach your son the proper respect, not to poke the spiders with a finger, but to use a stick, very soon he will get bored with playing with the spiders and find something else more interesting. Shortly after we found out that we had been playing with juvenile black widows, the boys at my school lost interest in them and we no longer poked around under the drinking fountains.
 
anthony coffee
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Thanks for your response. My only problem is he has mild autism and it can be very unpredictable. It is crazy, we had none here and my grandmother gave me a ton of old flower pots and BAMB they were full of them.
 
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