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nimarka1's avatar

How did a black widow get into my apartment?

Asked by nimarka1 (942points) July 19th, 2010

I live in southern california, and I know black widows are very common here. I haven been living on the 5th floor of an apartment for 2 years now and never has anything like this happened. I found a black widow hanging upside down between my bedside table and the wall (maybe in 2 inches of space). I have never really been scared of spiders ever. I have delt with them before when I lived in a house, in the garage, or my backyard but never something like this. And it wasn’t until after I killed it i started freaking out, that was really close to me while I sleeping, if it was there over night, or maybe we have been roomates for a while now. And then I start thinking how the hell did it get into my apartment? What are the possibilities? The worst i have ever delt with in this apartment are ants. Now I have been super paranoid that if there could be a random one like this, then they could be anywhere. Could it be if there was one in my apartment, there could be another? should I worry about fumigating? Anything ideas helps.

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15 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

I need to say that I feel what you’re going through. I have arachnophobia/entomophobia and I get that way with almost any bug or spider, not just black widows. The best thing I can do is try very hard to push it out of my mind… and inspect the sheets/pillows before I get into bed. Not much else can be done.

pokopenguin's avatar

It depends because black widows live in all kinds of places

nimarka1's avatar

My curiosity it what would it want to be doing 5 floors up off the ground. How did it crawl in? from outside? did it walk up the buildinga and squeeze through the window? through the vents? is it something that was brought in by one of us, like a box? i know there is no real way to tell, but i just want to know the other possibilities, and is this normal behavior?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Your fear is certainly understandable. It sounds like it probably was brought into the apt. as a stowaway. Two recommendations would be to do a thorough inspection for any webs and to notify the apt. manager. If I were him/her, I’d want to know, just in case anyone else reported a similar situation.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
reijinni's avatar

check the cracks, vents, windows, doors and seal whatever you find.

mammal's avatar

ninja arachnid

jaytkay's avatar

@nimarka1 My curiosity it what would it want to be doing 5 floors up off the ground.

Having worked in a few tall office buildings, I can attest there are spider webs all over the outside of skyscrapers. It’s funny to look out a 40th floor window and see a spider waiting for lunch to arrive. As far as they are concerned, we have generously constructed giant flycatchers in cities around the world.

How did it crawl in? from outside? did it walk up the buildinga and squeeze through the window? through the vents? is it something that was brought in by one of us, like a box? this normal behavior?
You’ve got the idea, they have dozens of routes inside, and trying to eliminate all the possibilities would be an endless task.

Take comfort in the fact that they are all over the place, but they are a lot more interested in flies & mosquitoes than people.

MaryW's avatar

It probably got caught in someone’s clothes and was brought into the building. People sit on rock walls and such.
Luckily they do like to sit and wait for prey. But you can use a spider spray round your base boards and under your bed. The spray really works and is better than fumigating which also messes with you for days. The spray will help kill the spiders for months and help you with the horrible creepiness everytime a hair on your face, arm, or leg moves. Oh yeah and the jumpiness everytime a speck or a movement moves across your field of vision.

XOIIO's avatar

It’s a spider.

Spiders climb.


josie's avatar

If ants can make it to the 5th floor, why not a spider? To a bug, there is no such thing as the 5th floor. There is only someplace to arrive and set up camp.

Trance24's avatar

First of all black widows are not aggressive spiders and one can often be right beside it and never be bitten. Black widows only bite when threatened or disturbed such as having their web destroyed. Also a black widow bite is not as bad as people turn it out to be, a bite does not mean you are going to die especially if you are in close proximity of medical care. You could even survive without seeing a doctor. The symptoms are muscle aches nausea and diarrhea in the most common person. I recently took a wilderness survival course that dealt with first aid and spider bites. Our professor can testify to what I have said. In fact 4% of bites are fatal if untreated (this percentage increases in young children and the elderly), so if you are bitten once receiving medical attention you are quite alright.

As far as getting into your apartment, it is a spider just like any other and will find any small crevasse to climb into your house. Even living on the 5th story doesn’t protect you from unwanted intruders such as spiders, since well they climb. All you have to do is take the precaution in spraying for spiders and other pests like ants. So don’t worry so much about your recent “friend”, she is practically harmless.

poofandmook's avatar

@Trance24: What makes the 4% fatal though?

Trance24's avatar

@poofandmook Its like any other statistic it depends on the individual, their immune system, allergies, lack of medical care, or self medical care, the severity of the bite, the amount of poison injected into the skin. But as I said the average human being will be fine. If you were bit tomorrow you have a 4% of it being fatal and thats only if you are stupid enough to not go to a doctor.

pokopenguin's avatar

Well I cant sa anything else

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