Itsy Bitsy Spider

  • 20.11.2014.

Recently, we have received an e-mail from our reader, Ivana Benić, related to spiders. Specifically, Ivana found spiders in her holiday home in the foothills of Velebit mountain, which resembled the black widow (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus), one of the poisonous species of spiders in Croatia. After a detailed analysis, we concluded that this really was a female black widow. The females of this species can inflict a dangerous bite, while the males are smaller and their jaws cannot penetrate human skin. The bite is very rarely fatal, but receiving an antidote on time will significantly lessen the severity and duration of symptoms.


However, there is no reason to panic! Black widows are peaceful animals by nature and following a few simple rules is enough to reduce the possibility of being bitten. First, when walking through tall grass or during garden work, it is necessary to have appropriate shoes, and possibly long pants. Second, leather gloves when weeding your garden or turning over stones. Last but not least, if your working clothes or shoes are left unused for a significant time period, it is good to inspect them, in case a spider is present.

Black widows rarely leave their web, unless they are disturbed. In fact, most bites occur when the spider is accidentally disturbed. Therefore, the black widow is not prone to bite without provocation.

We do not recommend that you try to exterminate the black widows by yourself: they do not respond to insecticides, and if you try to individually crush them, this only increases the chance of a bite. In addition, black widows eat various types of insects that can be potential pests.
There are several species of spiders that can be found in homes, and are similar to the black widow. Some species of the genus Steatoda are more frequently found in homes, but are often confused with black widows.
Please, feel free to ask us questions like this in the future! We will be happy to answer them as soon as possible.