Black Widow Spiders Avoid One Entire State

By TeeJay Small | Updated

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders are known to be one of the most dangerous bugs in the contiguous United States, due to their killer bites. While the creatures luckily don’t go out of their way to be aggressive toward human beings, they can pack a powerful punch when disturbed, and currently reside in 49 of 50 U.S. states. For those that are deathly arachnophobic, the only surefire way to escape the black widows would be to pack up and move to the frozen tundra of Alaska.

This Arachnid Is Absent From Alaska

Jerry Rovner of the American Arachnological Society has confirmed with Newsweek that black widow spiders are entirely absent from the 49th state, explaining that the freezing temps of Alaskan Winters are impossible for the arachnids to withstand.

Though the black widows have adapted to colder climates such as the American Northeast, they generally prefer warmer areas, and cluster most frequently in states such as Florida, California, and Texas. The spiders are most at-home in hot deserts, where they reproduce with great abundance, according to Rovner.

Spider Populations Can Change With The Climate

University of Toronto professor Maydianne Andrade echoed this sentiment, explaining that black widow spiders have become more abundant in colder states during recent years, though they are not likely to spread much farther North into territories such as Canada.

The traces of black widows become fewer and farther between as you venture into cooler and cooler climates. Despite this assertion, Andrade explained that spider populations such as these are subject to change as global warming continues to heat up traditionally colder corners of the globe.

Alaska Remains Safe From Black Widows, For Now

As portions of Canada and Alaska get warmer, the likelihood of black widow populations making their way to those areas increases. Alaska already has plenty of spider populations that thrive in frozen environments, including wolf spiders, jumping spiders, and others, which produce antifreeze chemicals within their blood to allow them to hunt and mate beneath the snow during the heaviest of winter months.

Despite recent changes in the global climate, however, it remains highly unlikely at this time that even Northern black widow spiders will adapt to do the same.

Joro Spiders On The Run

Black widow spiders aren’t alone in this ongoing migration into Northern states either, as recent reports have confirmed that Japanese Joro spiders have been continually heading further up the map for the last several years, and are expected to be found all across New York throughout this Summer. Luckily, as stated before, neither black widows nor Joros are known to target human beings specifically, and would prefer to utilize their venom on small bugs and pests.

They’ll Leave You Alone If You Leave Them Alone

With any luck, you won’t have to encounter any black widow spiders at all, whether you reside in Alaska or not. The creatures generally prefer to hide away from human beings in dark, damp locations, where they can construct webs and munch on flies in peace. Of course, if you do come into contact with one, it’s probably best to just keep your distance and leave them alone, so long as they aren’t invading your home or personal space.

For those facing rare black widow infestations, pest removal companies can safely rid your home of the eight-legged creeps. Black widow spiders are also said to dislike the scent of peppermint, lavender, and citrus oil, so you can always blast your home with those scents, if that sounds pleasant to you.

Source: Newsweek