Black widows in WAVE Country, seen 'all over Kentuckiana'

Black widows in WAVE Country
Bill McMahan is an expert from the Louisville Zoo. (Source: Kasey Cunningham/WAVE 3 News)
Bill McMahan is an expert from the Louisville Zoo. (Source: Kasey Cunningham/WAVE 3 News)
Chris Wright found several black widows in his backyard. (Source: Kasey Cunningham/WAVE 3 News)
Chris Wright found several black widows in his backyard. (Source: Kasey Cunningham/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You may notice more black widow spiders this time of year, according to experts at the Louisville Zoo.

Bill McMahan is a curator at the Herbaquarium. He said black widows are common this time of year because the spiders mated in the spring, so their eggs are now hatching.

People across Louisville have already noticed the venomous spiders right in their backyard.

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A black widow is small, black and shiny with a red symbol on its abdomen.

"Basically, I was moving a pile of wood and a whole bunch we're under there," said Chris Wright.

It is not out of character for the spider, who hides in small, dark, moist spaces.

"They're not an unusual piece of our fauna, they are all over Kentuckiana," said McMahan.

He explained while the spider is poisonous, with a neurotoxic venom that can be fatal, death from the black widow bite is rare.

"Certainly less than 1% of people bitten die," said McMahan. "There are a lot more things that we're exposed to that are far more dangerous than a black widow spider."

Still, if you see one, or several, you should avoid the arachnid.

"People should absolutely stay away from spiders they are unfamiliar with," said McMahan.

If you do get bit by a black widow, you should seek medical attention immediately.

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