Valley sees more black widow spiders; mild winter may be to blame

The mild winter weather may be to blame for an increase in black widow spiders in the Valley this year.
March 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Exterminators are predicting Valley residents will have even more bugs to fight off this year, including some dangerous ones. The mild winter weather may be to blame for an increase in black widow spiders in the Valley.

Insects are a pesky problem that homeowners are used to dealing with during the summer months. But this spring may be worse than normal. Exterminator Bob Hill says the mild winter and lack of rain created the perfect storm for an early start to the bug season.

"Everything is hatching early. I don't think anything really died off from any of winter freeze or anything like that. So ants, spiders, roaches, fleas, ticks -- everything is going to be a problem this year," said Hill.

And that includes the poisonous black widow spider. The presence of insects due to the mild weather provided plenty of food for adult spiders, helping them survive through the winter months and continue to grow and lay eggs. And that could mean even more poisonous spiders this year in the Valley.

"If a lot of them didn't die off, you can expect probably double the hatch," said Hill.

Exterminators are advising homeowners to avoid piles of debris that attract insects and even black widow spiders. Northwest Fresno resident Pete Williams says he's already found some unwanted houseguests inside his home.

"We had nothing to make them go real dormant," said Williams. "I saw them all during the winter."

Williams says spraying once a month has helped, but he keeps some spray in his backyard just in case he spots an intruder.

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