Where Do Black Widows Live?

Black widows are one of the most potentially deadly spiders in North America. Asking questions such as, ‟Where do black widow spiders live?” and ‟Where are black widows found?” is important, because if you know where they are, you can avoid them. Here’s what you need to know about their geographic locations, preferred climates and dwelling habits, both inside and outside the home.

Suited to the south
In the United States, black widows are more common in the Southern region due to the climate and geography of the land. They prefer warmer temperatures all throughout the year, though they have been spotted as far north as Canada. Mainly, it’s the dark, seclusion of the rural, southern landscape that these poisonous spiders love so much. From barns and woodpiles to crevices in stone walls, black widows thrive in areas where civilization and nature coexist. They usually don't do well in cities, as urban areas aren’t suited to their activities and life cycles.

Black widow spider habitat inside and outside the home
As with most spiders, black widows go where the food and favorable conditions are. They are shy spiders that hide in recesses during the day, emerging to hunt in the night. Most times, this takes place outside of your home, but sometimes, they can get inside. When they do, they seek out dimly lit, sheltered areas in which to spin their webs, hoping to catch grasshoppers, mosquitoes, caterpillars, beetles and similar prey. Because most homes don’t have a large number of bugs, homes also won’t have large populations of black widows.

Outdoor black widow spider habitats:

Look for black widow spider webs in and around woodpiles, rubble, hollow logs, loose bark, holes, stones, burrows, small trees, bushes, water meters, crawl spaces, sheds, wells, root cellars and drainage pipes.

Indoor black widow spider habitats:

Check in and around cardboard boxes, rarely-worn shoes, sheds, barns, garages, attics, pipe holes, doors, air vents, basements, crawl spaces, false ceilings, storage spaces, dark corners and cluttered areas.

Black widows belong to the Latrodectus genus. Within this genus, there are about 30 different species of black widows. Of these, only three are common in the United States: the Southern widow (L. mactans), the Northern widow (L. variolus) and the Western widow (L. hesperus). As their names imply, these black widows are found in different areas of the United States.

The Southern black widow is highly concentrated in the Southeastern states, but goes as far north as New York and as far west as Arizona.

Northern black widows reside mostly in New England and Southeastern Canada, but have been spotted as far west as Texas and as far south as Florida. These spiders prefer to construct their webs in tree branches.

The Western black widow can make its web in dry deserts or high mountains, in addition to the normal black widow spider habitats listed above. This species is mostly found in Texas, Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and the Pacific Coast states, though it has been spotted as far north as Southwestern Canada.

Of course, not all spiders are harmful. But if pests are getting in your way, consider calling Terminix®.