A Dartmouth woman recently posted to a community page on Facebook that she had spotted a black widow spider in her yard, and hundreds of responses resulted in other residents recalling their run-ins with this tiny, creepy-crawly.

The woman posted two pictures of a black spider with orange dots on its back, warning others to be aware that these are in the area. While it hasn’t been officially confirmed that it is a black widow spider, the spider shares several resemblances of a black widow, with its hourglass shape and colored markings.

She shared her story with Dartmouth Week.

According to National Geographic, “…its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's. In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage—let alone death.”

But when it comes to young children and the elderly, a bite can be fatal.

Christina from Dartmouth came across the Facebook post and shared her story with what she felt was a Black Widow encounter.

Christina from Dartmouth

“I was staying at my parents’ house and there was a massive black widow in their garden. They didn’t bother anyone, but they were big and scary looking for sure.”

If you encounter a black widow spider, or a spider that you may think is a black widow, it’s best to leave it be. They are non-aggressive and only bite in self-defense.

It’s reassuring to hear that these spiders are non-aggressive, but it certainly offers a bit of a shock for anyone who comes across one. Keep your eyes peeled the next time you are in the garden.

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