Black widow spiders are venomous spiders that are found throughout most of the United States. They have a bite that can kill in extreme cases, though mostly they will just make you violently ill for a few days. While they are dangerous to be sure, they are still kept as pets by pros and amateur spider collectors across the country. Is this a good idea? Of course not.
Here are several good reasons why it is a very bad idea to keep a black widow spider for a pet.
Black Widow Spiders Are Dangerous (Duh)
Getting bitten by a black widow spider is no laughing matter. The bite itself is nothing more than a bee sting, but the next few days that follow are a bit more troubling. You are likely to feel as though your entire torso has been beaten by a two by four, your breathing will become labored, you will get horrible muscle cramps, suffer major swelling complications and in the worst cases, possibly die. The young and the elderly are most at risk of death, so having kids and keeping black widows as pets is particularly stupid.
Keeping Black Widow Spiders Is Illegal in Many States
Some states will literally put you in jail for keeping a dangerous pet like a black widow, and you could face even more severe penalties if someone is bitten and dies. Even if you have clearance from some states to do so, you should make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you dive in.
Black Widow Spiders Breed Proficiently
Black widows can sometimes be “with child” and keep them incubated for a very long time. In other words, you will have no real way of telling if that black widow you found under the porch is ready to have babies or not. This brings to mind the story of a man that kept a black widow he found under his porch in a plastic jug. He put holes in the container that were small enough to keep the spider inside, but large enough to allow the spider to breathe.
The spider had babies while he was on vacation and the little ones had no problem escaping the container. By the way, black widows have tons of baby spiders that are all just as dangerous as the mama from a venom standpoint. I wonder how many babies her babies then had in his bedroom? It took him a long time to eliminate the infestation that followed.
Black Widow Spiders Are Wild Animals
While this is obvious, it is also an important thing to keep in mind. Wild animals are not meant to be kept in a little container on your bedroom shelf. They are meant to be free. If you do this, you are truly punishing this creature for no good reason other than your own amusement. Some people keep spiders and give them a true habitat. They know what they are doing and keep the spider safely tucked away in a proper environment. This is not the same thing as putting a wild spider in a jug and leaving it to die.