Deadly spider gets bad rap?

Most spiders in British Columbia are nothing to worry about, except this one!

Even experienced arachnophiles are cautious about two species, the black widow and the false black widow.

Jana Dinsmore took this photo of a black widow in her compost pile on her property in Prairie Valley Summerland earlier this week.

"We're inundated with them on our property. We have a big rock wall that they just seem to love."

The species found in British Columbia is the western black widow spider which contains a venom that can induce flu-like symptoms especially in the very young and very old.

But Dinsmore says, fortunately, they keep to themselves, "they're not aggressive if I shake a broom or flash a light they scatter pretty quick."

Black widows are an outdoor spider that almost never comes into human homes. Unless you are an outdoor hiker and looking for them, you are unlikely to encounter one.

Dinsmore says one of them did find its way indoors a couple of weeks ago but she managed to get it back where it belongs without any adverse effects.

"I was in bed and there was one in my bedroom so that gave me cause for concern but I managed to get it outside. I am an arachnophobe but they are also quite beautiful to photograph, they're interesting."

They prefer dry, warm habitat and despite its venom, the black widow is not an aggressive animal where people are concerned. Faced with something the size of a human, its first impulse is to flee. Even directly confronted and deliberately provoked, it is reluctant to defend itself with a bite.

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