Last summer brought dozens of black widow spiders to the yard. (For more about our encounters last summer, see here, here, and here.) I suppose the spiders had been in the yard all along, without our noticing them, but I felt a sense of responsibility once I knew they were there. We killed the ones we found (and destroyed their eggs) and began eliminating the spiders’ hiding places.
We’ve found far fewer black widow spiders this year. Did our efforts last summer make a difference? Did the longer, colder winter help?
Perhaps the population isn’t smaller at all this summer, only better hidden. Much better hidden, if that is the case, because I am diligent about looking for their webs as I work in the yard.
I always feel a twinge of regret when I kill the spiders, because I don’t like killing anything. But I would feel even worse if I left them to multiply and spread into our neighbors’ yards. What do you think? Would you kill them, if they were in your yard? Is there a better solution?