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Do black widows eat termites?

Saw substantial signs of subterranean termites.  But when look specifically for them, I couldn't find any.  But I did find lots of black widow spiders all around the area.

Do those spiders eat the termites?  Is that why I couldn't find the termites?  If they do eat them, does that mean I should encourage more spiders instead of getting rid of them?
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August 04 2013 - US
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Answers (10)

This may surprise a lot of people but..

I had a property that was nested back in the woods and some people didn't understand but I had a bat house close to the house...it was for the reasons you mentioned about the mosquitoes and others insects.

It was nothing to see at least 15-20 of them cuddled around each other during the day, at night they were on the job and I had no problem with flying insects. they eat thousands a night per bat.
I sort of liked having them around.
-Joseph-
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September 02 2013
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As long as the bugs are not eating me, my family, or my house, I rather not mess with the ecological balance.  Too many people in the U.S. just want to kill everything that isn't human, and then poison the water supply in the process.

I love spiders as they eat mosquitoes, and I have no love of mosquitoes.  They also do a good job with flies.
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September 01 2013
Most spiders including Black Widow consider termites and other bugs as their diet. So the Black Widow will eat their share but probably can't totally eradicate the termite infestation. But I wouldn't want an infestation of Black Widow either.  I'd say get the exterminator out there do their thing to get rid of anything that crawls.
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September 01 2013
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I know why there was moisture, and I know why the adjacent area was "dry".  I'm still addressing some of the areas that had some moisture issues.  I also know how the termites got from the dirt into the wood and back, which I've also been addressing.

I'm a bit concerned about the queen termites, as I've seen them in more than one location, though I did poison them liberally.


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September 01 2013
I agree with Dolores on that the habitats are different. The black widows I have found are always in above ground dry places,
Termites have to have moisture , if your house is below a certain moisture content they can not live there, they have to return back to the ground.

If you are not seeing the evidence of the termites anymore chances are they are dead or gone.
-Joseph-
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September 01 2013
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Never seen any rough scraggly webs.  In this area they tend to make dense tubular cone shaped wedges in crevices.  The best way for me to keep them out is to caulk all small dark openings.  And the location of their nests and webs seems to be extremely close to where the termites like to feast too.... sill plates under houses, door thresholds, porches, screen door framing...

Why call a termite company to have them charge me $15k to remove a little bit of damaged wood when I can do it myself for $100?   Especially since the termite company is "FORCED" to file reports with the State, putting it on record that the property is infested with termites for the next 500 years?   Especially since the termite companies don't bother to remove the damaged wood anyway, but give a short term "treatment" causing the termites to come right back?

Sure, calling them makes sense AFTER all the repair is done, but there are absolutely no termite companies within a 400 mile radius that are as through as I am, nor do any of them do as good a quality work.  After all, they are not "carpenters" by trade.
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September 01 2013
Black widow spiders build rough scraggly webs above ground in areas where they won't have a lot of disturbance, but WILL have good opportunity to snag cockroaches and other crawling bugs. 
Subterranean termites like to be in dark, moist areas.  The two species are not terribly interested in each other's habitat. 
I am NOT an entomologist, but I really don't think the black widows are responsible for making the termites disappear into hidden crevices.  It is possible you have brought a lot of light into the area where the termites were and that is unacceptable for them.
It would be in your best interest to get a professional pest control company to investigate--someone with real credentials.  Just because you dealt with an unscrupulous company before doesn't mean they are all like that.
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September 01 2013
I don't trust a lot of people when it comes to 'doing their jobs' these days so I understand.
I would have thought that you may have brought a pc. of infected wood into the garage unknowingly but since you found other evidence then that would be wrong to say...but it does happen.

It sounds like you know what you are looking at and maybe have terminated the problem already, if there is no further evidence of them then maybe they are gone or have been killed out.

Another idea is that what you seen in the house on the slab was dry-rot only, they sort of appear the same. I have seen a lot of bottom plates and damage to studding on garage slabs.

One tip when you do fix it (plates) use treated wood and if you hang drywall in there, make sure you leave a 1/2 in. gap between the slab and the bottom of the drywall ( it will cover with trim) never place drywall directly on the slab if you have already done this you can still correct it by cutting the drywall out 1/2 in. up usually this will insure the proper vapor barrier for the counterparts involved.

Hope everything works out and you can rest about this situation.
-Joseph-
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August 04 2013
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well, part of the problem is I had a drain line clog, and part of the garage flood, and had stored some spare scrape lumber on the floor, but had not put it up on bricks, so it dry-rotted, and the termites found their way through the concrete floor into the wood.  I have thrown all that wood away now, and cleaned up all the dirt, and treated the area with Copper Naphthenate, but there isn't space for an "inspection" yet, there are areas presently "inaccessible" (car, car parts...), and there is some storage items that I prefer not be to treated (food and clothes....).

I did find a "nest" outside near the front of the house, no where close to the garage, where a tree had been removed (I dug up the stump to cut it off, and found the nest).  I treated the tree-root (rock salt) but not the nest.  But I did check for earth contact to house wood in the area.

I also found a "queen" subterranean termite in the neighbor's rotting wood fence.  I think the whole fence needs to go, but the vertical boards are "OK", and they have children and pets, thus still want a fence.  I am pricing some replacement options.

By the way, I don't trust most pest companies; the last one that did work had to file 13 completion reports with the state since I had to keep calling them back each time they said they were done, because they were extremely careless and didn't do their work.  And their carpentry skills were "lousy".  A junior high school wood shop student could do better.  Their concrete skills were not much better.  And putting concrete on top of dryrotted termite filled wood was just plain "stupid".  They should have replaced the wood.  But that is what you get from "professionals" that are only interested in a dollar.


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August 04 2013
I don't know about the spiders but I would call a termite guy and have him check to see if they are gone and let him advise you.
The ones that do the most damage are usually not seen till you peal back the area that they are in, the ones that are in the house have to return back to the nest in the ground at some point, they will die if they don't that is why usually the termite people treat the ground in some cases is they are trying to find that nest and destroy anything that is trying to return back to it.
If it was a lot of termites it would be impossible for a few spiders to get them  all.
Call the termite guy and let him check and explain to you your exact problem, if you can go with him and let him show you the signs and what to look for...I have done that and learned a lot.
They may have came and went and are gone but you need them to check using their experience and methods.
-Joseph-
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August 04 2013
 
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