Aug 11, 2018

Black widow spiders are heading north due to climate change

Canada
by
Abbey Interrante
,
Newsweek
A pair of black widow spiders with an egg sack emerge from their spot on the banks of the Irtysh river near Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. The black widow spider’s venom is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. Photo: Stringer/Reuters
A pair of black widow spiders with an egg sack emerge from their spot on the banks of the Irtysh river near Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. The black widow spider’s venom is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. Photo: Stringer/Reuters

As climate change warms the earth, black widow spiders are moving north.

The spiders are notorious, because venom is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. A bite can cause aches, pains, and paralysis of the diaphragm which make breathing difficult. 

In a study published in PLOS One on Wednesday, Canadian researchers reported that over the past 60 years the northernmost point black widow spiders live has moved 31 miles north, into southern Canada. The scientists believe that the spread of the spiders, which prefer a temperate climate, is due to climate change.