RESEARCH FINDS BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS SURGING NORTH
Do you like spiders? I don’t like spiders. I wouldn’t say I have arachnophobia, but I might flip out to suddenly find an 8-legged beast on my leg. Actually, I did just that a few days ago. Fortunately for me it was just a wolf spider and not a black widow. While I live in the Tri-state area I couldn’t be too surprised if I had. But now, the chances of that are even better than they were a few years ago. Or every before! Black widow spiders are spreading ever further north because of global warming.
PRIVATE CITIZENS HELPED MAP ARACHNIDS MARCH NORTH WITH GLOBAL WARMING
Black widow spider bites can cause some pretty serious pain for those bitten. And by serious pain, think serious pain. This isn’t like a hornet or bee sting kind of thing. But thanks to a research team all the way up in Montreal’s McGill University, we know about this creeping migration north. The research made use of something fairly new, citizen scientists with smartphones. These citizen scientists started contributing observations back in 1990. But in recent years their input got much stronger with cell phone pictures with location data. With this new “field” research team of involved amateurs, scientists were able to create the first reliable maps of changing spider habitat.
IF BITTEN, SEEK MEDICAL HELP, ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS
Black widow spiders reach into the north is dependent on just how hot the three warmest months of each year are. So you can make a sure bet the last few decades have provided a nice, warm path north for these painful little beasts. So be aware! Black widow spider bites are two puncture marks next to each other on your skin. The bite location will be painful at first. But that pain will then spread to your chest, belly, or even your entire body. Adults are usually not at risk of death from a black widow bite. But the severe pain and muscle contractions are serious. Kids and the elderly should seek immediate medical treatment. But it’s recommended for everyone bitten to get checked out.
Isn’t global warming fun in so many ways?