Girl finds 2 black widow spiders in her Madison backyard


MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — In a small pile of rocks in her Madison backyard 7-year-old Payton Mascari spotted a not so itsy bitsy spider a few days ago.

“I saw something black and it was shiny,” said Payton. She said it was, “Creepy and scary.”

It was the second one to visit the Mascari family. Another one was spotted on the swing-set earlier in the week. Payton did what many kids would do. She locked it in a mason jar and named her, Sarah.

“She’s just hanging there in her web,” Payton said as she stared at the jar.

Scientists call Sarah latrodectus variolus also known as a Northern Black Widow. Entomologist Dr. Gale Ridge estimates there’s probably a handful around this Madison neighborhood.

“They’re very rare and they’re very shy,” said Dr. Ridge.

She says they don’t typically like swing-sets. They hide out in stonewalls and that’s exactly what they like to do so it is uncommon to see one.

Ridge says their diet, makes them our friends.

“If it wasn’t for spiders we’d all be six feet deep in flied world wide,” said Ridge.

They can bite and have venom, but Ridge says they’re not aggressive and don’t do a lot of damage.

“Many cases they will actually dry bite. They won’t actually introduce venom,” said Ridge.

“Even if they say it’s not. I don’t want to take any chances with my kids,” said Payton’s Mother, Melanie.

Sarah isn’t bugging Payton. She’s thinking of bringing her to show and tell.

“I’ll tell everybody what it is and stuff,” Payton said.

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