Black Widow Spider in the Mailbox

One day when I reached into the mailbox to get the mail, I felt tiny legs tickling the back of my hand and sticky spider webs on my fingers. Clutching the mail, I jerked my hand back and looked into the mailbox to see what kind of spider I had touched.

Immature female Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus sp.) in a mailbox

The spider had the overall shape of a Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus spp.) and it's messy, random sort of web, but it was striped, instead of black.

Immature female Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus sp.)

As the spider moved around in it's web, I saw the characteristic red, hourglass shape on the underside of it's abdomen that identified it as a venomous, female Black Widow Spider. This spider was not yet fully mature, so she still had some of her juvenile striping.

Immature female Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus sp.)

Unfortunately, I was too busy to go buy some bug spray and deal with the spider that day, and the mail had already come by the time I got home the next afternoon. When I opened the mailbox, the Black Widow Spider was frightened and hid inside the pile of mail. I used a narrow shovel to drag the mail out of the mailbox and then scooped it up in the shovel and carried it out to the back porch where it sat for a couple of days to give the spider time to leave. Even then, because of my arachnophobia, I was still too afraid to touch the mail, so I had someone braver than I make sure the spider was gone.