Be on the lookout for black widows as we get closer to the official first day of summer here near Tyler, Texas.

There's a chance you may see more of them than usual due to the large amount of rain we've had, along with temperatures creeping up.

As a kid, I had a healthy fear of eight-legged creatures. Whether it was from the stories I was reading at the time, lessons from school, or warnings from my parents, I tended to stay away from spiders.

These days, I have learned to have more of an appreciation for spiders. Well, 'respect' may be a better word. However, there are one or two spiders for which I neither have respect nor appreciation. One of those is the black widow spider.

Perhaps it's because of that stunning red hourglass pattern black widow female spiders have on their abdomens. That alone basically screams 'danger!'

But no, it's the sharp, pain-inducing venomous bites they give when they feel threatened--or you put your hand in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A meteorologist from KLTV in East Texas shared a warning we may want to heed.

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Meteorologist Cody Gottschalk said he was going out to mow his lawn recently when he encountered a black widow--and a big one. (That's not something most of us want to hear.)

Gottschalk said he 'reached for where the handlebar was, [and he] noticed something scurrying, and sure enough, it was probably the biggest black widow [he'd] ever seen.”

Even though he 'loves spiders,' Gottschalk knew he couldn't leave a black widow hanging around his property.

Yeah, and we don't need to leave any hanging around our properties, either.

Please be on the lookout. In addition to having pest control treat your property, you may want to get extra advice from them when they visit.

Black widows tend to be solitary and build asymmetrical webs in dark areas. You may want to clean out under outdoor furniture and structures more often and carry a flashlight when outdoors at night.

Tips to Prevent Spider Bites

No one likes to get bug bites, especially from spiders. After all, we're told from a young age that some spiders are deadly. Besides that, they can be uncomfortable and swell up.

But there are ways to help prevent yourself from getting bit in the first place. Here are ten tips from the Washington State Department of Health.

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