Black widows in smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mqiceman, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. mqiceman

    mqiceman Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    I have an old Char Griller smoker with a side firebox that I had done quite a bit of smoking on in the past, but due to new baby and work just hadn't had time to use it in a couple of years.  I decided to bring it out of retirement to smoke up some ribs and a pork butt and discovered a huge wasp nest under the wood shelf.  After killing those suckers and knocking out the nest I opened it up and found a horror show of black widows inside the main cooking compartment - somehow the least desirable pests have decided to make a home out of my poor smoker.

    Anyway, I hate black widows and usually use spray to kill them; obviously, I'm not going to spray poison into my smoker.  I'm thinking of just getting a couple of chimneys worth of lit charcoal into the side firebox and burning them out of there - what do you think?  I would imagine if I get it up to at least 350 or so there is no way they could survive.  Should I be concerned about any remnants of their poison within the smoker after burning them up?
  2. larrym

    larrym Meat Mopper

    no,, there will not be.  The poison is mixed from glands as they bite so to kill them live, there wont be any poison. At least that is what I heard on the animal channel when watching with granddaughter.
  3. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    well, I'm no spider expert but I don't think they leave poison anywhere unless they bite you. I would imagine firing up that smoker with coals and a chunk or two of wood for smoke would make them vacate the area pretty quick and probably take care of any egg sacks or webs left. Just don't do it near the house....
  4. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Got a propane torch?  I'd use that first.  Make sure they can't escape from the SFB (side firebox).  I'd think that if you kill the ones you could see, then  dump some hot lump in (higher temps than briq's) and follow-on with your plans, should be quite sufficient.  As to the residual poisons,  I think they wouldn't survive the torch or lump/briqs playing over the entire interior.   One evening I used my laser temp probe to check the temp of a lump fired grill and it was over 850*s on the exposed surface of the lump. 

    Then, perhaps a good spray/wipedown or two of a sanitizer (you wearing good heavy rubber gloves) should help.  As to the sanitizer, perhaps one of our "pro's" with more knowledge in this area can offer that answer.  I'd be inclined to go with a mixture of bleach and water, sprayed on first, then .......

    Then, just because it's me, I'd run a hot lump firing of about 1 hour or so, just to be sure.

    It's early in the day of your post.  Others, more knowledgeable then I, might have better solutions, but it's kinda hard to top flame from a torch as a sanitizer.

  5. Mmmmm. Smoked spiders. I burn up insects all the time. It hasn't a-a-a-a-a-affected me y-y-y-y-y-yet.
  6. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I have never heard of Black Widows ganging up. They are pretty much loners...Anyway just kill them and do not worry about any leftover poison...your safe...I used to catch them and sell them on the net for 5bucks each...
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  7. larrym

    larrym Meat Mopper

    Did you smoke them first,, apple wood or maybe cherry ?  Would have to be something delicate,, maybe pecan wood is best :)
  8. You're fine whatever you do so long as you don't get actually bitten by a female. The poison is a neurotoxin and it's only dangerous if it gets into your bloodstream. Burn them to your heart's content. I for one would probably just put  the sprayer on the hose and flush them out as I like my meat smoked with wood not spiders.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would think burning coals in the firebox would be too gradual to kill them in the main chamber, because they would leave as it started getting too hot.

    I like Dave's idea with the propane torch, but if it was me, as much as I love spiders, my smoker would be full of 10 gage shotgun holes by now!!!!

    Yikes !!!!!

  10. mqiceman

    mqiceman Newbie

    Thanks all for your comments; I had always thought black widows were loners too, but found 3 separate webs in there with fat bloated widows in them - a bit strange, I haven't found any others around the house, just in the smoker.  I think I'll burn them up, hose the whole thing down and use some bleach to really sanitize everything before I actually put food in there. 
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Take a pic.....

    Curiosity has got the best of me!

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah---Go ahead---I'll keep one eye closed, so I don't get the whole view!!!

  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Wow, I thought mosquito's & fly's were a problem down here.

    I guess you learned your lesson. 

    You need to be smoking every weekend so those nasty critters won't inhabit your smoker.

    Get your priorities in order!   [​IMG]
  14. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We have them here too.  They are not that dangerous because they are so reclusive.  They love wood piles and other undisturbed debris.  If they were in the smoker, they are elsewhere too, just not so visible.

    I would fire her up and not worry about where they go.  If any escape, they probably aren't the only ones in your environment. When I come across them I just squash them with a work glove on.  LOL

    Good luck and good smoking.
  15. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    What Merv said, ...just squash 'em with a work glove on and include the before and after pics with the Q-view you are going to post this weekend.   [​IMG]


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