The Types of Outdoor Clutter that Attract Black Widow Spiders

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As homeowners, we all want to enjoy our outdoor spaces without worrying about the presence of dangerous pests like black widow spiders. These venomous arachnids are commonly found in cluttered outdoor areas, posing a serious threat to our health and safety. But what exactly attracts these spiders to our outdoor areas, and how can we prevent an infestation? In this article, we will explore the answer to these questions and provide step-by-step solutions to keep your outdoor spaces black widow spider-free. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started!

What are Black Widow Spiders?

What Are Black Widow Spiders?
Black Widow Spiders are among the most well-known spiders in the world, and for good reason. These arachnids are notorious for their potentially deadly venom and have become synonymous with fear and danger. Despite their intimidating reputation, Black Widow Spiders play an important role in the ecosystem. In this section, we will delve deeper into these spiders, exploring their physical characteristics, dangers, and habitat preferences. You’ll also learn where to search for them and how to prevent them from invading your home or yard. So, let’s get started!

Description of Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow spiders are well-known, venomous spiders that are among the most feared spiders in the world. They belong to the Latrodectus genus of spiders, which consists of 32 recognized species. These spiders are found in temperate climates around the world, including North America, South America, Africa, and Australia.

The adult female Black Widow spider is the most recognized, with its glossy black body and distinctive red hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of its abdomen. The male Black Widow spider is smaller than the female and has a lighter coloration, often with yellow or red markings. Both males and females have eight long, thin legs.

Black Widow spiders are nocturnal and are most active at night. They are commonly found in dark, dry, and protected areas such as sheds, garages, woodpiles, cluttered areas, and debris piles. They spin irregular webs which resemble a tangled mess of threads and they can be found near their webs. Their webs are usually not very big, about one to two feet across, but they are very strong and sticky.

These spiders are highly venomous and can cause serious complications in humans when they bite. The venom contains a neurotoxin that directly affects the nervous system. A Black Widow spider bite can cause pain, muscle stiffness, cramps, and in severe cases, nausea, sweating, and respiratory distress within two hours following the bite. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if bitten by a Black Widow spider.

FACT: Black Widow spiders prefer dark, dry, and isolated places. They commonly inhabit cluttered and neglected areas such as woodpiles, debris piles, and cluttered garages or sheds. It is important to keep these areas clean and well-maintained to avoid infestations.

To learn more about common spots where Black Widow spiders can be found, check out our article on common Black Widow spots.

Why are They Dangerous?

Black Widow Spiders are considered dangerous mainly due to their venomous bites. They are not inherently aggressive towards people or other animals and tend to retreat when disturbed, but their bites can cause severe health issues. In fact, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, black widow spider venom is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake, making it one of the most potent venoms of any spider species found in North America.

Black Widow Spider venom contains a potent neurotoxin that can cause muscle pain and spasms, cramps, abdominal pain, and chills. The symptoms may vary depending on the age and health of the victim, as well as the amount of venom injected. However, some people may experience severe reactions, such as breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, and seizures. It’s essential to seek medical attention immediately if one is bitten by a black widow spider.

Here is a table summarizing the dangerous effects of black widow spiders’ venom:

Symptoms of Black Widow Spider Bite Severity
Muscle pain and spasms Moderate
Cramps Moderate
Abdominal pain Moderate
Chills Moderate
Breathing difficulties Severe
High blood pressure Severe
Fast heart rate Severe
Seizures Severe

It’s important to note that black widow spider bites can be especially dangerous for children, the elderly, and individuals with weak immune systems. Prevention and early detection are crucial to avoid serious health issues.

Why Do Black Widow Spiders Invade Your Home?

Why Do Black Widow Spiders Invade Your Home?
Many people are horrified at the thought of black widow spiders sneaking into their homes. It’s not uncommon to find one or two black widow spiders in your garage, basement, or attic. But have you ever wondered why black widow spiders invade your home in the first place? Understanding the reasons behind their intrusion can help you take the necessary steps to prevent infestation. Let’s dive deeper into the reasons why black widow spiders may enter your home and how you can keep them at bay. Want to know how to search for black widow spiders in your yard? Read our article on searching for black widow spiders in your yard.

What Attracts Black Widow Spiders?

Black widow spiders are attracted to a variety of things, particularly dark and damp areas. They are also drawn to places that provide easy access to prey, such as insects and other spiders. One of the main things that attract black widow spiders are cluttered outdoor areas. Here are some outdoor clutter items that are particularly attractive to them:

  • Firewood Stacks: Black widow spiders find stacked firewood to be an ideal place to live. The wood is often dark and moist and provides an excellent hiding place. They may spin webs both on and around the woodpile, and the warmth of the wood makes it a good spot to catch their prey.
  • Piles of Leaves or Sticks: Black widow spiders love piles of organic debris such as leaves and sticks. Not only does it provide them cover, but the moist environment helps keep them hydrated. Make sure to clear up any piles of organic debris in your yard as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of black widow infestations.
  • Unused Garden Equipment: Insects and spiders can make a home in old garden equipment such as pots, wheelbarrows, and empty planters. If these items are left outside in the yard for too long, they can become the perfect home for black widows, especially if they are sitting in a damp or shady area of the yard.
  • Cluttered Garages or Sheds: Black widows love dark and cluttered places, making garages and sheds prime real estate for them. If you want to avoid an infestation, keep your garage or shed clutter-free and well-lit. This will help reduce the number of dark corners where they can hide.
  • Overgrown Landscaping: Overgrown landscaping is not only an eyesore but a major attractant for black widow spiders. Overgrown bushes and trees provide ample hiding places for the spiders. Trim back any overgrown landscaping around the perimeter of your home to reduce the risk of infestation.

It’s important to note that black widow spiders not only set up nests in outdoor clutter but can also create their webs in unexpected places such as outdoor furniture and toys. Keeping your outdoor areas clean and free of clutter is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of black widow infestation.

What is Their Preferred Habitat?

Black Widow Spiders are commonly found in warm areas, especially in the southern United States. Their preferred habitat is typically outdoors, where they can build their webs undisturbed. Black Widow Spiders can be found in a variety of locations, but they tend to prefer dark and sheltered spaces.

In order to better understand the preferred habitat of Black Widow Spiders, let’s take a look at the following table:

Preferred Habitat Reasons Why
Dark and quiet areas Black Widow Spiders tend to avoid areas with a lot of foot traffic or noise. They prefer undisturbed areas where they can build their webs in peace.
Sheltered spaces Black Widow Spiders prefer to build their webs in spaces that are sheltered from the wind and weather. This can include areas like under eaves, in woodpiles, or in cluttered spaces like garages and sheds.
Damp spaces While Black Widow Spiders can survive in a variety of conditions, they prefer areas with higher humidity levels. This can include damp basements, crawl spaces, or areas with poor ventilation.
Easy access to prey Black Widow Spiders are predators and need a reliable source of food to survive. They tend to prefer areas where prey, such as other insects, are plentiful.

It’s important to note that while Black Widow Spiders do prefer outdoor habitats, they can also be found indoors in areas that meet their preferred conditions. This is why it’s important to take steps to prevent an infestation both indoors and outdoors.


What Types of Outdoor Clutter Attract Black Widow Spiders?

What Types Of Outdoor Clutter Attract Black Widow Spiders?
Have you ever considered how the outdoor clutter around your house could be attracting black widow spiders? Black widows are a venomous species that usually prefer to build their nests outside. They are attracted to certain types of clutter and hiding places that provide them with an ideal environment for nesting. In this section, we will discuss the different types of outdoor clutter that can attract black widow spiders and offer tips for preventing infestations. Learn how to keep your outdoor spaces safe from black widow spiders by reading on.

1. Firewood Stacks

When it comes to attracting black widow spiders, a common culprit is firewood stacks. It’s important to properly store firewood to prevent an infestation of these dangerous spiders. Black widows tend to hide in the crevices and holes of the logs, making it easy for them to go unnoticed until it’s too late.

To prevent an infestation, consider the following tips for storing firewood:

Tip Description
Cover firewood Use a tarp or cover to keep the firewood dry. This will also make it more difficult for black widow spiders to access the logs.
Elevate firewood Store firewood at least 18 inches off the ground to prevent access for spiders and other pests.
Inspect firewood Before bringing firewood inside, inspect it for spiders, eggs, and webs. This will prevent the spiders from entering the home.
Store firewood away from the house Place firewood at least 20 feet away from the home to prevent spiders from crawling onto the house and finding their way inside.

By taking these steps, you can enjoy a cozy fire without attracting black widow spiders. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to preventing infestations of dangerous spiders. If you have children who enjoy playing outdoors, make sure to read our article on black widow spider risks during outdoor play to keep them safe.

2. Piles of Leaves or Sticks

Piles of leaves or sticks can be an attractive hiding place for black widow spiders. These piles of outdoor clutter provide the perfect environment for the spiders to weave their webs, hide from predators, and lay their eggs. Black widow spiders are more likely to infest areas where the leaves and sticks have been left untouched for a long period of time.

To prevent black widow spiders from infesting piles of leaves or sticks, it is essential to keep these areas clear and tidy. This can be done by regularly raking up any dead leaves or sticks and either disposing of them or adding them to a compost pile. Another effective method is to store leaves and sticks in containers that can be properly sealed.

It is important to wear gloves when handling any piles of leaves or sticks, as this can help prevent bites from black widow spiders that may be hiding inside. When cleaning up these piles of debris, it is also recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to prevent skin exposure.

Consider replacing the piles of leaves or sticks with decorative stones or mulch. These can add aesthetic appeal to your yard while also discouraging black widow spiders from making their homes there.

It is essential to keep outdoor furniture such as chairs and tables clean and clear of outdoor clutter. Black widow spiders are known to hide in the crevices and corners of outdoor furniture, particularly if the furniture hasn’t been used for an extended period of time. Regular cleaning and maintenance of outdoor furniture can help prevent black widow spiders from making their homes there.

It’s worth noting that black widow spiders may also hide in piles of firewood. We have a separate article about the dangers of black widow spiders in firewood piles.

3. Unused Garden Equipment

When it comes to attracting black widow spiders, unused garden equipment can be a major culprit. Items like unattended gardening tools, wheelbarrows, and planters can create a perfect environment for black widows to build their webs and lay eggs. The dark and undisturbed areas within the equipment can be the perfect hiding spot for these venomous spiders.

To prevent black widow spiders from nesting in your garden equipment, it is essential to keep everything tidy and stored away properly. Here are some steps you can take to prevent an infestation:

  • Clean Up: Start by cleaning your garden equipment, removing any debris, and trimming back any nearby vegetation. Black widows like to hide in debris, so keep everything neat and tidy.
  • Store Equipment Properly: Once you have cleaned everything up, make sure to store your garden equipment in a secure location. Ideally, you want to keep garden equipment in a shed or garage with tightly sealed doors and windows.
  • Check Equipment Before Use: Before using any of your garden equipment, give it a quick check to make sure there are no black widow spiders lurking inside. Wear gloves and use a flashlight to help you see.

By following these simple steps, you can prevent black widow spiders from nesting in your garden equipment and potentially infesting your yard. Keep your outdoor spaces clean and tidy, and always check for spider nests before handling any garden tools.

Remember that black widow spiders prefer dark, undisturbed areas, so keeping clutter to a minimum is essential. Ensure any unused garden equipment and tools are cleaned and stored properly in a location that is inaccessible to spiders. By doing so, you can reduce the likelihood of an infestation and keep your family safe from these dangerous spiders.

If you want to learn more about outdoor clutter that attracts black widow spiders, check out our article on Black Widow Spider Clutter.

4. Cluttered Garages or Sheds

Cluttered garages or sheds can be a haven for Black Widow Spiders. These spiders are attracted to dark, quiet places where they can spin their webs undisturbed and catch insects for food. The items we store in our garages or sheds can provide the ideal environment for these types of spiders.

Here are some examples of clutter that can attract black widow spiders:

Clutter Items Description Potential Solutions
Boxes and storage containers Stacked boxes and other containers provide plenty of hiding spots for the spiders Organize your storage areas and use plastic storage bins with tight-fitting lids
Cardboard Black widow spiders are known to hang out in empty cardboard boxes and other paper products Recycle cardboard materials as soon as possible and do not store them in the garage or shed
Trash and debris Discarded debris and trash can create dark and damp places for black widow spiders to hide Make a conscious effort to keep your garage or shed clean and dispose of any trash on a regular basis
Unused equipment Unused tools and garden equipment often go unused and undisturbed for long periods of time, providing the perfect habitat for black widow spiders Store unused equipment in sealed plastic storage containers, or sell or donate items you no longer use

Keeping your garage or shed tidy and organized is crucial for preventing black widow spider infestations. Eliminating cluttered areas where these spiders can lay their webs and nest will reduce the risk of bites and keep you and your family safe.

If you want more information on outdoor clutter that attracts black widow spiders, check out our article on outdoor black widows.

5. Overgrown Landscaping

One of the factors that can attract black widow spiders to your yard is overgrown landscaping. This includes tall grass, bushes, and trees that are not regularly maintained. Black widow spiders may build their nests in these areas, and having them close to your home increases the risk of an infestation.

It is important to regularly trim and prune the landscaping in your yard to prevent the overgrowth that attracts black widow spiders. Keep your lawn mowed and maintain a distance of at least a foot between your landscaping and your home’s foundation. This will reduce the risk of black widow spiders entering your home.

To further protect your home, it is also recommended to seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s exterior, including those around windows and doors, to prevent spiders from finding a way inside.

It is important to note that if you do find black widow spiders or their nests in your yard, it is best to contact a professional pest control company to safely remove them. Trying to remove them yourself can be dangerous and should be avoided.

You can also take preventative measures by using insecticides. However, it is important to use them with caution, following the instructions on the label carefully and keeping them out of reach of children and pets.

One last important note: Do not use any of the overgrown landscaping as storage for outdoor clutter, such as furniture or firewood piles. This attracts black widow spiders even more, increasing the chances of an infestation. For more information on the dangers of outdoor clutter, please see our article on black widow spider nests in your yard and firewood stacks.

How to Prevent an Infestation of Black Widow Spiders

You never want to share your home with black widow spiders. Preventing an infestation will save you from the dangers and discomfort caused by these venomous creatures. Here are some effective strategies you can use to protect your home and surrounding areas from black widows. From keeping your yard tidy to hiring a professional pest control company, you can take several steps to ensure that these spiders stay away from your property. Let’s take a closer look at how to keep these unwelcome guests away for good. And if you’re concerned about black widows hiding in your outdoor furniture, check out our article on how to protect yourself.

1. Keep Your Yard Tidy

When it comes to preventing an infestation of Black Widow Spiders, one of the easiest things you can do is to keep your yard tidy. Black Widow Spiders are attracted to clutter and debris, so by keeping your yard clean and tidy, you’ll make it less attractive to these dangerous spiders.

Here are some ways you can keep your yard tidy and reduce the chances of an infestation:

Actions to Take Description
Remove Debris Black Widow Spiders love to hide in piles of debris, such as fallen leaves, branches, and grass clippings. By removing this debris from your yard, you’ll make it less attractive to these spiders.
Trim Shrubs and Trees Overgrown trees and shrubs can provide shelter for Black Widow Spiders. By keeping them trimmed back, you’ll remove this shelter and make it harder for them to hide in your yard.
Keep Your Lawn Mowed Black Widow Spiders are less likely to live in a well-maintained lawn. Mowing your grass regularly will not only make your yard less attractive to these spiders, but it will also improve the overall appearance of your yard.
Remove Clutter Black Widow Spiders can hide in cluttered areas, such as old toys, garden tools, and other miscellaneous items. By removing this clutter, you’ll make it harder for them to find a place to hide and make a home.

By following these tips, you can keep your yard clean and tidy, reducing the chance of a Black Widow Spider infestation. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so take action now to keep your family and pets safe from these dangerous spiders.

2. Seal Cracks and Crevices

When it comes to preventing an infestation of Black Widow Spiders, sealing cracks and crevices around your home is a crucial step. Black Widows are very agile and can get into small spaces, so it’s important to be thorough in your sealing process. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Tip Description
1 Inspect the exterior of your home for any possible entry points, such as gaps around doors and windows, holes in your walls, or gaps in your foundation.
2 Use a sealant to close up any cracks or crevices that you find. You may need to use several types of sealant depending on the location and size of the gap.
3 For larger gaps, consider using expanding foam or wire mesh to fill the space before applying a sealant.
4 Make sure to seal gaps around pipes and cables that enter your home, as well as the area around your air conditioning unit.
5 Check your attic and basement for any openings that may need to be sealed. These areas can be especially vulnerable to spider infestations.

Remember, even the smallest gap can provide an entryway for a Black Widow Spider. By carefully inspecting and sealing your home’s exterior, you can help prevent these dangerous spiders from entering your living space.

3. Store Firewood Properly

Proper storage of firewood is essential in preventing an infestation of black widow spiders. These spiders often use woodpiles as a hiding spot to spin their webs, and the warmth emanating from the woodpile can also be attractive to them. Below are steps to ensure your firewood is stored correctly:

Step Action
1 Store firewood away from the house. Keep your woodpile at least 20 feet away from your home to ensure that any black widow spiders are not tempted to invade your living quarters. Plus, this can also prevent the risk of fire hazards in the case of an accidental spark.
2 Elevate the woodpile. Place the firewood on a raised platform or wooden pallet so it is not directly on the ground. This not only prevents moisture from seeping into the wood but also makes it less attractive to black widow spiders since it’s more difficult to climb onto.
3 Use a cover to prevent contact. Cover the woodpile with a tarp or plastic sheeting so that spiders, other pests, and water cannot access the wood. However, remember to leave the sides of the woodpile open to dry and prevent moisture build-up.
4 Rotate your firewood If left unused for a long time, the firewood can become moist, attracting pests like black widow spiders and termites. Rotate your woodpile frequently to keep wood dry and in good condition.

By following these steps, you can store firewood properly and prevent black widow spiders from using your woodpile as a home, making your home safer and more inviting.

4. Use Insecticides

One effective way to prevent an infestation of black widow spiders is by using insecticides. There are various types of insecticides available in the market that can help eliminate these dangerous pests.

Types of Insecticides

Before using any type of insecticide, it is important to understand its effectiveness and safety. Here are some common types of insecticides that can be used to control black widow spider infestations:

Type of Insecticide Description Effectiveness Safety
Bio-Insecticides Made from natural sources like plants or bacteria Effective for targeted pests, eco-friendly, and low toxicity Safe for humans and pets, some may cause irritation on contact
Residual Insecticides Long-acting chemicals that can keep killing pests for weeks or months Effective against a wide range of pests, can provide residual protection Can be toxic to humans and pets, should be applied with care
Contact Insecticides Fast-acting chemicals that kill on contact Effective for quick knockdown, low toxicity Safe for humans and pets, should be used in well-ventilated areas

How to Use Insecticides

When using insecticides, it is important to follow the instructions carefully. Always wear gloves, long-sleeved clothing, and a mask to avoid contact with the chemical. Here are some general tips for using insecticides:

  1. Identify the infested area: Black widow spiders typically hide in dark and secluded areas, such as corners, cracks, and crevices. Identify the areas where spiders are most likely to be hiding.
  2. Choose the right insecticide: Select an insecticide that is labeled for use against black widow spiders. If you are unsure, consult a pest control professional.
  3. Apply the insecticide: Follow the instructions on the label and apply the insecticide to the infested areas. Be sure to treat the entire area, including corners, cracks, and crevices.
  4. Monitor the results: Check the treated areas regularly to ensure that the infestation has been eliminated. If you find any spiders or webs, reapply the insecticide.
  5. Dispose of chemicals: Dispose of any leftover insecticide and containers according to the instructions on the label. Do not pour chemicals down the drain or in the garbage.


Using insecticides can be an effective way to prevent an infestation of black widow spiders. However, it is important to choose the right type of insecticide and follow the instructions carefully. If you are unsure or have a large infestation, it is recommended to hire a professional pest control company. Remember, prevention is the key to keeping your home safe from these dangerous pests.

5. Hire a Professional Pest Control Company

When it comes to dealing with a potential black widow spider infestation, calling in a professional pest control company may be the most effective option. These companies have the knowledge and experience needed to identify and eliminate black widow spider infestations safely and thoroughly.

Here are some reasons why hiring a professional pest control company is beneficial:

  • Expertise: Pest control professionals have the training and expertise to identify the signs of a black widow spider infestation, as well as other pests that may be present. They can provide a thorough inspection of your home and property, and develop a customized treatment plan to eliminate the spiders.
  • Proper Equipment and Treatments: Pest control companies have access to specialized equipment and treatments that are more effective than store-bought products. They know how to safely apply these treatments to get rid of black widow spiders and prevent them from coming back.
  • Safety: Dealing with black widow spiders can be dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with their behavior and biology. Professional pest control technicians are trained to handle these spiders safely, using protective gear and precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
  • Long-Term Solutions: Pest control companies don’t just eliminate the immediate problem – they also work to prevent future issues. By identifying the sources of the infestation and implementing long-term solutions, such as sealing cracks and crevices and eliminating clutter, they can help keep your home spider-free in the future.

If you’re dealing with an infestation of black widow spiders, it’s important to take action as soon as possible to protect your family and pets. While there are steps you can take on your own to prevent and control infestations, hiring a professional pest control company is often the most effective solution. Be sure to choose a company with a good reputation and experience dealing with black widow spiders specifically.


After learning about the possible dangers of Black Widow Spiders and the types of outdoor clutter that attract them, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid infestation. By keeping your yard tidy and removing piles of leaves, sticks, and unused garden equipment, you can reduce the likelihood of attracting these spiders to your home. Sealing cracks and crevices, storing firewood properly, using insecticides, and hiring a professional pest control company are further steps that can be taken.

It’s important to note that even if you take all these preventative measures, it’s still possible for Black Widow Spiders to make their way into your home. Therefore, it’s important to know how to identify them and take immediate action if you come across one.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a Black Widow Spider, seek medical attention immediately. Black Widow bites can cause serious symptoms, including muscle cramps and spasms, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing.

Overall, prevention is key when it comes to avoiding an infestation of Black Widow Spiders. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can keep your home safe and spider-free all year round.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can black widow spiders live indoors?

Yes, black widow spiders can live both indoors and outdoors. They tend to prefer dry, dark, and cluttered areas. So, indoor storage areas, basements, and closets are some common places they can be found.

2. How do I identify a black widow spider?

Black widow spiders are typically black or dark brown in color, with a shiny, globular abdomen. The female’s abdomen often has a red or yellow hourglass-shaped marking on the underside.

3. Are black widow bites fatal?

While black widow bites can be very painful and potentially dangerous, fatalities are rare. However, immediate medical attention should be sought if bitten, especially for children or those with weakened immune systems.

4. Are there any natural ways to prevent black widow infestations?

Keeping your outdoor area tidy and eliminating clutter such as piles of leaves or sticks can help prevent black widow spider infestations. Additionally, planting peppermint or eucalyptus plants around your property can help deter spiders from coming close.

5. Can black widow spiders climb walls?

Yes, black widow spiders have the ability to climb walls and other surfaces using their strong legs and adhesive pads on their feet.

6. How do I properly store firewood to prevent black widow infestation?

Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet away from your home, on a raised platform such as cinder blocks, and covered with a tarp to protect it from rain and moisture.

7. Can insecticides get rid of black widow spiders?

Yes, insecticides can be effective in eliminating black widow spiders. However, it is important to use them carefully and follow all safety instructions provided by the product manufacturer.

8. How often should I inspect my home for black widow spiders?

It is recommended to inspect your home and outdoor areas for signs of black widow spider activity at least once every few months, especially before the start of each season.

9. How do I seal cracks and crevices to prevent black widow spiders from entering my home?

Using caulk or silicone sealant to fill in any gaps or cracks around doorways, windows, pipes, and electrical wires can prevent black widow spiders from entering your home.

10. Should I attempt to remove a black widow spider myself?

No, it is not recommended to attempt to remove a black widow spider yourself. Instead, seek the assistance of a professional pest control company to handle the situation safely and effectively.


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