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I grew up in Colorado, and my first experience with BWs was when I was about 6. The caretaker in our apartment complex went hunting, and hung the deer carcass in his garage, which was next to ours. He opened the garage door one day when I was standing there, and the entire carcass was a teeming, solid mass of BWs...believe me, that's an image I have NEVER forgotten!
I have a lot of them in my garden, and we coexist peacefully for the most part. The plastic box that contains my pond pump usually attracts one as a nest site, probably because it's warm and dry. I'm fine with that as long as she backs off whenever I have to clean the filter basket. However, occasionally one will stop hiding, stand up on her hind legs and threaten me (probably when she's defending egg sacs). That means it's time to get out the boiling water. I've only had to do that a couple of times in the past 10 years, though.
I have them in my garden all over the place. (garage, too) My husband kills all I find, and yes, we see the males, too. While removing some rocks in the garden one weekend, we ran across over 10 black widows - killed all but one that got away. We always wear gloves to work outside. Usually (but not always) when we see the male, he is dead in the web. I've never seen a female eating the male. Our population is slowly dwindling down, which I think is a good thing as I would hate for my grandchildren to get bit. As many as I see, I still get spooked every time I run across one.