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Brown Widow Spider Population Rising in SoCal

The less-deadly variant of the widow family is reportedly pushing its deadlier black widow cousin out of the region.

While a non-native species of spider is seeing a rise in Southern California, experts say the influx of the venomous arachnids may not be as bad as it sounds.

Experts have found 20 times more brown widow spiders in the Los Angeles basin in a recent survey, according to an article by the investigative journalism organization California Watch, which states:

The brown widows really burst onto the scene in a very short time, and we found brown widows in many habitats where we expected to find black widows," said Richard Vetter, an entomologist at UC Riverside and author of the study. "There may be some competition where brown widows are displacing black widows because there is some habitat overlap.

Brown widows typically like to reside in areas that humans frequently come into contact with, such as trash can lids, the lips of potted plants, wood piles and underneath flat areas of outdoor furniture.

Marie Malahi July 10, 2012 at 01:05 AM
After living in So Cal for 20 years and NEVER saw a brown or black widow even with a huge backyard, this past fall I encountered a huge number of brown widows on our concrete area of backyard. I killed in one night 43. 43! I still killed more after that, but that one night definitely lowered numbers dramatically. They were on chairs, under chairs, under kids toys including riding toys, along planters and other places. Sadly I found 2 Black widows just recently in places my kids could have easily come in contact with them. Any messy web you find is usually a black or brown widow. Brown widows can be found out in the day and many times with the belly up exposing the red hour glass. Mine were darker than the picture shown, but legs have the bands of color like the picture. Egg sacs are beige with spikes on them. Destroy the egg sacs if you find them. They are less aggressive and tend to drop off web and run away, but will bite in some cases. They are more poisonous, but inject less venom and bite is smaller so it does not affect the person as much. Still dangerous enough to kill NO sprays work to repel them. Glass cleaner works to drop them and slow them down to kill.
Pookie J somelastname July 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Since brown widows are not medically important I wouldn't have much concern. Black widows give me a small concern when they are around playgrounds and such like but they serve an important function and there is no need to go out and kill them if they are isolated. I'd rather hit a "religious missionary" with a stick than a spider doing his (or her) job.

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