Brown Widow Spiders Invade Southern California
The Black Widow’s Cousin is Coming to Town.
In a new study, researchers have discovered that brown widows could be taking over the black widow’s territory in Southern California. These spiders started appearing in west American territory in the early 2000s and have exploded onto the SoCal scene. Entomologists are now speculating that the spider could be making its way north into Central California.
Good and Bad News for Residents
The good news is brown widow spider bites are far less toxic than that of their cousins. Their bites typically burn and leave a red mark, but researchers speculate the reason for the less toxic bites has to do with the spider’s inability to inject large doses of venom into its victim.
The bad news is researchers found 20 times as many brown widow spiders as black widow spiders outside homes at 72 sites. Where’d they find them? Outdoor tables, underneath chairs, and tiny spaces in walls and fences, which means residents should be warier of where they stick their hands. However, residents of SoCal can sleep easy knowing that no spiders were found in the living spaces of houses.
What’s going to Happen to the Black Widow?
Researcher, Richard Vetter, says, "There may be some competition where brown widows are displacing black widows because there is some habitat overlap. There are also places where only brown widows were able to make homes, but in other habitats the black widows still predominate."
This study was published in the July issues of the Journal of Medical Entomology.
If you’re concerned about brown widow spiders or any other creepy arachnids invading your home, be sure to check out our spiders page .