Southern California Infested with Brown Widows!

Posted by Tony on July 8th, 2012

Since face-eating and bath-salting have finally jumped the shark, a new trend is beginning to emerge…

Only days ago we reported that the base of Mount St. Helens in Washington is swarming with tent caterpillars.

Insects are now climbing the list of things signaling the apocalypse might actually arrive just in time for Christmas.

The LA Times is reporting that the brown widow spider, not to be outdone by the caterpillars in Washington, have had a recent population explosion that guarantees people living in Southern California will be dealing with the less-poisonous cousin to the black widow on a more frequent basis.

Black widows generally hide in darker places like sheds, woodpiles and under porches. Usually they’re tucked away in places people instinctively don’t go. You can already guess where the next piece of information is going…the brown widow is much more extroverted than its deadlier relative.

Brown widows like to relax in peoples’ things outside. Outdoor patio furniture, plastic playground equipment, under the curled lip of a potted plant, your bbq, your ‘outside shoes’ and in drought-free landscaping. Fortunately out of 72 data sites used to get a better understanding of how big this population explosion is, none of the spiders were found in peoples’ homes.

Since 2003, when the brown widow first began appearing in California, the population has exploded compared to the black widows.

Bright-side? Brown widow spider bites generally hurt initially, burn for a little while and then? Really nothing happens. Carry on.

Down-side? These things like to cluster. Turning over a patio chair you’re sitting in to interrupt a small party of these spiders that dwarf their darker cousins in size? Nature’s way of going “Boo!” and making you paranoid about every nook and crannie in your immediate area.

[LA Times]

  • senorwhack

    Northern California here… and wife vaccumed one up in the house yesterday. We were just talking about how I wasn’t sure of they wereboth black widows cause they were brown. Good to know.

  • busterggi

    Its really nothing to worry about – how many people do you know who have ever been bitten by any kind of spider?

    I’ve come across black widows twice while cleaning out rain gutters and all they wanted to do was to get back into their hiding places.

    btw, I have been bitten by some sort of spider decades ago while riding my bike on a path through some woods when I got my hand wrapped up in its web – not even as bad as a mosquito bite.