Brown Widow Spider Population Rising in SoCal

Less-deadly variant of the widow family reportedly pushing its deadlier black widow cousin out of the region, experts report.

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.

"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.

Susanne Heidt July 06, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Yup! They've been showing up outside my home in the Valley since 2008. That year was really bad. Egg sacks on my porch and hundreds of baby spiders and adults hiding out by the potted plants. It took me a while to figure out what they were. I currently have 2 egg sacks in my mailbox. They're actually quite beautiful, although I'm not a big fan of venomous spiders.


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