Brown Widow spiders
One got into my jersey and bit me on the stomach while I was riding. Thought I had slightly pulled a stomach muscle and didn't discover that it was a spider bite until I got home and took off my jersey and this huge dead spider falls out.
Just be aware that these things are all over the place. Same venom as a black widow, they just don't deliver as much on a bite. Check your stuff carefully before putting it on.
Here's a couple articles about their sudden population growth:
Brown widow spiders "taking over" in Southern California - Los Angeles Times
O.C. brown widow spider invasion might muscle black widows aside - Green OC : The Orange County Register
When I lived in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, they were all over the place. Not really a problem--just a little disconcerting!
Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.
Nature is not a sidewalk.
Those things invaded our yard a few years ago and have pretty much displaced the black widows. My wife scours the yard at least once a month with spider spray and typically finds 6-12 brown widows with their distinct spiky egg sac. They seem to like our patio furniture and our kids' plastic toys and playground equipment in the backyard.
I killed about a dozen in my yard towards the end of summer. A few of them built webs and hid in the handles of our trash cans.
I wonder of these would account for the unexplained, sudden wrist sprain I had a few months ago. Didn't really check for any bites.
I found nine spiky egg sacks inside the garden hose spool after i removed the hose to kill a black widow that went inside. Maybe a brown widow laid the egg sacks and got killed by the black widow?
I've found a ton of these in my patio furniture and outdoor pots as well. I generally leave spiders alone, but make a somewhat remorseful exception for widows because of their venom's toxicity.
They hide during the day, but at night spin webs between their daytime hideout spot and the ground, and then sit more or less in the middle of the web, making them easy to spot. To perform an effective widow sweep, just wait until around 9 pm, and inspect around furniture and other "crevice-y" objects with a flashlight, generally within a couple of feet off the ground.
Just don't kill the orb weavers, which also have bulky bodies and spin webs at night, but are pretty much harmless.
Brown Widows and Black Widows have different panic modes. As soon as you touch a Black Widow web, the spider runs to it's hiding spot. Brown Widows drop to the ground in a ball instead. It may be a good way to escape predators, but it is a bad way to escape my foot.
Some good info and cool pictures here:
CISR: Brown Widow Spider
Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.
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I've been finding a lot of these in my trash
can for the last 2 years.
Out where I live we have four different species of Black Widow and Brown Widows. I will often find them living together in my rose bushs and wood piles. I have noticed that Black Widows will run and hide, while Brown Widows will stay and fight.
There has always been lots of Black widows over here (Ventura Co.CA). Very timid / run for cover when they see movement. Recently, I've been coming across Brown widows. It's true, they like to nest on outdoor furniture / trash cans. We even killed one that took up residence inside a hose bibb. Can you image hooking up the hose / taking a drink :>O. All in all, the widows (black/ brown) can easily be identified by there web. Brown or Black. They give me shivers up my spine...
I see lots of brown widows out on the vertical surfaces of stairs, and sidewalks and wall bases. Only at night, when I walk around with a headlamp on. They usually are suspended upside down in their webs, which makes the orange mark on their abdomen fluoresce a bit. They seem to be physically smaller than the black widows I remember finding, and less aggressive when I tweak their webs. I think I'll start killing more of them now, I've been kinda 'selectively' killing them up till now, on the basis that they must be doing something there in the first place. But now, it does seem like their numbers have grown out of proportion, especially since they are actually an invasive species.
I haven't seen a black widow in the neighborhood for some time.
It was interesting reading the 'comments' section of the O.C. paper article. People even manage to politicize a story about spiders. No wonder it's so hard to get anything done.
From everything I've read on Brown Widows, they're supposed to be less aggressive when disturbed, compared to the Blacks. But they like to make their nests in inconvenient places, like under the lip of a plastic trash can (y'know, right where you hook your fingers to pick up the can). They will bite if they're trapped with nowhere to hide, otherwise they try to run away and hide.
I just found a couple of them, each with a nest containing several spikey egg-sacs, in a fairly exposed recess on the front of my plastic trash cans. The egg sacs and one of the spiders just kinda shriveled up and turned black when I turned a propane torch on them -- but the other spider actually made a nice little "POP" when she got the heat.
And, yeah, it's open season for killin' them buggers. They're a non-native, invasive species so the scientists are happy to see them dead.
So, what's a Brown Widow, a spider who hasn't yet a attained Black status?
Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill
Any species unwelcome on my property is "invasive" and my wife hates spiders. This means they all die and I've been killing scores of the little beasts.