Brown Widow Spider
Did you know that there are four types of Widow Spiders in Florida? They are the Northern Black Widow Spider, the Southern Widow Spider, the Red Widow Spider, and the Brown Widow Spider which will discuss in more detail below.
Although the venom of these spiders is not as toxic as the Black Widow, they are still very painful and can cause serious injury if not treated.
Because brown widow spiders (Latrodectus Geometricus) can vary from light tan to dark brown or almost black and may have different markings such as white, black, yellow, brown, and even orange on the back of their abdomen, they are tough to recognize! The picture below is of the red widow spider.
Brown Widow Egg Sac
You’ll notice the hourglass marking on the bottom of the abdomen, colored yellow or orange. The Egg Sac of the brown widow spider is not the same as other widows and has pointed projections, much like the old sea mines.
If you have pictures of this spider or believe a Brown Widow has bitten you, please post your comments below and send the photos to the email address at the bottom of this page.
I just recently moved into my apartment in Wesley Chapel FL, and I have just noticed 3 fairly small brownish spiders with large white backs…I’m not sure if it is a brown widow but after about 4hrs of research and reading all these blogs I’m pretty sure it is. It looks almost identical to #57 and #83. I finally got the courage to scoop one up into a plastic bag after killing it….well lol…i didn’t have bug spray so i used extra firm hold hairspray and sprayed about 3/4 of the can…so hes either dead or stuck!! Anyways, i cant really see an hourglass on his stomach…but he looks basically identical to the photos. Im really concerned because i have a one month old baby boy, and a 4yr old daughter and a min pin. The 3 that i drowned in hairspray were right above my apartment door. I have searched the hallway outside and saw about 2 more, but i haven’t found any eggs or sacks. I also have not noticed any inside my house and my fear of spiders…well lets just say if they are brown widows, i will probably be moving!!! Im really freaked out and am worried that they will either
We live in central Florida and bought a new home only to find our patio and the underside of our gutters infested with brown widows. They have pointy egg sacs everywhere. We have been told that this area and many other areas across the country are being over run with them. They also told us that unless you are allergic to them that they are not deadly. Just like bees and other insects. Immediate care is important because you don’t know how your body will respond. We have had an exterminator out a few times and we have regular spider hunts and flush the mother out and then destroy the egg sacs. It is scary not knowing how our bodies would react to a bite. We too have children and it had kept our back yard cook outs to a min. Benadryl is good to keep on hand for the possible bad reaction. But just in case seek medical advice right away.
I live in South-Western Missouri, and yesterday found a spider in my shower. It was brown in color and on its back it had like a swiggely line that was light brown to tan in color, and its legs where kinda striped. I noticed it when it was coming down from the shower head with the silk web stuff coming out the back while its coming down, don’t really know what to call it, but thats the best way i can explain it.
Is that what that is? Or, was? Thank you, Google, for helping me identify a Brown Widow Spider. I’ve never seen one before. A rather healthy specimen made it’s home in the handle of my grandmother’s barbecue grill. Sorry spider lovers, but I had to kill it for my grandmother’s sake. I was surprised to see one here, in central California, Tulare County, since I hear they’re from Florida? Glad we didn’t get bit when we moved the grill…
I was bitten by a small spider about an hour ago. I didn’t think anything at first but it started to hurt. Now i am in deep pain and its been 1 1/2. About a week ago i found a baby brown recluse. I just smashed it and bagged it, then threw it away. 2 days later i found another, and i repeated the process. Next day [now im irritated] again another heading from the same direction. So i killed it and grabbed the windex. I moved the coach and saw a very tiny hole in the corner. I grabbed gloves and pulled back the carpet. I saw a very tiny spikey-looking egg sack. I was scared, i sprayed it and 2 crawled out slowly and died. I went around and i sprayed every corner with the windex. I went outside and saw a crack in the wall. I grabbed a lighter and my axe and sprayed the hell out of it. The house im in turns out have been setting empty for 4 years!!! I was mad, and 3 big orange capsuled-looking spiders ran out, all eventually to turn to a crisp. Now back to my bite. On a scale of 1-10 1 being a paper cut, 10 being hit by a car, mine is a 4. I don’t know what to do, but i will update and tell what happens. Wish me luck!!!
They also do seem very dossile
I live in Hayward California which is about 30 mins South of San Francisco and the Brown widow is deffinantly here. This is not the first time I noticed them though. At one point last year, around this same time, I was living in Mateca California and that is where I found them for the first time. My experience with them has been that they are on lawn furntature and on the side of the house. I have seen many sizes, none that dark though, all that I have seen have been what seems to be the text book tanish brown with orange hourglass. I too thought they were a mutated Black Widow when I first saw them, then did research online and found out what they where. If some one can email me with the best guess(since no one seems to know the answer) as to which is more dangeroues Black or Brown, and what is the threat to dogs? We have three, and there are Browns deffinantly in out backyard. Thanks so much.
Oh, I forgot to add… this summer my dog got really sick and almost died. He is a 50 lb. Icelandic Sheepdog (rare in the US.) It started with him limping on one leg, then both his back legs were weak. I thought my son had held him and hurt his legs. Then he got diarrhea & vomited, and would not eat. It finally kicked in that his symptoms were very similar to mine when I was bitten by the Black Widow–neurological, plus stomach like flu.
I have a healing gift I do with people and sometimes animals I call Thought Shifting (TM). So far if an animal was dying I have a 100% success rate at saving them, and I can even remove drug/substance withdrawals. As soon I did this same “cleaning out” process on him (more like a hybrid of what I usually do for animals and the detox part for substance addictions), he immediately started getting better. This convinced me it was some kind of poison, as I had cleared it out of his system, and I stil l suspected a Black Widow bite.
Then, he started chewing on his leg (the first one he was limping on) & pretty soon he took all the hair off and a bite mark was clearly visible. This convinced me he was absolutely bitten by a Widow. Oddly, even though that leg has white fur (he is tri-colored), the round spot he chewed came in black forever marking the spot.
I’m not sure if it was a Black Widow or Brown Widow (I found widow webs under the patio chair he usually sleeps under later on & sprayed it but no spider)–but someone was asking about the pet symptoms so thought I would share. And, he is a decent sized dog.
Also, if your pet happens to get bitten, also thought I’d share I have successfully helped with this. I am convinced he would have died if I had not helped him. I had not even taken him to the vet, because I didn’t know what to tell the vet or how he could help him at first. If you need this help not sure if I can post my website here so Google my name, you will find me all over.
I live in Rancho Santa Margarita, South Orange County, Ca. Today about 1pm (full sun) I opened the door to my large Chevy diesel truck I don’t drive all the time but because I’m moving & prepping a new house I’ve been driving every day for about 1 1/2 weeks. There was a brown spider which looked like a garden spider on the door jamb inside the truck. Well, I usually ‘save’ all but Black Widows (I’ve been bitten in the neck by one hiding in my horse helmet–I was sick for 3 mos no fun). I got a stick & was ready to move the spider, and when I returned it had run off. I started breaking apart the web, and immediately noticed it was quite sticky just like a Black Widow. I had read about (but forgotten) Brown Widows when I was bitten 7+ years ago. I looked & saw a dead male carcass, & knew I was dealing with some kind of Widow.
I grabbed the Hornet Spray & sprayed the entire truck door & jamb, and out it fell. Despite spraying it directly, it continued to move it’s legs in the typical Black Widow attack mode & then tried to run away. I kept spraying, cornered it with a stick, and saved it in a baby food jar thinking I needed to show it to someone. I knew it was a Brown Widow.
Research on the internet, other than this site, seems to indicate this spider is in the Gulf and FL. Clearly, it’s all over. I am typically not freaked out about spiders, even though my Black Widow bite was awful (our local ER, Mission Hospital, unbelievably does not carry anti-venom. I can only imagine as sick as I got-besides my entire right side going numb I had horrible stomach cramps, and then had trouble breathing which took me to the ER…. Anyway, I am about 120 lbs, cannot imagine how a child would react.) But, reading how prolific these guys seem to be has got me concerned that I may be dealing with something more. Oh, and my kids and I were coming in and out of that door multiple times including at dark. I’m not sure if I picked the spider up here, or at my new home in Trabuco Canyon which is more rural. But, I have continued battling spider webs on that wheel well for a while so I suspect it’s been there (and I’m wondering what lies beneath that truck!)
I like the Diatamaceous (?sp) Earth suggestion, I will try it since it’s non toxic. But, I am also going to invest in more bug spray. I have had periodic Black Widows here (1-2 per year), and I’m familiar with their pattern so anything dark gets checked carefully with gloves. I’ve even seen them hang from the garage door spring. (One just a couple months ago which my 6 YO son identified.) But, now I realize the spider outside my front door is a Brown Widow–I thought it was a male Black Widow which I had no problem with since I figured he’d be gone soon enough. And, I have seen what I thought where other “hybrid” Black Widows before, starting a couple years ago.
What is scary about these spiders is so many of them just look like garden spiders from the top. Until she turned over and I saw the orange hourglass…she didn’t even have a large abdomen. Hard to identify. But, I notice something and I would love to have a bug person comment on it. Brown Recluse, Black Widows, and Brown Widows seem to have one thing in common-their legs DO NOT have hair or spines on them & they are all long and thin. I wonder if this might be a clue to a poisonous spider? Snakes have a certain shaped head when they are poisonous. If this is a common theme, may make it easier to identify at least. May not be 100% but could help differentiate from a typical garden spider from the top.
Thanks for providing this site. I sent a “tweet” in Twitter to Channel 7 ABC News, I sure hope they do a story on this. If everyone starts battling them then we may make a dent.
I live in Orlando, FL, and I found a brown widow in my pool area. I didn’t know she was a widow at first because she was such a light brown color. I caught her in a container and did some research, found out she was a brown widow. The same day I caught her, I went back to her old web and found the male brown widow in a web just below her. He was a LOT smaller than her, so much so that at first I didn’t even think he was a widow. I put him in the container with Sheila (what I named her :) ). I have kept her in captivity for 6 months now, feeding her live insects (two huge live dragon flies that she took down, and even a small dead frog!!). She is very docile and usually only comes out at night, unless I feed her. She just laid her first egg sack, so it’s pretty exciting. Now, I don’t know if I should keep her anymore though, because of the egg sac… :(
We live in Northern Calif. by Eureka. I have never seen a brown widow before and have lived many spider filled places. I found these brown spiders with the orange hour glass underneath. Found out on the internet they are definitely brown widow spiders. I found 2 in my kitchen and more outside by the doors to the house. So I sprayed insecticide outside the doors and found more that died from the spray the next day. Now this winter I have not seen any but do they come back in the spring? I’m keeping it sprayed around the house!
My dad lives in Columbus georgia and his carport and car were infested with brown widows. I sprayed several times but they kept coming back, especially in the wheel wells of the car. One day my dad walked past the car and noticed something hanging down from under the car. He got his walking stick and knocked it loose from the back bumper of the car, It was a SNAKE. The brown widows had killed it and had hoisted it up into their nest under the bumper. The whole back half of the little snake was wrapped round and round in spider silk! I would not have believed it had I not seen it for myself.
Two nights ago we found a small brown spider that had the hourglass markings of a black widow (which we see far too often here in So. California) but something was off – the colors were different. It was dark, so we weren’t sure. Last night my 10-year-old and I spotted a brownish spider with similar features to a black widow, with an orange-ish hourglass on it’s abdomen. It had built a long, thick web from my son’s scooter to the light in the patio awning above. I have a toddler who plays out there, so we had to get rid of it.
At that time my son said it was a brown widow, I told him I’d never heard of such a thing. This afternoon I noticed something hanging out of the bottom of one of our wind chimes, also in the patio and took a (somewhat) closer look. Imagine my surprise/disgust/horror when I found about 7 – 10 spiky sacs tucked up inside the chime! (I didn’t get close enough to determine exactly how many are in there.) Thanks to this site, I now know what they are – my son thought the spikes meant that they had hatched, which was a more frightening idea to me. He was disappointed (!) to know that he was wrong, they had not hatched, but feels vindicated that his original identification of the spider was correct.
There has been recently the surprising news about the discovery of the brown widow spider in Thailand. It has never been known to us before. There is a kid who found them in the bottle containers. He decided to keep them and feed them with worms. See the photos. People suspect that they arrive here by the shipping fleets.
We have tons of brown widows is South Carolina, near the coast. We constantly find them in or on the mailbox and trash can and all over the outside of the house. We have not found any indoors yet. I have been told that if you’ve seen one or two of them, it is “indicative of wide spread infestation that, given available control methods, is nearly impossible to eradicate.” Still, nobody has been bitten at my house yet.
We live in Golden Hill – San Diego, CA.
For about a year I’ve been finding those spiky ivory colored egg sacks sitting in our sago palms and the mail box. I took a long lighter and burned the eggs and the spiders, then I smashed them just to make sure they were dead.
Today I cut our rose bushes and trees back because it’s as cold as it’s going to get in San Diego. Three or four Brown Widows came running out from the clumps of the dead rose leaves at the center of the rose plants. I smashed them first and then I smashed their egg sacks that I could see. Then I sprayed the rose plants with water.
It seems like these spiders keep coming back and I don’t know what to do. I’m worried because I have two miniature dachshunds who think they’re really tough running around the yard all day. My 8 lb. puppy got bit by a bee on her lip, it swelled up really big and it was $300 to take her to the emergency vet. So if she swelled up that much from a little bee, I’d hate to see what a Brown Widow would do to her! We plan on having a baby in a couple years. So I want these spiders gone ASAP!
I live in Westminster, CA, on the border of Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach in Orange County.
I’m very familiar with both the Western Black Widow and Southern Black Widow, but had never seen the Brown Widow with my own eyes until today.
It was an enormous specimen, almost 2″ long front-to-back, brown with tan striped legs and the most amazing “traffic cone orange” colored hourglass on its abdomen. I’m almost certain it was a female, due to its size, with an abdomen larger than a peanut M&M.
Sure enough, I found the unmistakable spiky, yellowish egg sacs. She had been nesting inside the breaker panel outside the house and immediately played possum when I knocked her from her web.
I didn’t get a chance to snap any photos, but plan on going on an evening hunt tonight. (Since reading these postings, I just checked the rim of my trash cans and found at least one more, so I’ll have my work cut out for me.)
Here are my pictures.
SCARY, i JUST FOUND A BROWN WIDOW IN A PAIR OF RUBBER BOOTS. I LIVE IN SOUTHERN OREGON. I ALSO FOUND TWO BLACK WIDOWS ABOUT 3 MONTHS AGO. I THOUGHT THESE WERE NO WHERE CLOSE TO BEING AROUND US. WHAT’S GOING ON, AND HOW ARE THEY GETTING HERE?
The San Diego newspaper did a story last week on spider bites and mentioned your site and thought you should know.
Just to post how far the little buggers’ve managed to spread, we found them in our backyard in Oahu Hawaii. Definitely same spiky egg sacks, four of them under our backyard bench, and a 1.7 inch mom. Really did play dead when we destroyed the webbing, then popped up and scurried away. We chased her down and now have her bottled up as a pet in a glass airtight jar. However my 6 year old daughter poked at the egg sack and hundreds poured out all over the patio!!! We’re going to have an infestation!!! :(
I live in San Diego and found a bunch of eggs when cleaning out garage. I’m worried how many I missed, and how many Brown Widows are still hanging around in there. I took a photo of a spider and eggs because I thought it was impressive looking and wondered if it was a Black Widow (I’m from Australia where we have common run-ins with the similar looking Redback spider).
A few weeks later I read there was a full article spread in the local paper about Brown Widows and how common they are now in San Diego county. The give-away was the spiky white eggs, although the spider looked black to me.
I may have to call landlord to bomb the 5 garage spaces that are adjacent. I already warned all my neighbors. I don’t like the sound of their bites from some of these posts!
Hello- My husband found white spiky egg sacks in our patio. We left them until tonight when he went outside to spray them. After killing them, he was very interested in finding out what kind of spiders were inside the egg sacks. Well we are sure glad we found this blog. We are happy to know what kind of spiders are living in and around our home. But now we are officially freaked out. Does anyone know what would happen if a brown spider bit a toddler of 20 lbs? or even an 8 year old girl 50 lbs.?. We are mostly concerned about our childrens’ safety. thanks.
Also, how can we kill them for good? besides spraying regular bug sprays.
Hi my name is Tina and i live in West Virginia do we have brown widow spiders, We do have the black ones and i am not for sure but i think i have seen the brown widow spiders here but i am not for sure because i am very afraid of spiders and i won’t go around them or anything…Also i think that my husband may have been bitten by a spider not a brown widow spider but some kind of a spider. It happened like 3 days ago and he went to the ER but the Dr. said that he really couldn’t tell if it was a spider bite or not that it could be and gave him a shoot of something it looks a little better. When it first happened it look liked two small puncture wounds on his right hand and then it keep getting redder and more swelled and then he got a big red mark up his arm and in the center there is a whitish yellowish core like thing i am so scared that it is going to get worse because he is a diabetic and he don’t heal all that good no way let ago long getting bite by a spider…When he got bite he was a sleep in the bed and didn’t feel a thing… I am thinking that he may have gotten bit by a house spider or something like that….. Please respond back sorry no pic at this time…
No photo yet because they seem to be discovered at night time. Almost put my hand on a brown widow tonight. The window sill next to our back door has a small birdhouse hanging on a nail, and that’s where I’m assuming the spiders are hiding out during the day. Before tonight, over the summer, there had been an ENORMOUS black widow nestled there – I’d seen it several times when coming back at night through the back door but no one believed me it was there. Then in the morning as my dad was exiting the door, the black widow had made its way onto the handle of the door. No one was bitten but my dad out of fright killed it. Now this new spider I recognized as a brown widow because of it’s brownish color and orange hourglass. It is also ENORMOUS. I had seen the egg sack before ever seeing a spider so that’s how I figured what spider it was. But man my heart skipped like 500 beats when I saw that thing.
I am adding myself to the growing number of Southern Californians who have encountered the Brown Widow for the first time. I live in San Diego (Allied Gardens area), and I probably came justthisclose to being bitten by a Brown Widow several hours ago.
I was in the process of reconfiguring a metal storage shelf which had been standing outside since August. (I had brushed the shelf for Black Widow spiders before bringing it into the house last night.) While the shelf was tipped upside down, I saw what appeared to be two spider egg sacs suspended in a small, messy web located in the topmost (the bottom) shelf’s underside corner. I didn’t see a spider, so I wasn’t sure if the two small, beige, spiky balls were, in fact, spider egg sacs. I jumped on the Web (no pun intended), searched for “Black Widow egg sac” images, and discovered that the spiky egg sacs were those of the Brown Widow. I went back to the shelf for another look at the egg sacs, which were now being closely guarded by their nickel-sized mother. I figured it would be best to immobilize the spider before killing and removing her (and her egg sacs), so–having no insecticide spray handy–I squirted the web with thick shampoo. (I’ve used this method before.) The spider quickly escaped into one of the shelf’s nearby crevices, leading to crawlspaces running throughout the shelving unit. I waited to see if the spider would emerge again to check on her egg sacs, but she remained hidden. I scraped the egg sacs out with a serving spoon (exceptionally tough web, by the way) and flushed them down the toilet. I put on work gloves and carried the shelf unit back outside, where I thoroughly blasted it with water from the backyard hose. The shelf has been outside since then; the spider might very well still be inside it.
My fingers were near those egg sacs a number of times over the past twenty-four hours, and if I hadn’t spotted the egg sacs before unscrewing that portion of the shelf, I very likely would have been bitten.
Fortunately, I’m in good health, but my husband isn’t, and that’s the reason I’m posting. The house into which we moved in August had been unattended for more than four years. The yard, garage, and the house itself are filled with places where Brown Widows can lurk. My husband often works in the yard (at night) and in the garage, where he is likely to blunder into Brown Widows while they are guarding their egg sacs. My husband suffers from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, for which he takes several prescription medications, including a beta blocker. I’ve searched the Web to see if people like him are at greater risk of having an extreme reaction to a Brown Widow bite, but I can’t find that information. (If my husband were to get bitten, I would advise him seek medical treatment before exhibiting symptoms.)
I would be interested in knowing how those who suffer from high blood pressure, and who are taking prescription medications for high blood pressure, have reacted to a Brown Widow bite. Thank you.
I,m in sandiego ca Me and a friend were working on a truck we pulled the transmission when we went to put it back under it that night there were hundreds of webs we got more light and noticed about a hundred spiders most of them smaller than a pencil eracer we got a can of raid and sprayed the whole can under the truck then washed it with with highpressure we found one big one still hanging in the front and put it in a jar I heard about brown widows on the news. after looking at this web site it confirms what I thought it is a brown widow. I still have him in the jar I guess I will kill it and hope they just came to visit with the truck.
I was helping a freind work on his boat and I felt somthing on my neck, went to wipe it off and a brown widow falls to the deck, after about 2-3 minets I felt a stinging sensation on my neck on my right juguler vein. Over the next few hours the site of the bite swoll up and had a itchy,stinging sensation and I was slightly dizzy. I havent noticed any other effects from the bite other than the bite site being red and stinging,thank God.
About ten years ago, I found a couple of these along the railroad tracks by the
San Pablo Bay in Contra Costa County, CA. At the time I thought they were a
variation of the Black Widow, but this is what they were. I have not seen the
San Francisco Bay Area listed as a place they are established, and it is quite
possible the one’s I saw were from So Cal that hitched a ride up on the trains,
but I thought it worth mention (despite lack of voucher photos/specimens) that
they have been spotted in the Bay Area. Whether they are established or not, I
don’t know – it may be too cool in the winter to sustain a population, but maybe
can you get these things in WA?
My parents live in Whittier California and a few months ago my mom and I found a whole bunch of spikey egg sacks under the lawn chairs in their yard. We squished them all (there were A LOT)! I just learned that these spiders are making a home in southern Ca. and it seems to be getting more prevalant according to what I’m reading on this site. It’s pretty creepy!
Fountain Valley, Orange County, CA: Today, my husband and I dismantled a sofa that had been in our home office. We put the debris in our garage, awaiting trash day. I went out to the garage this evening and found an unusual-looking spider on one of the couch parts. I captured the spider, put it in a plastic container, took it inside, and looked up “hour-glass brown spider” on the Internet. I have now been reading about the “brown widow spider” for over an hour! I had no idea they existed! I don’t know if the spider was living in the sofa or in the garage and just crawled onto the sofa debris. We were thinking of putting the spider outside on the lawn, but, after reading all of the cautionary comments listed in this website, I will be flushing the critter down the toilet. We have two small dogs to worry about and I also don’t want the spider to reproduce. This website has been very helpful.
Hello their I’m from Colorado and I’v noticed these brown spider’s was unsure of what they were until I was at wal-mart looking threw some kid book’s and saw a pic.They lived in my house for a while now in my closet’s and the weird thing on my cieling by my vent’s thier web’s are strong and freak me out when Ive touched them not knowing they were their,I’v killed so many and they’ll return same spot’s and everything fill’s like deja vu. but since it’s been getting colder out here they’v seemed to dissapear which is a good thing. I hope not to see them for awhile.
I’m in San Diego (clairemont). In the last 6 mo. I’ve killed aprox. 75 browns, and countless egg sacs. THESE THINGS LOVE PLASTIC TRASH CANS, black, blue or green, it doesn”t matter. A few days ago all the containers were out in our alley after “pick up day”, so just being curious I walked down the alley to check for eggs.
THEY WERE LOADED !!! One container had 8 sacs under the outer rim. If there is web on the lower part of the container, there is probably going to be one or more sacs up under the top rim area somewhere. I used a stick to mash them (I hope no one saw me. If I had to explain myself, they would think I was a nut) Channel 8 news finally did a news report on brown widows in san diego three weeks ago. I’m glad because people need to know they are here and they are all over . I also took pictures of these egg sacs on the trash cans
Pete in SD
I’m in north east ohio, there is a large spider on the ceiling near the door of my back entrance. It’s abdomen is about one inch, i’m not sure about it’s leg length because it’s keeping them close to it’s body. It’s brown or dark tan with lighter brown bands around it’s legs. It’s in/on a web because when I saw it, it was happily descending in front of my face. It looks almost fuzzy and is much larger/thicker than any other spider I’ve found in my home.
i think i found a brown widow spider beside my front door underneath the siding of my house, i’m not quiet sure if it is… i’m trying to get a good picture of it. It’s a light brown, almost grey color and has an orange colored spot on it’s underside.
hello was cleaning my kitchen today and i swept under the counter and find a huge female brown widow and we started finding the babies as well.
We have seen photos throughout this site and we know for certain we have just located and captured a live brown widow. Orange hourglass -marbly brown butt-curled up into a ball.I HATE SPIDERS THAT BITE!!!
I live in Lomita, California and now seem to have an infestation of brown widows at my house and I am hoping not inside of it. A few months ago I had found a black widow in my garage so I killed it with some ant killer, then a month ago I was watering the yard and the hose got caught. I walked over to the nice hose reel “box” that we purchased and lifted the lid to find about 10 brown spiders in it. I did not know what they were, but noticed this nice orange hourglass, which caught my attention then.
I figured I had black widows in the middle of molting, which now I read is not the case at all. Looking back I had noticed that we did have the spikey egg sacs around outside our house and I had squashed a few already. The other night I go out to feed my dog and what appears to be a spider is about an inch away from his bowl, so I get a flashlight and shine it on him and he looks like a black widow. He takes off up his web and goes straight for the lip on the trash can, a great place they love to hide-wear gloves people. Now last night I got out and the one I had seen is no longer there, but an inch to the other side is a brown spider that has a nice orange hourglass on it, bamm time to do some research about this molting black widow problem I have. I find that they are brown widows
I need to know how to kill them, how to prevent them at best, and what I can do to prevent them from coming in the house? Do they like to be indoors? Do they like warm or cold, and will they come in the house now that it is getting colder outside? Should I look for them in the attic-a huge job by the way? So many questions and so little time. You can publish my e-mail if you want as maybe some of these other people can help from experience. Thank you.
Wow…I’m so glad I found this site. I thought I was the only one battling with the brown widows on the lanai. I ask my neighbors if they see them, and they all reply with a “no”.
I noticed my first one 3 years ago on a bicycle pedal. A few months later I started seeing them on our lanai. Ever since, I’ve been killing them with weekly spider hunts. I can’t believe I STILL have them! I’m a clean fanatic now…Everything is turned upsidedown, inspected and cleaned. I hope to one day be completely rid of these spiders in my yard. I wonder why they seem to prefer my clean porch rather than the creek and woodsy area beyond our yard. By the way I’m in Tampa, Florida.
#112’s post made me laugh so hard even though I also got goosebumps reading it. I can relate because I live in nearby Anaheim Hills and have had the same things happen to me. For those of you who are disgusted by finding these spiders, I can tell you that you will have an enlightening experience if you go outdoors at night with your flashlight. I thought I was good at locating the spiders and killing them during the daytime when I did my gardening. Then for some reason I decided to look around at night. I walked the perimeter of my house and planters with my flashlight. It was like a horror movie. I found approximately 200 widow spiders the first night. They make a web from a vertical surface or plant to the ground- very low. There were about 8 large spiders just around my BBQ. The scary thing is, my dogs patrol the yard at night and probably come into contact with them all of the time. I even found a bunch of spiders in the planter along my front walkway. That means any night time visitors were probably brushing them with their legs as they walked up to my house. I wouldn’t doubt that is how the spiders get inside my house sometimes. They probably get on the pant legs of people and they carry them inside. Now I go out every couple of nights and spray any new spiders I find. I just wish my neighbors would do the same. The only downfall is that I have a lot of crickets now but it’s worth it because I think I have arachnaphobia.
brown widow found alongside my parents house this morning in Englewood, Florida.
Have a good day,
Try fresh bay leaves. We have been having trouble with brown widows lately (I’m in northeast Florida). We hadn’t had this problem until the past few months, mostly in the garage. Someone told me to put out bay leaves, and I have a bottle of dried leaves, but I just saw on a website that they need to be fresh bay leaves, and cut (or torn) in half — I guess to release the odor or whatever that the spiders don’t like. The site said this works. So now I’m hoping I can find fresh bay leaves somewhere!
I have found these “Brown Widows” in my garage in Hawaii for about a month now. At first I seen a standard “Black Widow” black with a red hour-glass. Then after killing it I started to see these brown and tan legged spiders with gray or brown abdomens, and a near perfect hour-glass on the under side showing up all over the garage.
At first I tried to live and let live but they were taking over my work space, (also giving me the creeps). They are so far just in the garage at least thats the only place I’ve seen them.
I thought that I hade a brought the black widow from Washington State as a stowaway in my stuff, and it matted with the spiders here, so I was in a way relieved to find that they are not that uncommon.
I also have been using wasp and hornet killer, as I had some on hand too. I will try to upload some photos, but in case I can’t they do look like the pics from Orange County, CA. Egg sacks and all!
Jacob in Oahu, HI.
While out in our backyard I found 5 of them under a old bench cushion. At first i thought they might be a brown relcluse. But i searched the internet and found that they were brown widows. I have them in a jar and they seem very agressive and attacking each other.
I’ve also noticed a large bump on our dogs leg. Could this be a spider bite?
I live in Costa Mesa, CA just found 5 brown widows that I thought were juvenile black widow. I’m concerned now as we have 2 dogs and garden a lot. I inspect every bug and spider I find and have NEVER seen these before!!! I have only found about 4 black widows (only!) in 13 years living here but then found 5 brown widows in a week – what’s going on?!?
I live in Orange County CA and while I was putting my trash out tonight I noticed 10 brown widow spiders and 1 black widow in my relatively clean side yard. I was only able to kill 7 of these spiders with my blowtorch ( the rest where next to my house). This is getting out of hand with how many brown widows are around my home.
I live in Moyock, NC and this past summer we were overiden with all kinds of spiders which included 4 black widows. What it sounds like to me is that once you get those for one season, the next season you get the brown ones! I can’t wait to have to deal with that crap! I don’t have a phobia of spiders, I actually think they are cool and they do get rid of most of my unwelcome bugs, but once they are in the house, they get smushed!I used 7-dust and all insects, except the widows perished in the wake of it. I also continued to see the “banana” garden spider and others (that I thought were brown recluse or simple “charlotte’s web” spiders! Love this site! Can’t wait to update you all after I go spider hunting tomorrow!
As a nature person in South Alabama I have always been aware of black widow spiders. I would often find them under the rocks that line my driveway. However, since Hurricane Ivan we are inundated with Brown Widow Spiders. Last week I was moving my grandchildren’s small hard plastic pool and found 8 of them with their white prickly egg sacs under the curled edge of the pool. Help!!! Is there a way to get rid of them and where did they come from. I know they were not in this area 2 years ago.
We live in Orange County, CA (Fullerton) and we have seen a lot of brown widows. They are difficult to find during the day but at night they can easily be found with a flashlight. I just recently noticed them. I’ve lived in Southern CA for most of my 59 years and I don’t recall seeing the spikey egg sacs before, but I wasn’t looking for them either. I originally thought they were juvenile black widows, but when I took pictures of them and posted them over at bug guide one guy noticed that some of them were brown widows, when I did a little more research it looks like they were almost all brown widows. The weird thing about these spiders is that there colorization is extremely diverse. Specimens seem to range in color from light where the specimens have the striking dorsal side patterns to black.
I was thinking that they gradually darkened with age, which seems to be true but some of them start out very dark. I believe one strong indicator that the spider is a brown widow and not a black is that the brown widow hour glass has a yellow stripe near the head end, although sometimes there is only a little hint of yellow and not a full stripe. I also don’t think they grow as large as black widows.