Meet Our Brown Widow!

The inside of our garage door has been home to a brown widow spider and her various egg sacs for at least a year now. Most of the time when she senses movement she dives for her hiding place behind the door’s strut and hunkers down where she can barely be seen. But today as I was leaving for some errands she was out and about tending to her webnest and her would be babies so of course I got all up in her business with my iPhone and shot the following segment of video.

If you’re decidedly arachnophobic or perhaps just not in the least bit as fascinated and awestruck as I am by spiders I wouldn’t recommend clicking play.

Thought to have established themselves in California in 2000, brown widows are a non-native species and are spreading up the state and into neighboring states at a pretty rapid rate. Originally found primarily in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, the species has now been found in Santa Barbara County and as far north as Sacramento County, according to the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside. Opinions differ on the seriousness of a brown widow’s venom. Some say it’s twice as toxic as a black widow’s while others say a bite is minor unless the person bitten suffers an allergic reaction to the venom.