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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 venomous spider is seeing a rise in Southern California, experts said this may not be as bad as one might think.

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.

Paula Hansen July 03, 2012 at 09:52 PM
When we bought our Covina home 17 years ago, there were black widows throughout the property (thankfully, 97% of them outdoors!), but brown widows at one end of our yard. I'm happy to say the populations have diminished, but we still have them! As far as I know, we still have brown widows. Haven't gone "spider hunting" yet this summer!
lawerence leigh July 05, 2012 at 12:44 AM
In Orange I find 3 or 4 browns a month. Webs are like Black widows. Just randum, no pattern. Typical spots, flower pots, outdoor furniture, block retaining walls

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