In the vibrant landscape of Florida, two notorious arachnid residents command both intrigue and trepidation: the black widow and the brown widow spiders. The brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) has gained notoriety for its distinctive tan-to-brown coloration, accompanied by a telltale hourglass marking on its abdomen. Although less venomous than its infamous cousin, the black widow, brown widow spiders still carry a potent toxin.
Its preference for weaving its irregular, messy webs in nooks and crannies – from beneath outdoor furniture to discarded items – often leads to unintentional human encounters. Despite its potentially intimidating appearance, the brown widow’s bite is typically less severe, causing localized pain, muscle cramps, and, rarely, systemic symptoms.
Meanwhile, the black widow (Latrodectus mactans) weaves its own tale of caution. Recognizable by its shiny black body and distinctive red hourglass marking, this spider strikes fear into the hearts of Floridians and visitors alike. While only the females pack a potent venom capable of causing severe pain, muscle cramps, and other neurological symptoms, encounters are still relatively rare due to their reclusive nature. Black widows tend to favor dark, sheltered locations like sheds, garages, and woodpiles, where they weave their organized yet chaotic webs to ensnare prey.
Despite the notoriety, it’s important to remember that these spiders generally prefer retreat to confrontation, and their bites are infrequent. However, a healthy dose of respect for these eight-legged inhabitants and their potentially venomous bites remains a wise stance for anyone venturing into the Florida wilds.
Brown Widow Spiders Are Most Common in our County
Most of us are aware of the Black Widow spider. In Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota counties the more common venomous spider are the Brown Widow Spiders.
For the last month or two, our technicians have been identifying more of these awful spiders at our customers homes. At Problem Solved Pest Control there are not too many insects that we deal with that are actually hazardous to our health, so this one gets our attention.
Part of our technician training involves identifying and treating these spiders properly. Here’s what we look for to ensure our safety and yours.
There is some good news….
Brown Widow spiders do not live indoors. The cooler temperatures and lack of humidity will not allow them to survive inside. We find them in garages and on patios most often. If your technician identifies these venomous spiders they will immediately notify you so that you can stay as safe as possible. Unfortunately there is no preventative spider treatments available so we stay on the lookout.
For more good information, click the University of Florida’s link below.
Be sure to give us a call if you see the spider egg sacks or if you have any questions or concerns.