The brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus, is not as well known as its cousin, the black widow. But the tan and black spider – which sometimes sports a streak or spot of orange – has rapidly spread across Southern California after first being spotted in Torrance in 2003. Now, the brown widows seem to have discovered Montecito Heights, where five residents needed to be treated for spider bites within the past month, according to a story in Patch. Roy Payan, who sits on the Arroyo Seco Neighoborhood Council, reported the spider bites during this week’s meeting. Here is how one man was bitten:
Once incident involved a man who was stricken by dizziness and nausea after bitten by a brown widow that was trapped inside his sock. Payan said that doctors were only able to determine the source of the man’s symptoms after locating the crushed spider inside the man’s sock.
Some studies have shown that brown widow venom may be as toxic as that of a black widow. But a brown widow bite may not be as dangerous “because the brown widow does not have or cannot inject as much venom” as a Black Widow, according to The Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside.
Have you spotted a brown widow in your sock or underneath a patio chair? UC Riverside is collecting the spider egg sacs for a research project. Click here for details.