Spiders are scary, but only a few are dangerous to humans. In San Diego County, the black widow, brown widow and desert recluse are poisonous. Brown recluses are not found in San Diego County.
Spiders prey on other insects including crickets, ants and flies. Spiders are shy and avoid humans. They live in secluded places and usually hunt at night. However, if threatened, they will bite. If you think you have been bitten by a spider, seek medical attention if unusual symptoms occur.
Black widows are distinctive because of the red hourglass marking on the abdomen of the female. They are web spinners and grow to about ½-inch long. Only the females are poisonous. Black widows mate in the spring and lay egg sacs that can contain up to 250 eggs. Black widows live in secluded spots in and around buildings.
Although bites from a black widow are rare, they can cause muscle spasms, nausea and trouble breathing. Children and the elderly are more likely to have reactions to the toxin.
Similar to black widows, brown widows have a distinctive orange hourglass marking on their abdomens. As the name implies, these spiders are tan to dark brown. They prefer the same environment as the black widow. Their bites can be painful. Usually the bite is not dangerous and only affects tissue around the bite area. Signs of a bite include pain while being bitten and a red area at the site of the bite.
Desert recluses live in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts under rocks and in abandoned animal burrows. They avoid areas inhabited by humans but may be found in native vegetation around buildings. Desert recluses are tan to brown and may have a faint fiddle-shaped marking on the back. The venom is not deadly, but may cause a lesion or wound.
Treatment of Spider Bites
If you have been bitten by a spider, wash the area with soap and water. Apply ice to reduce swelling. If you experience unusual symptoms, seek medical attention. If you can, bring the spider with you to the doctor’s office.
Pinpoint Pest Control
If you have spiders in your home, there are ways to get rid of them. Pinpoint Pest Control uses integrated pest management strategies to identify the pests and remove places they live and breed. Because spiders live on insects, ridding your home of ants, flies and other insects is the first step to eradicating spiders. Vacuuming corners, ceilings and behind furniture removes webs and spiders. Keep clutter to a minimum and remove woodpiles near a building.
Pinpoint Pest Control uses natural products whenever possible and low impact pesticides when necessary. If you have a problem with spiders or other pests, call Pinpoint Pest Control for an evaluation and eradication program.