- Size: Females: 1 to 1-1/2 inches. Males 1/2 to 3/4 inches.
- Color: Brown, tan, black, orange.
Brown widows are the smaller relative to the infamous black widow and have the same type of venom. They typically avoid humans, but they are known to bite if threatened or handled. If you find that you have them in your home, you need to take immediate action to get them out for your family’s protection. Learning all you can about their behaviors will help you understand how to deal with them when necessary.
What Are Brown Widow Spiders?
Brown widows are the smaller relative of the black widow. They share some of the same attributes, though they are relatively distinguishable due to size and coloration. The brown widow is scientifically known as Latrodectus geometricus but goes by many names, including brown button spider, grey widow, house button spider, geometric button spider, or brown-black widow. They spin a sticky silken web that is irregular in shape and often tangled. They tend to build their webs in secluded areas, such as dense woods.
Though brown widows mostly build webs in seclusion, they venture out into the open more than black widows. This exposes them to more human interactions and more potential for incidents.
Females can live up to two years in ideal situations and can create up to 20 egg sacs in that time. Each eggs sac has roughly 80 eggs inside and is created out of the brown widow’s silken web. The egg sacs are recognizable due to spine-like projections on the outside, making them look very similar to sandspurs. Male brown widows are smaller and less colorful than the females and also have shorter lifespans.
What Do Brown Widows Look Like?
Brown widows are similar in body structure to black widows but are smaller and a different color. Females grow up to 1 1/2 inches and have a bulbous abdomen and relatively long legs. The legs are often tan-brown-striped, making them easy to distinguish from black widows. The bodies are a mixture of brown and tan with varying geometric designs on the top of their abdomens. Females also have an hourglass underneath their abdomen, but unlike the black widow’s vivid red hourglass, the brown widow’s is reddish-orange to orange in color.
Male brown widows are considerably smaller, only growing up to 3/4 of an inch, and are predominantly solid brown in color.
Where Do Brown Widows Live?
Brown widows live in subtropical parts of the U.S., including Southern California, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, and even Hawaii. They prefer to live outdoors in relatively secluded areas, but they can still pop up in more open places, such as under mailboxes, buckets, and patio furniture. They can also be found building webs in wooded areas and shrubs near your home’s foundations.
If you find that brown widows are moving into your home, there is a good chance there is an abundance of prey for them to feed on, making it necessary to identify the cause of their sudden appearance in your personal space. Chances are, you have another pest problem that’s enticing these spiders into your home. These arachnids prey on a variety of insects, so you may want to keep an eye out for flies, crickets, and mosquitoes.
Common Problems With Brown Widows
Though the brown widow isn’t as venomous as its larger relative, the black widow, it shares the same type of venom that causes pain, redness, and swelling, and more severe symptoms for those with allergies. Their venom is considered to be just as potent as a black widow’s, but they don’t inject as much when they bite, making the effects of a bite less damaging. Healthy adults are not at risk as much as those with allergies, children, and the elderly. Small pets are also susceptible to the brown widow’s bite.
If a brown widow spider bites you, apply ice to the bite area to minimize some of the effects. If the symptoms don’t improve or worsen after a day or two, consult a medical professional.
In their natural habitats, brown widows aren’t as much of a risk, but if they’re invading your property and home, you should deal with them quickly to protect your family and pets. A professional pest control agency is an essential resource for obtaining information and services to eliminate brown widows and the pests they’re feeding off of. Aside from their bite and venom, brown widows make unsightly webs and leave behind the shells of their prey, making it challenging to keep your home clean.
How to Get Rid of Brown Widows
Prevention is key to keeping your home protected from potential pests. Brown widows typically live outdoors but can be found inside when prey is abundant and when they have easy access to the interior of your home. Finding and sealing cracks, crevices, or holes in your home’s foundations, around windows and doors, and around pipes and wiring can help keep them outside where they belong. This process also helps keep out the insects that brown widows like to prey upon.
Eliminating other pests that brown widows consider prey will help to deter them from entering your house in the first place. It would be best if you take the time to keep your home clean and free from clutter. If you have a garage or a storage building, try to keep them organized and clean as a means of taking away places where brown widows could build their webs.
Taking the time to learn all you can about brown widow spiders will help you prevent them from invading your home and your property. If you’re facing a brown widow infestation, remember that you can get the expert help you need from Bulwark Exterminating and its highly trained and professional staff.