Spiders fall into two categories. There are lots of ugly, scary spiders (more than 35,000 species) that help control other pests. And, there are dangerous spiders. The two dangerous spider species in the Ventura, California area are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse spiders.
Black Widow Spider
The black widow is from the latrodectus genus of spiders. There are three species of black widow in the USA and all of them are dark colored to black with a red patch shaped like an hourglass on the abdomen. The black widows in Southern California will range in size up to 1.5 inches. They can inject a very potent venom that is fatal to insects and smaller animals. Females have larger venom glands than males and are, therefore, more dangerous.
Black Widow Spider Bites
Black widows will bite when disturbed or threatened. They do not go hunting for people to bite. The latrotoxin in black widow bites causes a fast heartbeat, sweating, muscle spasm and pain, and abdominal cramps. The severity of these symptoms depends on the amount of venom injected. About two thousand people are bitten by black widows in the USA every year. Those who experience a “dry bite” with no venom injected have no problems. For more serious bites, the symptoms will usually take three to seven days to clear up and can last for weeks. Only a dozen black widow bites a year are rated as serious and there have been no reported deaths in the last century.
There is an antivenom for black widow bites but it is used in severe cases to relieve symptoms and not to save lives. If you think you have a black widow on the premises, leave it alone and call us at Cal Termite today.
Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider varies in color from light brown to almost black. It is typically less than an inch long and has a very distinctive violin-shaped mark on its back. This spider is true to its name. The brown recluse does not like to be bothered. It lives in quiet areas away from human comings and goings. In fact, in the entire histories of both Orange and San Diego counties, there have only been a couple of confirmed sightings.
Brown Recluse Spider Bites
Like the black widow, this spider has a “medically significant” bite. Unlike the black widow, the brown recluse bite does not cause generalized symptoms. The bite is immediately painful and causes local tissue death (necrosis). If not treated promptly, these bites progress to substantial ulcers and tissue loss. Anyone who has been bitten by a brown recluse spider should be seen promptly by a physician, day or night.
How Cal Termite Helps You with Spiders
By spraying the outside home perimeter we create a barrier to deter all pests. Then we treat the places where spiders are likely to hang out, such as the window sills and eves. And, of course, we will knock down all spider webs. In the case of a brown recluse spider, we will treat the outbuilding or other secluded location where the spider was seen.
If you are worried about a spider or any critter, we do identification of pests without charge.