The Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus), or Araña viuda marrón in Spanish, is not native to southern California and has only been spotted as recently as 2003. Though timid and non-aggressive, the brown widow can deliver a potentially dangerous and painful bite. They aren’t harmful to your garden, but you’ll keep them out of your home by removing hiding places like piles of wood, outdoor clutter, unused playground equipment, lawn furniture, buckets, and trash cans.
Sometimes confused with the common house spider, the brown widow can be identified by its typically light to medium brown color and the red or orange hourglass shape on the underside of its abdomen. It is the most actively reproducing species of widows, producing several egg sacs per season.
Learn more about brown widows online at the Bug Guide.
PHOTO CREDIT: Roy Niswanger