While even the tiniest (and most harmless) spiders you’ll find in your Orange County home still possess venom and fangs, most species don’t pose any health risk to humans. However, there are two exceptions to this: the black widow and the brown recluse spider.

Both spiders are medically dangerous to people and found in Orange County. Here’s what local residents should know about identifying these spiders when they encounter them, how you can prevent spiders and the pest prey that may draw them in, and what to do if you’re worried that you may have a spider infestation in your home.

How To Identify Black Widow & Brown Recluse Spiders

As dangerous as they are, it’s crucial to be able to identify brown recluse and black widow spiders – as well as understand what to do if you’re bitten by one of these spiders.

Black Widow Spiders

While they may be on the smaller side, black widows have glossy, black coloring and round bodies, but there’s one key feature that sets them apart from other spiders: a red hourglass marking under their abdomens.

While black widows aren’t aggressive and usually only bite if they feel threatened or cornered, their bite is extremely dangerous and always requires medical intervention. Left untreated, a black widow bite can lead to serious medical symptoms, and in rare cases, may even be fatal.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The brown recluse can be especially dangerous because they’re not as easy to identify as black widows, and many mistake them for house spiders. However, there’s one characteristic that brown recluses have that you won’t find with other species: a violin-shaped mark on their cephalothorax.

While brown recluse bites may not be fatal, they can cause tissue death and necrosis if left untreated, so you’ll want to seek medical attention immediately if you think a brown recluse has bitten you.

a brown recluse spider on a walkway

How To Prevent Spiders

While brown recluse and black widow spider infestations aren’t as common, they can still happen. It’s essential to know how to prevent these spiders - and the pest prey that may lure them in.

  • Store your food properly. While spiders may not be interested in your food, the pest prey they follow into your home will be. Make sure you’re keeping a tight lid on any leftovers, not leaving dirty dishes in the sink, and cleaning up any spills or crumbs that may attract pests. 
  • Keep garbage bins sealed. Unsealed and overflowing trash cans can attract flies, ants, and other insects that spiders seek out. Regularly empty your trash and keep a closed lid on your cans. 
  • Declutter your home frequently. Spiders, including black widow and brown recluses, like to make their home in clutter. Try to clear out storage areas, like garages and basements, frequently and inspect these spaces for spiders and spider webs. 
  • Vacuum regularly and sweep up spider webs. Vacuuming regularly can get rid of excess clutter. If you spot any spider webs, you’ll want to sweep them up to disrupt the spider’s environment. 
  • Keep firewood away from your home. A lot of spiders, especially black widows, like to make their homes in firewood and other wood piles. Leaving these piles too close to your home can lead to them accidentally wandering in, so it’s a good idea to keep firewood several feet from your home and inspect any wood before it’s brought inside. 
  • Seal off potential entry points. Use caulk or another type of sealant to eliminate potential entry points in your home, like tiny cracks and crevices in your foundation.

The Most Effective Form Of Spider Control In Orange County, CA

It’s not always easy to tell what kind of spider you’re dealing with in your home – especially if you’re spotting it from a distance. If you suspect you’ve got a dangerous species in your house, like a black widow or brown recluse, the safest way to get rid of it is with professional help from HomeShield Pest Control.

Not only can our experts identify dangerous spiders when we inspect your home, but we can also get rid of harmless spiders too – like wolf spiders or house spiders – and the pest prey that’s drawing them in. If you’re worried that you could have a dangerous spider lurking in your home, there’s only one thing to do – call us today at HomeShield Pest Control to schedule an inspection or learn more about how our spider control services work.