Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Car Canyon: Spider Season

Photo: Red Car Canyon Neighbor, July 8, 2012  A neighbor sent a photo of a large mystery spider he caught in his front room.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The neighbor reports the spider had no fear of him, and he caught it out in the open.  A quick check of BugGuide and UC Davis Integrated Pest Management prove that it probably is NOT a Brown Recluse or a Brown Widow Spider.  It might be a spider in the Tengellidae family.  Both resources indicate Brown Recluse Spiders are not common in California, despite a media frenzy over them in recent years.

Black Widow Spiders are found throughout the neighborhood.  Neighbors on both sides of Red Car Canyon have seen lot of them in their basements and other cool dark places under their homes or in garages. 

Spiders are common this time of year.  They do not actively pursue humans to bite them, but will bite in self defense.  When in doubt, shake your shoes out before putting them on.  Spiders should be encouraged in the garden, as they provide vital pest control services.