- Author: Rick Vetter
If you were to ask an audience of more than a few people if they or anyone they know has ever seen or been bitten by a brown recluse spider in California, many hands would be raised. This is quite remarkable because the brown recluse spider has NEVER established breeding populations in California!
The myth of the brown recluse has been generated and sustained by:
- Physician misdiagnoses (where many skin lesions of diverse non-spider origin are blamed on a non-existent spider)
- Media articles that report claims of horrendous bite injury without proof of spider involvement
- Misidentification of harmless brown spiders as brown recluses by the general public as well as "authorities" who lack...
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
No we aren't here to tell you we found one. Because brown recluse spiders do not live in California.
Don't believe this last statement? Then please read the recently updated publication Pest Notes: Brown Recluse and Other Recluse Spiders by UC Riverside spider expert Richard S. Vetter.
Brown recluse spiders are among the most talked about spiders in California and one that many other brown spiders from different and non-threatening groups get confused with. But there are actually no populations of brown recluse spiders in California.
We encourage all our subscribers to read the
When you see spiders in your garden, you may wonder if they can hurt you or your pets. The good news is, most spiders are not likely to bite or cause lasting harm if they do. Plus, they provide natural pest control! Here are a few spiders commonly found in gardens and landscapes:
Garden spiders or orb weavers spin funnel-shaped webs that cover plants or soil. This spider waits for prey to touch its web and then consumes it.
Crab or flower spiders look like tiny crabs. They use their enlarged front legs to stalk or hunt their prey.
Yesterday we posted an “Easter egg hunt” challenge, and as promised, here are the adult insects and spiders with their matching eggs or egg cases pictured. How did you do?
We welcome your feedback, so please sign in and post a comment below to tell us if the egg hunt was easy or difficult, and how many answers you guessed correctly. Or, you can write us a note about the challenge on our UC IPM Urban/Community Facebook page.
Now for the answers:
A. Harlequin bugs are...
Unlike mosquitoes, spiders do not seek people in order to bite them. Generally, a spider doesn't try to bite a person unless it has been squeezed, lain on, or similarly provoked to defend itself. Moreover, the jaws of most spiders are so small that the fangs cannot penetrate the skin of an adult person. Sometimes when a spider is disturbed in its web, it may bite instinctively because it mistakenly senses that an insect has been caught.
The severity of a spider bite depends on factors such as the kind of spider, the amount of venom injected, and the age and health of the person bitten. A spider bite might cause no reaction at all, or it might result in varying amounts of itching, redness, stiffness, swelling, and...