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Black Widow Spiders
The joys of living in the country
One of the first surprises I had when I moved to the California Central Valley was the ubiquitous nature of spiders.

There are big grey furry ones called "wolf spiders" that I think are cool. And there is a huge black furry one that looks like a miniature tarantula (maybe 2" across) I see running on the ground at night.

But the red-orange hour glass on the black widow just plain scares me. They are very shiny black, and the abdomen can become a swollen sphere almost as big as the last part of your small finger.

There is also a faker. Its a black spider with a yellow hour glass but not on the underside�its on its' back. Yeah, its a total fake "black widow."

Widows are nocturnal. During the day they hide under pots, under the lips of containers, etc. When I work around the plants I wear leather gloves.

Luckily the Black Widow is shy, reclusive and not at all aggressive. When spotted they run for cover. That is lucky; the funnel web spider in Australia is aggressive and has fangs that can pierce through shoes.
I can't spray for widows because it would unbalance the ecosystem. Seriously. There are thousands of types of good insects that you don't want to harm. So these bad guys have to be killed one at a time. I can't get rid of all of them, just keep them from taking over.

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