The Central Coast is a spidery place. Our climate seems to be very congenial to a number of spider species. Most of our spiders are harmless and indeed are beneficial in that they catch and eat a wide variety of insects. Studies have shown that without spiders our world would be a much “buggier” place.
Even black widow spiders, like rattlesnakes, are beneficial if we can keep them more or less out of “our living space.” Widows tend to be shy and retiring spiders. They will get out of your way if you give them half a chance. By the same token, widows like dark and secluded areas, thus can become a problem in storage rooms, closets, and other seldom disturbed places in a home, garage or storage shed.
Widows usually build a web around or near a wall crack or dark place. They retire to this refuge during the day and come out at night and sit in the middle of their web awaiting a victim. So night time is the best time to go on “black widow patrol.” Equipped with a flashlight and a can of approved spider spray, check cracks and crannies where you suspect black widows may be present. If you see one in her web, a shot of spray will eliminate the problem. This routine done twice or three times a year will suppress black widow problems to a minimum.