Distantly related to the black widow, the brown widow spider is far less toxic than its famous cousin. Though it is widely spread in the United States, this species often proves difficult to identify because of its variable color. Thus, you may find brown widow spider specimens in a variety of colors from light tan to dark brown; moreover, all sorts of markings decorate their bodies making them all the more unique. There are red, orange, yellow, black and white patterns that the brown widow spider may carry on the abdomen, all of these features misleading any untrained eye.
The favorite habitat of the brown widow spider includes well protected locations in homes and other man-made structures. You may even find brown widow nests in buckets, mail boxes, entry corners, closets, garages and even in vegetation like shrubs and tree branches. Most bites occur when one accidentally stick their hands into such secluded areas and corners or when the spider gets pressed against the skin. Wearing some rubber gloves when cleaning up around the house will help you avoid being exposed to a direct contact with the brown widow spider.
The hourglass mark specific to all widow spiders colored in yellow or orange remains a distinguishable characteristic on the bottom of the abdomen. The bite of the brown widow spider is pretty painful, causing a lot of trouble to the victim, yet, it is not even by far as serious or as toxic as that of the black widow.
There is a paradox related to the qualities of the brown widow spider venom: when compared to that of the black widow it is twice as potent. Surprisingly enough, the death risk is a lot lower with this species; the explanation for this queer fact lies in the shy nature of the brown widow spider that injects venom timidly unlike the black widow.
One common way to detect the presence of the brown widow spider is by identifying its egg sac. This is a peculiarity of the species, completely different from that of other widow spiders. The surface of the sac is full of pointed projections that make it resemble to a fluffy little ball. In case you notice such a white globe sticking out from a hidden corner, then you can be sure you’ve come across a brown widow spider nest.
Both spiders and egg sacs can be nicely removed with a vacuum cleaner, thus eliminating the risk of direct contact. Regular dusting of all the house area is the thumb rule for discouraging spiders to return.