The Unique Challenges of Widow Spider Control in Ventura County

The Unique Challenges of Widow Spider Control in Ventura County

Ventura County is home to diverse species and a wide range of ecosystems. We have the beaches of Ventura and Oxnard, the hills of Ventura and Newbury Park, and the arid desert like conditions of Fillmore and Piru. We have a wide range of climates, an equally wide range of insects, and the spiders that love to eat them. This diversity requires pest control companies in Ventura like our team at Spearhead Pest Control to be ready to successfully fight an infestation of a variety of different types of spiders.

I cannot tell you how often I’m told that someone has found a brown recluse in their backyard or knows someone that has been bitten by one. I always approach these stories with a healthy bit of skepticism since I know that the nearest populations or brown recluse are hundreds of miles away.

While it’s true that a spider can hitchhike on a cross country truck or in cargo, it’s not likely that the spider would survive very long in such a new environment. While possible, we’re talking about exceptionally rare instances.

But I will admit, I’ve been wrong about this very scenario before. A brown spider that made a fool of me was the brown widow. An invasive species, it has flourished in LA and Ventura Counties. When a customer suggested she had brown widows around 2009 and I balked at the idea, and I could not have imagined that I’d encounter the numbers I see today.

At least in my experience, they have surpassed the black widow and now I rarely see black widows. Where I used to find a single perfect white orb egg sac of the black widow, I now find the spiky yellowish orb egg sacs of the brown widows. They are outcompeting and outbreeding the black widow.

A common misconception is that brown widows are less dangerous because their venom is different, but I assure you this is not true. Brown widow venom is just as neurotoxic, and because there are more of them, you have a far higher chances of being bitten. This actually make the brown widow far more dangerous. The silver lining here is that even though the widow venom is the deadliest in North America, we haven’t seen a fatality in almost 20 years.

Dealing With Brown Widow Infestations

We’ve developed a unique approach when it comes to widow spiders, and it works exceptionally well with our bimonthly or quarterly pest control customers.

Our strategy is to first use a formulation residually effective for spiders. Just because a product says it can kill spiders doesn’t mean it can kill spiders effectively after it’s dried. Most insecticides are designed to be sprayed directly on a spider, but if the spray dries before it comes into contact with a spider it suddenly has a severely limited, if not zero, effect. This is solved by using advanced microencapsulated or capsule suspension technology. These can “stick” to the spider’s thin legs and follow it around until the lethal dose is taken up.

Next, we use what’s called a synergist, which helps the make the spider more vulnerable to common sodium channel blockers like pyrethroid active ingredients.

These two improvements made a huge impact on our customer satisfaction, but we don’t stop there. We also changed the way we treat for widow spiders by changing the angles and getting right up into their nests and harborage sites. This moved beyond the old pest control model of just spraying lines around the homes. We’re not just preventing, we’re hunting them down.

Finally, we also hunt down their prey before they can. We simultaneously go after crickets, their favorite food source, and eliminate any other food sources we can. By starving them out, taking their nest areas/webs, using effective formulations, and educating our customers about pest prevention techniques, we can collapse even a large population very quickly. Give us a call and we can help you see the difference a professional can make if you need a pest control company in Ventura.

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